INTRODUCTION TO THE 3RD NATIONAL CONVENTION OF NURSE ADVOCATES
AYNLA’s 3rd National Convention of Nurse Advocates otherwise known as the Millennium Convention (MC) is the third installment of its five-year national conference series that highlights the Millennium Development Goals and its progress in each goal. The Millennium Convention Series started in 2010 and will commence on 2015.
The 1st Millennium Convention in 2010 opened the series by giving a backgrounder to the Millennium Development Goals and how can nurses help in achieving them by becoming active catalysts of progressive change through health care. Speakers from different United Nations agencies in the Philippines attended such as those from the UN Millennium Campaign, UN Development Programme, UN Population Fund, UN Joint Programme on HIV & AIDS and key national government agencies such as the Department of Health and the National Youth Commission. National legislators were also present to grace the event. Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Senate Chairperson on Human Rights became the convention’s first Keynote Speaker.
The 2nd Millennium Convention in 2011 opened the first set of MDGs to be discussed, Goals 4 & 5, on Maternal & Child health. The convention was joined by a distinguished roster of top-caliber women leaders such as former DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral, Akbayan Spokesperson & former Representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, Chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines Elizabeth Angsioco and the second Keynote Speaker, GABRIELA Women’s Party Representative, Emmi de Jesus.
The 2nd convention also spearheaded the 1st National Nurses Consultation (NNC) which brings in government, civil society and nursing leaders all together in one table to talk about the pressing issues of the nursing & healthcare sector. The 1st NNC was graced by DOH Nursing Consultant & former PRC Commissioner Ruth Padilla, Member of the Board of Nursing Perla Po and the Chairperson of the Professional Regulations Commission herself, Atty. Teresita Manzala. The issue that was laid in the table was the nursing unemployment crisis and the issue of exploitation of some hospitals on nurse-volunteers.
The 3rd Millennium Convention will be setting a new trend as it embarks on tackling one of the huge programs of the present Aquino Administration – implementing a Universal Health Care or “Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” program for all Filipinos. While MC3 will still cover 2 MDGs namely: MDG 3 Women Empowerment and MDG 6 Halting the Spread of HIV & AIDS, the 3rd convention will now have to incorporate those to the umbrella of Universal Health Care (UHC).
This would mean that MC3 will now have to incorporate MDGs to the goals and main concepts of the UHC program. In partnership with the Department of Health, the 3rd Millennium Convention will bring in former DOH Secretaries and Ambassadors to discuss about how health professionals specifically the nurses can contribute to the Universal Health Care and how can each one help to make it happen. This is part of the DOH’s seven-month activity called the “Secretary’s Cup” starting this August 2012 until February 2013. The 2nd NNC will be talking about the growing need of nurses in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry and the challenges nurses face in this new field of work.
This is also historic because this will be the first time AYNLA’s Millennium Convention will be hosted by a local chapter (Iloilo Chapter) and a Regional Council (Region 6). AYNLA will also launch its affiliate web sites as well.
THE DOH SECRETARY’S CUP
The Department of Health under the leadership of its current chief, Secretary Enrique Ona will be launching a 7-month long series of activities to highlight DOH’s “Kalusugang Pangkalahatan” or Universal Health Care. This project commencing in August 2012 and will be ending in February 2013 with each month dedicated to one of the six building blocks of Universal Health Care while the last month is dedicated to officially close the 7-month long activities.
AYNLA is one of members of its Steering Committee dedicated to mobilize nurses to help implement the project, conduct community Town Hall & school debates and to actively promote the event via social & mainstream media. Together with AYNLA’s network of partner organizations, AYNLA commits to become an official partner organization of DOH to successfully implement this highly anticipated project.