Entrenching Ethics and Integrity in The Nursing Profession
26:10:2021: Meru County nurses have been urged to uphold integrity and stay true to their codes of professional practice. They should establish mechanisms to mainstream ethics and integrity to ensure the profession is not tainted by corruption, said Ms Sophia Lepuchirit, the Vice-Chairperson of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
“Do not wrong humanity by causing deaths whenever calls for industrial action are made,” Commissioner Lepuchirit told the nurses, adding: “You must jealously and zealously safeguard the nursing profession from reputational damage occasioned by corruption and unethical conduct. “Do not use abusive language when attending to clients.”
She spoke during a capacity-building workshop to mainstream professional ethics and enlist the support and partnership of professionals in the fight against corruption and unethical conduct. She issued a rallying cry to nurses to give their best and expressed concern at what she described as a show of “immense opulence” by some county officials while nurses were not well remunerated.
Commissioner Lepuchirit applauded nurses for their sterling work as frontline health workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic period while also noting their critical role as “drivers of Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 3 whose objective is to ensure healthy lives and promotion of wellbeing at all ages”.
She asked nurses to adhere to their codes of professional practice by actualizing and upholding the provisions of the Nurses Code of Ethics
The Commission continues to engage professionals through their umbrella associations to enlist their support in the fight against corruption. The Vice-Chairperson noted that the Meru Nursing Council of Kenya Chapter was the first to be trained under professionals drawn from the Law Society of Keya, Kenya Institute of Supplies Management and the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council.
She further noted that the sector was prone to the risks of corruption and highlighted allegations of abuse of office, bid rigging, bribery, conflict of interest, embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds, public procurement irregularities, fraud and unethical conduct as some of the malpractices bedeviling the sector.
She reiterated the Commission’s commitment to collaborate and partner with the Nursing Council of Kenya to strengthen the integrity framework for increased efficiency in the nursing profession. Among the proposed areas of collaboration are advisories on ethics and integrity, review of systems and institutional codes of conduct, as well as the establishment of Corruption Prevention Committees and training of Integrity Assurance Officers. She concluded with a call to nurses to be agents of positive transformation in the healthcare system.
Also present was the Regional Manager for Upper Eastern Regional Office, Mr George Ojowi, who said his office would be available for continued engagements aimed at mainstreaming good governance, ethics and integrity through law enforcement and preventive approaches.
Mr George Taitumu, County Nursing Officer and representative of the Nursing Council of Kenya, thanked the Commission for supporting the council through the integrity capacity building. He promised to ensure the enforcement of the code of ethics for nurses. The Commission’s team of resource persons that facilitated this training comprised Ms. Anne Kiprotich, Senior Education Officer – Governance, Ms. Faith Mituki, Education Officer – Isiolo, and Miss. Ruth Kilimo, Legal Officer – Isiolo.
The training ended with a clarion call to nurses to cascade the training across all the sub-counties for a corruption free healthcare system to be realized for the posterity of the county and the Kenyan nation at large.
The workshop, held on 26th October at Meru National Polytechnic, was sponsored by the EACC.