AstraZeneca India launches a Nurses’ Upskilling in NCDs (NUN) program

Mumbai, India: India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre, a collaboration between the Swedish Trade Commissioner’s Office, AIIMS New Delhi, and AIIMS Jodhpur, launched a specialized training program for nurses to equip them with world-class practical know-how required in managing Diabetes. In the first training, 30 nurses from AIIIMS Jodhpur will be trained for 2 days.

India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre is created to address the healthcare challenges in the country through key pillars – Technology, Protocol & process, and Capability Building. This is built under strategic guidance from the Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Government of Sweden’s Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, and the Embassy of Sweden in India, and knowledge partners AstraZeneca and NASSCOM.

In a phased manner, this capability program aims to upskill 5000 nurses across the country in the next year by converting the current modules into e-learning. The program also aims to expand the current curriculum to other non-communicable diseases (NCD) areas including Hypertension, Cardiovascular diseases, and Oncology.

The modules of this program are carefully designed to enable nurses to deliver specialized care, essential support services, and standardized counseling for patients living with these high incidence non-communicable diseases in India. “Nurses hold transformative power in tackling any disease. The primary idea behind this initiative is to create a framework that can enhance primary, secondary and tertiary care in India. The program we are launching deeply focuses on enriching our nurses with hands-on knowledge and specific skills required to practice and promote up-to-date patient-centric care”, said Cecilia Oskarsson, Trade Commissioner of Sweden to India.

As per WHO, 1 in 4 Indians has a risk of dying from a non-communicable disease before they reach the age of 70 years. Dr. Sanjeev Misra, Director, AIIMS Jodhpur said, “Nurses are a vital layer of any healthcare ecosystem that is instrumental in achieving the health and development goals of a country. As a part of India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre, we are proud to have developed a scalable training program that would help nurses not only deliver safe essential health services but also influence and educate patients towards understanding and managing a non-communicable disease”.

This program is curated from the rich and diverse resources available within the NCD domain following the National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases & Stroke (NPCDCS) guidelines. “Nurses in our country are an important touchpoint that can be leveraged to spread correct medical information to assess and manage these critical lifestyle diseases. Capacitating and upskilling nurses can prove to be a boon in ensuring the delivery of affordable, standardized, and safe essential health care services. Through this initiative, we continue our commitment to address the growing burden of NCDs by setting up solution-oriented centers of excellence that could focus upon upskilling, impactful solutions, and scalable operations,” said Dr. Anil Kukreja, VP Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca India.

The training program is targeted to empower nurses to better recognize the risk factors, causes, pathophysiology, screening methods, diagnostic tests, and management of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and other NCDs. They will also be able to advise patients and the community on the importance of early and regular screening and adoption of a healthy lifestyle. Another key outcome expected is to help people overcome myths and barriers and improve the rate of timely action for confirmatory diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Lastly, the program aims at gaining timely referrals of complicated cases for specialty care and assisting the community at large to adhere to treatment in keeping with the standard protocols.

The initiative will run under the aegis and direction of an Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Prof Suresh K Sharma, Professor & Principal, College of Nursing, AIIMS, Jodhpur. The advisory committee is being formed comprising of key dignitaries from AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Jodhpur, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS), AstraZeneca India, and Business Sweden. This advisory committee will be responsible to outline and review of the entire schedule of interventions, governing the overall framework, planning and on-ground conduct of the initiative, continuous evaluation of the project, and developing a model for possible replication across the country.

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