The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) in the Upper East Region has launched this year’s International Nurses and Midwives week in Bolgatanga, the Regional capital.
The annual event was initiated in 1965 through the efforts of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and is observed around the world on May 12 which marks the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of Nursing.
This year’s event was on the theme, “Nurses and Midwives, a voice to lead in a vision for transformed healthcare in the post-COVID-19 world,” gives room to nurses and midwives to celebrate their contributions to health care.
Speaking at the Regional launch, Mr Thomas Lambon, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the GRNMA, said the contributions of nurses and midwives and the nursing profession around the world could not be over-emphasied as the need for their services was universal.
“International Nurses and Midwives Day celebrations, therefore, brings into remembrance, the importance of nurses and midwives who brace the storm in the daily changes of working life to ensure that health for all becomes a reality.”
Mr Lambon congratulated nurses and midwives of all categories including nurse educationists who stood as frontline workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic despite the challenges of the unsafe work environment and unpaid COVID-19 insurance packages among others.
He said in keeping with the ideals, principles, and philosophy of Florence Nightingale, the ICN encourages nurses and midwives to be the voice that would lead the crusade for quality assurance in evidence-based nursing and midwifery care to meet specific patient needs.
He said the profession worldwide considered the theme for the ICN day as it focused on the collective action in putting out the strongest voice with stakeholders and professional partners in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our clarion call for our commitment is to improve and transform health systems across all nations,” Mr Lambon said.
Dr Margaret Wekem Kukeba, a Lecturer at the Clement Kubindiwo Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences (CKT-UTAS) in her keynote address, said it was evident that nurses and midwives were indispensable in achieving the vision of transformed health care.
“However, without the necessary support and investment in nurses and midwives, we cannot guarantee that the health of our citizens will be assured.
“This is the group of health professionals that form nearly 50 per cent of all health workers in the world; they are the ones you will see in the community, in the remotest villages of the world playing a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention, and delivering primary and community care.”
As part of the launch, the Florence Nightingale lamp, which is an international nurse symbol, was lit to symbolise Florence Nightingale’s transformational work in the nursing profession, synonymous with goodwill, reliability, and compassion.
Florence Nightingale is also referred to as the “Lady with the Lamp” within the nursing and midwifery fraternity.