Memorandum of understanding between WHO/Europe and EFNNMA

WHO

WHO/Europe and the European Forum for National Nursing and Midwifery Associations (EFNNMA) have signed a four-year memorandum of understanding. It was signed by the Regional Director, Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, and the Chair of the EFNNMA Steering Committee, Ms Valentina Sarkisova. The Director of the Division of Health Systems and Public Health, Dr Hans Kluge, represented the Regional Director at a ceremony at EFNNMA's Steering Committee meeting on 29 February 2016.

The new four-year memorandum of understanding outlines a collaboration to implement the "European strategic directions for strengthening nursing and midwifery towards Health 2020 goals" (ESDNM) in the WHO European Region. EFNNMA will continue to support WHO/Europe's work in promoting the ESDNM and developing good nursing and midwifery practice in the Region.

The memorandum of understanding recognizes the value of dialogue between the EFNNMA and WHO/Europe and the potential strength of joint action to achieve Health 2020 goals in the Region. EFNNMA also serves as a unique opportunity to bridge not only two of the largest professions of the health workforce – nursing and midwifery – but also national associations from both the European Union (EU) and non-EU countries in the Region.

Collaboration with EFNNMA began in 1996 with the overall goal of promoting health and providing better health care services. The collaboration celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Focus on developing nursing and midwifery professions

As part of this collaboration, the two organizations will contribute to and influence the debate on improving the health of European citizens and the quality of health care services in Europe, in line with the vision of the European health policy, Health 2020. This was the point of discussion at the annual EFNNMA meeting on 1 March 2016 where members also discussed the European regional strategy on women's health. At a time when Europe is experiencing austerity measures and working to scale up universal health coverage in the Region, nurses and midwives – through this collaboration – are more important than ever.

The partnership aims to promote the continuous development of the nursing and midwifery professions in all countries in the Region at all levels of intervention: education, practice, management, research and policy formulation. EFNNMA's extensive network of national nursing and midwifery associations will be mobilized to pursue this goal.