US Ambassadors Visit Leadership Program in Egypt

[A nurse participating in the IPHN program speaks with US Ambassadors Melanie Verveer and Margaret Scobey. Photo Credit: MSH Staff.]A nurse participating in the IPHN program speaks with US Ambassadors Melanie Verveer and Margaret Scobey. Photo Credit: MSH Staff.On April 21, 2010, the US Ambassador-at-Large for the Office of Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer and US Ambassador Margaret Scobey visited MSH’s Improving the Performance of Hospital Nurses (IPHN) program, in Aswan Governate in Upper Egypt. The visit was one of a number of stops by the ambassadors in the area to highlight the US-Egypt partnership in education, health, and small business development, and to express the continued commitment of the United States to helping women and girls reach their full potential as equal members of society.

The two ambassadors accompanied IPHN program staff on a visit to the Aswan Health Insurance Hospital where they attended a workshop for nurses using MSH’s challenge model—a leadership development approach where teams work together to identify real-life challenges, desired results, and the steps to achieve those results.The team at the hospital presented their challenge model on reducing infection control and improving communication.

One of the facilitators of the workshop, a nurse from Aswan Fever Hospital, told the ambassadors that before participating in the IPHN project she had been afraid of people but now had the confidence to be a facilitator and to lead others.

A joint effort by MSH, the Om Habiba Foundation (OHF), and Egypt's Ministry of Health (MOH), the IPHN program aims to improve the quality of care in Egypt by increasing the skills of nurses and their understanding of MOH standards and guidelines for infection control, basic nursing care, and communication.

An important part of the program is using a leadership development program to teach skills and improve teamwork. Despite their essential role in providing health care service delivery in Egypt, nurses often are not highly regarded and lack the authority, as well as the assurance, to promote changes in the facilities where they work. Workshops, such as the one attended by Ambassadors Verveer and Scobey, and other leadership training tools are being used to empower nurses to take initiative to produce better results. To build local capacity, the program is also training nurses as facilitators so they can continue to lead leadership workshops after the project has ended.

The IPHN project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development and is an associate award of MSH’s Leadership, Management and Sustainability Program.

Additional information can be found on the US Embassy in Egypt website

Related Link:

Scaling Up Proven Public Health Interventions in Aswan Egypt