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International Nurses Day being celebrated today

Celebrated around the world every May 12, the day commemorates the significance of nurses in the healthcare continuum.

World Health Organisation theme for this year is ”Nursing the World to Health”.

The WHO stated: “Historically, as well as today, nurses are at the forefront of fighting epidemics and pandemics –  providing high quality and respectful treatment and care. They are often the first and sometimes the only health professional that people see and the quality of their initial assessment, care and treatment is vital.

Nurses account for more than half of all the world’s health workers, yet there is an urgent shortage of nurses worldwide with 5.9 million more nurses still needed, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the vital role nurses play. Without nurses and other health workers, we will not win the battle against outbreaks, we will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or universal health coverage.

As we mark this, day, we urge countries to ensure:

  • the occupational safety and health of nurses and all health workers, including notably, unhindered access to personal protective equipment so they can safely provide care and reduce infections in health care settings.
  • nurses and all health care workers have access to mental health support, timely pay, sick leave and insurance; as well as access to the most up-to-date knowledge and guidance required to respond to all health needs, including outbreaks.
  • nurses are given the financial support and other resources required to help respond to and control COVID-19 and future outbreaks

In this year of the Nurse and the Midwife, now more than ever, it is essential that governments support and invest in their nurses. COVID19 reinforces the need for investment in nursing jobs, education, leadership.”

At a time like this, where the pandemic has taken over the world, it is only fitting for people across the world to honour nurses and celebrate them, instead of discriminating them due to fear. 

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