The nursing profession at primary healthcare level needs to be strengthened to address the health challenges, in response to the prevailing burden of disease and new challenges brought by COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, creating new models of care services that meet the most pressing needs such as prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, home care for the elderly, e-health solutions etc. are some of the paths to be explored with the purpose of enhancing  the role of nurses in PHC professional teams.

To discuss these topics, international and local nursing professionals and experts gathered together in the international conference “Role of Nurses in the primary health care facing new health challenges” that took place on March 2nd 2022 in Tirana (Albania) in a hybrid format with onsite and online sessions.

The conference program had a strong evidence-based background and aimed the exchange of experiences towards effective primary healthcare teams.

Albania is implementing the Strategy on Development of Primary Health Care Services 2020-2025, that stresses the need to improve the training of nurses and revise their role so that they can take on new tasks and play a greater role in maintaining and improving the communities’ health.

During her speech, the Minister of Health and Social Protection Ogerta Manastirliu highlighted the assistance Switzerland has provided in the health sector and especially in the nursing field: “I am grateful for the Swiss support we have had since the very beginning regarding the boosting of the role of nurses. The fact that we are here today discussing on how to further enhance this role, shows that we have introduced sustainable approaches in this regard.”

The conference was supported by the SDC project in Albania Health for All (HAP). HAP has carried out  several interventions aiming at strengthening the capacities of nurses in primary health care such as a new master program in family nursing, updating  the role and profiles of nurses in PHC and elaborating and implementing new models of home care delivered mainly by family nurses.

The Swiss Ambassador Adrian Maître acknowledged the efforts of the Albanian government to transform the primary health care service to respond to the population needs. “Switzerland fully supports this aim-said Ambassador Maître- and we, together with other international partners – are ready to continue our support under the coordination and leadership of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. Together we can better align our resources whether external or domestic, to national goals and needs.”

The book of abstracts of the Conference can be downloaded here.