FIFA has donated branded tracksuits to Nurses and Physiotherapists who are part of the FIFA Football Nurses Research project which is being piloted in the FAM Women’s Football Regional Leagues.
The equipment is aimed at making the Nurses and Physiotherapists comfortable in their line of work and a consignment of sports shoes and bags for the nurses is in transit from Switzerland.
The project is aimed at developing a community and strength based, task sharing approach (Football Nurse) to actively recruit and train nurses pitch side responders in grassroots Women’s football.
It is being led by two Women Football Consultants, Dr Nonhanhla Mkumbuzi from University of Cape Town, and Dr Enock Chisati from the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences.
Nurses from the Southern Region received their tracksuits at the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences while their colleagues from the Northern and central regions will receive theirs on Monday and Tuesday respectively .
Nine Nurses and six Physiotherapists were recruited and together with selected Women’s Football nurses had a seven-day training in basic football medicine using the FIFA Football Medicine training manuals.
The Nurses were allocated to some Women’s Football teams for one season where they are providing basic health screening, assessment, immediate care, referral of injuries to the physiotherapists and maintaining players health records.
The teams who were not allocated a Football Nurse are being used as a control group to easily assess the impact of having a nurse in Women’s football.
Through the project which will end in December, FIFA wants to assess the possibility of actively including nurses into sports and exercise medicine practice in low-income settings like Malawi, which will provide an effective, affordable, and sustainable solution to bridge the treatment gap that female football players currently face.