Dr Margaret Wekem Kukeba, a Lecturer at the Clement Kubindiwo Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences (CKT-UTAS) in Navrongo has emphasized the need for the work of nurses and midwives to be positively represented in the media.
She said nurses and midwives needed to be recognised for the skills, capabilities, and contributions they brought to the healthcare system, noting that, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, nurses have come into the spotlight across the world.
“We saw the cheering on the nurses from the rooftops in some countries with nurses being referred to as ‘heroes’ in the media,” she said.
Dr Kukeba was speaking at the Upper East Regional launch of this year’s International Nurses Day celebration in Bolgatanga, held on the theme, “Nurses and Midwives, a voice to lead in a vision for transformed healthcare in the post-COVID-19 world.”
The launch, which was organised by the Regional branch of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) and brought together nurses and midwives of all categories to reflect and broaden their horizon on the prospect to restore the trusted commitment to their call to duty.
According to Dr Kukeba, “It seems it took a pandemic for people to begin to see the vital role that nurses and midwives have been playing all along within the health care system.”
She called on members of the Association to move beyond the hero narrative and be seen as highly educated, skilled professionals with exceptional critical thinking and reasoning, who worked with other health professionals for communities to achieve healthcare.
The Lecturer, who is also a member of the GRNMA, reiterated that “We need to ensure that the work of nurses and midwives is positively represented in the media, the public, and institutions.”
She said the leadership of the GRNMA and the Nursing and Midwifery Council had a key role to play in ensuring that people knew the truth about the profession, create a better understanding of the work of nurses and midwives, and ensure wrong perceptions about the professions were corrected.
Mr Thomas Lambon, the Regional Chairman of the GRNMA said nurses and midwives contributed significantly to the health sector of all economies in the world and the COVID-19 pandemic had indeed shown the invaluable contributions that nurses and midwives had made over the years.
He noted that “Not until the COVID-19 pandemic, the world had not really understood the nature of our work and the many sacrifices we make not for our own families but for our patients, clients, and their families.”
The Chairman noted that the pandemic had changed the world in diverse ways including the way nursing care was delivered, and said every citizen needed to be vaccinated to control the virus.
He said the unavailability of vaccines in large quantities for mass vaccination even when purchasing power of nations was not hindered, was one of the greatest lessons the nation could learn from the pandemic.
“We must be self-reliant as a nation, as a sub-region, and as a continent when it comes to the production of medications, vaccines, and health care commodities and equipment,” Mr Lambon added.