Happy International Nurses Day: Nursing the World to Health
Published on: 12.05.2020
May 12th is observed across the world as International Nurses Day. This is the day to express gratitude and thank nurses for their hard work and response to the current health crisis.
The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed inequalities in the health care system especially in vulnerable communities in developing countries. At the same time, the pandemic has re-established the role of health care providers. Now people all over the world know what mask heroes wear in these grim times.
Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health is the theme of 2020 International Nurses Day.
This year, the International Nurses Day coincides with the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. She pioneered the concept of evidence-based healthcare. This is the concept used by the World Health Organization (WHO) to trace COVID-19 patients. Her data-based work helped to shape modern nursing and made her the first female fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.
During her time at the British Military hospital in Turkey Nightingale found out that seven times more people died because of diseases and unsanitary hospital conditions than on the battlefield.
This points out the role of datasets comparing to understanding outbreaks.
The WHO designated 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife because: “Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services. These are the people who devote their lives to caring for mothers and children; giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice; looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. They are often, the first and only point of care in their communities. The world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.”
Important facts on nurses and midwives
Nursing and midwifery occupations represent a significant share of the female workforce.
Globally, 70% of the health and social workforce are women. Nurses and midwives represent a large portion of this.
The largest needs-based shortages of nurses and midwives are in South East Asia and Africa.
For all countries to reach Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health and well-being, WHO estimates that the world will need an additional 9 million nurses and midwives by the year 2030.
Achieving health for all will depend on there being sufficient numbers of well-trained and educated, regulated and well-supported nurses and midwives
Nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and delivering primary and community care
Investing in nurses and midwives is a good value for money. The report of the UN High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth concluded that investments in education and job creation in the health and social sectors result in a triple return of improved health outcomes, global health security, and inclusive economic growth.
Only 42 percent of people with midwifery skills work in the 73 countries where more than 90 percent of all maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths occur.
Nurses and midwives play a huge role in empowering individuals, families, and communities to take care of their health and thus to achieving SDG3 and its targets.
3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
3.2 By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births.
3.7 By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs.
3.C Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training, and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in the least developed countries and small island developing States.
Innovation and good health
Social entrepreneurs can help to improve overall health and well-being in their communities. They can harness innovations and systems that meet people’s need for proper-health care or they can find ways to invest in building resilient health care systems. Moreover, social entrepreneurs can help to empower youth and especially women with proper health-care education.
Ideas on how to help to achieve SDG 3 can be different depending on regions and countries.
If you’re running a project that contributes to SDG3 or any of the SDGs don’t hesitate to submit it to the 2020 Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition. You can join even if you have just a starting idea. With the help of our community of entrepreneurs and online training, you can turn it into reality.
Take time to say thank you to the nurses you know!