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Takeaways from COINN 2024

By: Odessa Wughanga Omanyo | Neonatal Clinical Instructor, Kenyatta National Hospital School of Nursing.


I am a neonatal clinical instructor at Kenyatta National Hospital’s School of Nursing in Nairobi, Kenya. Each day I am privileged to train nursing students who wish to specialize in neonatal nursing from all 47 counties in Kenya and from across the East Africa region. Recently, I joined more than 250 attendees from 28 countries at the 11th Council of International Neonatal Nurses Conference (COINN 2024) in Denmark. The conference brings together experts in neonatal care every five years to learn and share experiences.  

As I left to return to Kenya, I wondered what would I want the people who couldn’t make it to the conference to know? In this post, I share three of my primary takeaways and describe key actions that I’m ready to advocate for in my own hospital.


At COINN 2024, I received the Neonatal Nursing Leadership and Mentorship Scholarship.

At COINN 2024, I received the Neonatal Nursing Leadership and Mentorship Scholarship. Here I am after receiving the award. Pictured left to right: Nancy Mburu, Jason Kiruja, myself, Patrick Too, Dolphine Mochache, and Edith Gicheha. Photo courtesy of COINN.


As I left to return to Kenya, I wondered what would I want the people who couldn’t make it to the conference to know? In this post, I share three of my primary takeaways and describe key actions that I’m ready to advocate for in my own hospital.


Research funding for newborns and stillbirths exists, but there are glaring inequalities 

There were a magnitude of takeaways coming out of the conference. At the top of my list is that there is research funding for newborns and stillbirths globally, with a commitment of approximately $577 million per year. This is, however, hampered by some glaring inequalities. For example, presenter Joy Lawn and NEST360 noted that only 7% of this funding goes to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and yet they carry 98% of the burden of newborn mortality and stillbirth. Signifying even more imbalances, the presentation reported that more than 50% of funding in LMICs is allocated to high-income partners, and as such, what remains to support LMIC-led research is less than optimal due to a lack of absorption capacity and other factors.  




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