The Liberian Chapter of the West African College of Nursing (WACN) has joined other West African chapters for the organization’s 14th Biennial General Meeting, a dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Nigeria has said.
The WACN, a specialized agency of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), on Tuesday, July 4, began its week-long event, which is being held at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja. It runs from July 1-7.
According to the release, the Liberian Chapter, comprising over 20 professional Liberian nurses otherwise called Fellows, is led by Joseph Gono and includes Mrs. Elizabeth Sele-Mulbah, a past president, council member and presenter of WACN.
This year’s theme is “Emerging Health Emergencies: Community and Health Workforce Responsibilities in the Sub-Region.” The biennial event is also the 23rd Scientific Session and 37th Council Meeting of the WACN.
Liberia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh, and several Nigerian dignitaries, including the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewole, attended Tuesday’s formal opening session.
Victor D. Zoclanclounon, president of WACN, in his address, said this year’s theme is adequately expressive as “we know the vulnerability of the majority of the population we are taking care of in nursing and obstetrics health care.”
“To achieve this with professionalism and collaboration with the other health workers, we don’t have any other solution than to count on the know-how and the well-being of the technicians of the two Siamese professions, the nurses and the mid-wives”, said Zoclanclounon.
During the opening ceremony, honorary fellowship awards were conferred on several personalities. They included the Nigerian Minister of Health, Professor Adewole; Senator Radiu Musa Kwankwaso, chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs; and Mrs. Toyin Saraki, wife of the Nigerian Senate President.
Since its inauguration in 1981, member countries have been hosting what was first referred to as the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in rotation. The first was held in Liberia. But due to obvious undue financial burden on fellows and sponsors, it was decided in 1989, during the Freetown event, for it to be held biennially.
The late Mrs. Rachael Marshall, Mrs. Elizabeth Sele-Mulbah and Mrs. Dedeh F. Jones are three Liberians who have served as presidents of WACN. Three other Liberians have served as secretaries-general. They are the late Mrs. Ellen George Williams, Mrs. C. Lawuo Gwesa and Shirley Adia Wright.
Liberia has hosted the event on four occasions. Liberia first hosted the WACN gathering in 1982 and again in 1987, 2001 and 2013.