Nursing Now and Forever

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By Sir George Alleyne

(Global Frontier Advisory and Development Services) When Lord Nigel Crisp who is co-chair of the global movement “Nursing Now” asked me to write a comment for the international day of the nurse and midwife – May 12, I accepted with alacrity. This was not only because I had agreed a couple years ago to be one of the champions of Nursing Now and its three-year campaign (2018 to 2020) to raise the profile and status of nursing worldwide, but because of a long-held conviction that the critical role of nursing and nurses in our society was not promoted often and loudly enough. I am grateful to Professor Edward Greene for giving me the opportunity to include these comments in his GOFAD blog on this important day.

May 12, 2020 also has enhanced historical significance because it is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the legendary nurse Florence Nightingale. The theme for the celebration of this year’s international day is “Nursing the world to health”. In a sense this was prophetic, as it was chosen long before nurses and other health workers were thrown into increased prominence and yes, danger by the pandemic of Covid- 19.

Three years ago, I was a co-author for a publication that analyzed the major problems for which the world should prepare – pandemic influenza, antimicrobial resistance, the noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and of course climate change. It is pertinent to highlight the role or rather roles nurses must play in nursing the world through these challenges. It was not pandemic influenza – at least not yet – but Covid-19 that has shown into the sharpest possible relief one of the most critical roles of nurses that sometimes seems to be taken for granted in the discussions of the technical advances in the profession and the loud and proper cries for them to take leadership roles in for example primary health care and universal health coverage.

Read more at: GOFAD

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