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NWU neonatal expert paves the way forward

When it comes to midwifery, neonatal care and nursing research, the name of North-West University's Prof Welma Lubbe is the first that comes to mind.

As a dedicated researcher and founder of Little Steps - a research-based parenting Web site - Prof Lubbe was recently appointed for a third term (of five years each) as the South African representative of the Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN).

COINN is an organisation that represents nurses who specialise in the care of newborn infants and their families or have a special interest in this area of nursing. As recognised global leaders in neonatal nursing care, they are committed to fostering excellence in neonatal nursing and promoting the development of neonatal nursing as a recognised global specialty.

According to COINN's chief executive officer, Carole Kenner, the organisation is growing rapidly and is the only voice for neonatal nurses globally. "We are working on exciting projects and are always looking for more ways to serve the needs of newborn infants and their families through research, education and practice. We extend a huge thank you to Prof Lubbe for her ongoing commitment to newborns and their families and to working with COINN."

Prof Lubbe currently holds a senior position at the NWU's School of Nursing. She was part of the initiation team for the human-donor breast-milk bank situated at the Potchefstroom Hospital and is supervisor to a number of post-graduate students in nursing and other related disciplines.

She often acts as adviser on preterm-infant-related issues, such as the launching of the preterm size 0 nappies. In addition to the Little Steps Web site, Prof Lubbe is constantly involved in "premmie" parenting workshops to provide parents with the information they need to understand and care for their little ones. To support parents even more, the Little Steps Online Parenting Course will be launched during May 2020.

When representing South Africa at COINN, Prof Lubbe's main responsibilities include creating guidelines for care or professional standards and offering advice on neonatal nursing issues.

Contact: Welma Lubbe(018) 299 [email protected]