International Nurses Day: People pay tribute to nurses, frontline warriors

World Health Organization (WHO) has declared 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”

Celebrations in Pakistan for the International Nurses Day have been somewhat muted this time around due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. There is no doubt that, along with the doctors, nurses are on the frontline of this fight and are playing a pivotal role in its success.

Around the globe, many nurses have tested positive for COVID-19, and some have paid the ultimate price in their efforts to help the patients. More than 440 healthcare workers across Pakistan, including 70 nurses, have tested positive for COVID-19, and eight have died, according to the data from authorities. Many have regained their health and returned to the hospitals to help others in their recovery process.

The lack of enough personal protection equipment (PPEs) is making the current scenario extremely dangerous for the nursing staff as they’re in constant contact with patients. Although the government and private sector donors are working day and night to arrange the PPEs, there are still many without proper protection.  

In Pakistan, there are nearly 63,000 registered nurses. That is approximately one nurse per 3500 people in the country. In the more developed countries, this ratio is one nurse for 1,000 people or less. One of the main factors behind it is the country not having enough nursing institutions. Only a handful of the existing institutes offer a degree in nursing. The United States, which has less than twice the population of Pakistan, has over 2.6 million nurses, the most in the world.

More people can be enrolled in nursing programs by adding more positions in the existing institutions and by opening more nursing colleges. Creating more awareness amongst the masses about the noble profession and adding more incentives for the nurses will also play an essential part in increasing the number of nurses available in the country.   

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 to be the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” to celebrate the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale (1820–1910), the founder of modern nursing. 12th May also happens to be Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

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