Stop TB Partnership

ICN TB/MDR-TB Project celebrates its Leading Lights

Nurses bringing light to where there is no light


13 October 2015 - While most nurses prefer to avoid the limelight, the ICN TB/MDR-TB project wants to recognize the work of some outstanding TB nurses who are role models and leaders in their field.

The ICN TB/MDR-TB Leading Lights initiative aims to showcase the work of exceptional nurses trained by the ICN TB/MDR-TB project who are making an outstanding contribution to TB prevention, care and management in their local facility and/or community.

The Leading Lights Award highlights the contribution of those involved with caring for those affected by any form of TB and shows the world what an impact effective training and resources can have on this global disease.

ICN invites all the ICN TB project partners to nominate nurses and allied health workers who have demonstrated excellence in their efforts to teach their colleagues about TB, improve patient care or make changes to reduce transmission of TB. The winners will be highlighted on the ICN’s TB Project webpages and will be presented with a certificate and a special pin by their national nurses association.

Calls for nominations will be sent quarterly and people will be able to access the form on the ICN TB web pages.

Inspiration for this award came from exceptional nurses like these:

Nadezhda Sivolozskaya

Chief Nurse of Kemerovo regional TB Dispensary (Russian Federation)

Nadezhda works at the Kemerovo regional TB Dispensary, located in the Siberian region which is highly affected with TB. She recognized that there was a number of cases of TB among healthcare workers, especially nursing assistants which led to a high turnover of nursing assistants. Nadezhda realized that the knowledge of TB and appropriate infection control was very low among nursing assistants and other nonmedical staff. As a result she developed an interactive training for this group in her hospital and involved the nurses as peer educators and mentors. Over the past two years since this training has been in place, not only has the knowledge and skills of nursing assistants improved, but the teaching skills of nurses has also improved. Moreover this has also positively influenced the work climate and atmosphere and has resulted in fewer TB infections among staff and lower turnover among nursing assistants. Research implemented by Nadezhda provides recommendation for a system of continued trainings for nursing assistants that may prove to be effective in protecting them from becoming infected with TB.

Elena Duman

Chief Nurse of Belovskiy branch of Kemerovo TB Dispensary (Russian Federation)

Elena, jointly with Nadezhda Sivolozskaya, implemented the same research project in her hospital. The final outcomes were quite optimistic. Within this study Elena formed two groups of nursing assistants. Participants in the first group received only standard recommendation to read some specific literature, while participants of the second group took part in a series of interactive trainings. These nursing assistants from the second group reached 100% of the necessary knowledge and skills related to TB infection control within their professional roles. Moreover, those nursing assistants from the first group got highly interested with the trainings provided for the second group and asked the hospital administration to teach them as well. Over the past two years since the training was instituted there have been no new cases of TB among the nursing assistants, and there are big hopes that this is a successful strategy to protect them from TB in the future.

Nyembezi Chinkhombe

Nurse midwife technician of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre (Malawi)

Nyembezi is a nurse midwife technician working in the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi - the largest referral hospital in Malawi. She advocates for the care of MDR-TB patients in her hospital and is working closely with the hospital management, district health office and other stakeholders to improve the current inpatient facilities for MDR-TB patients and arrange care for these patients closer to their homes. Nyembezi has shown that she can handle and execute her duties as a unit in charge nurse and ensures that care for patients with TB is of a high standard. Since participating in the ICN Lilly Training the reports that her confidence has increased and she feels more confident in her work and ability to manage MDR-TB patients. In addition, she has been recognized by the National TB Programme (NTP) in Malawi and is currently participating in the NTP’s national TB prevalence survey. Nyembezi is also involved with several research studies on TB taking place in the wards of the hospital where she works.

ICN TB/MDR-TB Project Facts:

  • Builds skills, knowledge and capacity at all levels of nursing
  • Member of Lilly MDR-TB Partnership since 2005
  • Transformational training methodology developed & implemented
  • Currently working with 8 national nurses associations in China, Russia, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia
  • 1,900 nurse trainers trained to date
  • An additional 96,000 nurses and allied health workers trained through cascade
  • Impact includes improved case detection and treatment outcomes, reduced stigma and improved infection control