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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University September 11, 2006 | Vol. 36 No. 2
SoN Launches Midwifery Online Community of Practice

By Kelly Brooks-Staub
School of Nursing

The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, in collaboration with the World Health Organization and other partners, is today launching the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery Community of Practice. The new online initiative has been designed to offer nurses and midwives throughout the world — despite their geographic location and physical settings — a forum for sharing ideas, best practices and new knowledge.

The Community of Practice employs an electronic communication system that is specifically designed for use in remote and/or low bandwidth settings and requires only an e-mail address in order to participate.

"We can use the system to reach isolated nurses, midwives and health workers who are desperate to communicate with others around the world," said Patricia Abbott, co-director of the school's WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center for Knowledge, Information Management and Sharing, the unit that serves as the secretariat for the GANM CoP. "E-mail is seeping into even the most remote of places — from Internet kiosks in the jungles of Peru and Bolivia, to the African bush, at the top of mountains and in neighborhoods without running water."

Today's launch will feature an online global discussion forum analyzing the contribution of nurses and midwives to health and the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Through a seven-country video conference, the forum will be introduced by Her Royal Highness Princess Muna al-Hussein of Jordan and His Excellency Dr. S. Darwazeh, minister of health of Jordan. Guest experts around the world from WHO, ministries of health, nursing and midwifery associations and other organizations will host and moderate the discussion.

The GANM CoP electronic communication system has been developed with funding from the United States Agency for International Development, United Nations Population Fund and WHO. The project also is a component of the Information and Knowledge for Optimal Health Project's Implementing Best Practices Knowledge Gateway at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In addition to the Bloomberg School, JHPIEGO is among the partners involved in the initiative.

To learn more about the GANM CoP, or to become a member, go to


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