Health systems in the 15 member countries in the Southern African region vary, with some reasonably strong and others weak and overburdened. High rates of illness are due largely to such communicable diseases as malaria, HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis. The highest rates of HIV are found in Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, where one in five adults is infected.
In health institutions of many member countries, nurses form up to 70 per cent of the health workforce. Even with this high percentage of nurses, the numbers are inadequate to serve the populations. The levels of education and preparation of nurses has decreased as many countries respond to the shortage by providing adapted training.
Southern African Network of Nurses and Midwives (SANNAM)
SANNAM is a network of national nursing associations drawing from the 15 countries that make up the Southern African Development Community. Established in 2000, SANNAM aims to improve national health services and social policies related to HIV/AIDS and other health challenges, with a primary focus on health human resources and capacity-building for nurses and their associations.
Since 2001, CNA has provided support to the SANNAM secretariat to build SANNAM’s institutional capacity, create opportunities to obtain funding from other organizations for project implementation, develop a strategic plan and vision, and hold regular meetings to consolidate the network. During this time, SANNAM has successfully:
- diversified its funding base;
- implemented projects on workplace violence and stigma reduction;
- provided capacity building to members in financial management, influencing policy and leadership development;
- developed a strategic plan to guide the network; and
- developed a model of support to nurses to better enable them to provide quality nursing care in the context of HIV.
The following national nursing associations make up the SANNAM network:
- Associação Nacional dos Enfermeiros de Angola
- Associação Nacional dos Enfermeiros de Mozambique
- Association Nationale des Infirmiers (ères) du Congo
- Association Nationale des Infirmiers et des sages-femmes de Madagascar
- Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
- Lesotho Nurses Association
- Mauritius Nurses Association
- Namibian Nursing Association
- National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi
- Nurses Association of Botswana
- Nurses Association of the Republic of Seychelles
- Swaziland Nurses Association
- Tanzania National Nurses Association
- Zambian Union of Nurses Organisation
- Zimbabwe Nurses Association
Southern African Network of Nurses and Midwives – SANNAM
605 Church Street
Arcadia, Pretoria 0001 South Africa
Tel: +27 12 344 6135/5412