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Nursing the world to health

It is at times like these that we can see the vital importance of training nurses and the value of scholarships so that nurses can be trained.

Today marks the International Nurses Day: an annual initiative launched by the World Health Organisation to highlight the importance of nurses in healthcare systems worldwide and celebrate this vital workforce. The theme for this year is “Nursing the World to Health”, and could not be more appropriate.

As the Coronavirus spreads around the world, the key role nurses play in our healthcare systems is now more visible than ever. And as we understand the invaluable work of nurses, we must also recognise the essential role of training nurses. Skilled nurses play a key part in responding to health crises such as the Coronavirus and in achieving sustainable development.

There is a global shortage of health workers, in particular nurses and midwives, who represent more than 50% of the current shortage in health workers. The world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. Nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and delivering primary and community care.

Many countries are facing the current global pandemic, not just without equipment and PPE, but also without well-trained medical personnel. Ensuring nurses have the education, training and resources necessary to carry out their work is therefore essential to the wellbeing of the world. 

In the words of Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director general of the WHO: “We simply cannot achieve universal health coverage and the health-related targets in the SDGs unless we empower and equip nurses and midwives, and harness their power.”

ISSI: nursing the DRC back to health

Nursing is a profession which is too often undervalued, but it is nurses who underpin the healthcare workforce worldwide. Our local partner ISSI nursing school is raising the status and profile of nursing in the DRC, demonstrating what more can be achieved by a strengthened nursing profession and training highly skilled nurses.

ISSI graduates are so appreciated by hospitals that they have raised the average salary of nurses by 200% in the last 20 years. ISSI nurses have also helped to share knowledge and transform practice of good hygiene and patient care in the hospitals they work in.

Currently, many ISSI graduates and saving lives on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis, working at the ISSI reference hospital: Monkole Hospital. ISSI nurses are playing a KEY role in overcoming this deadly virus in the DRC as it will require mostly nursing care. It is at times like these that we can see the vital importance of training nurses and the value of scholarships so that nurses can be trained.

Monkole Hospital is in good nursing hands, but is facing serious shortages of even the most basic equipment they need to contain the virus. We have set up an emergency fund to help buy the essential equipment needed to manage the pandemic. ISSI’s nurses need our help now, more than ever.