The World Health Day is celebrated on the 7th of April annually to draw attention among the public towards the importance of global health. This year’s edition is earmarked to celebrate and Support Nurses and Midwives who have been the frontline heroes of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic across the globe.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has this to say, “Nurses and other health workers are at the forefront of COVID-19 response - providing high quality, respectful treatment, and care, leading community dialogue to address fears and questions, and in some instances, collecting data for clinical studies. Quite simply, without nurses, there would be no response.”
This year’s edition is expected to highpoint the current global situations of Nurses and Midwives, and build recommendations to the challenges faced which will in turn help strengthen the Nurses and Midwives workforce around the world.
The importance of nurses in the healthcare sector is often undermined. Nurses are on the frontlines of administering and evaluating your treatment. Nurses also provide invaluable emotional support. Nurses are teachers, advocates, caregivers, critical thinkers, and innovators.
At TNCI, Nurses and Midwives make up a significant chunk of our team. We understand the huge role nurses and other healthcare professionals play in our society especially towards our bid to alleviate the healthcare and educational situation of children in underserved communities. Elizabeth Moyosore Aladelokun, one of our volunteers who dropped Engineering to study Nursing Science at the University of Lagos, described Nursing as a profession that elicits a strong passion and care for humanity. “I derive a deep sense of fulfillment after tending holistically to my patients, and I have always loved to care for people in their most vulnerable state to see how I can help take them out of it.”, she further added.
Erondu Cynthia, a nurse who participated in TNCI’s handwashing technique education on COVID-19 for primary school pupils expressed delight at being able to touch the lives of children through the TNCI platform as helping and caring for people gives her joy, this is part of what makes the Nursing Profession a noble one.
The Nursing profession is without challenges especially in a country like Nigeria where there is a dearth of adequate facilities to support the teeming health professionals and populace. The findings by I. I. Omoleke who wrote an article on the “Contemporary Issues And Challenges Of Health Sector In Nigeria” revealed that constellation of social, economic and environmental challenges are being experienced from hospitals, ranging from brain drain, poor remuneration, obsolete infrastructure, inadequate medical facilities and underfunding of the hospitals. “The lack of necessary equipment and facilities which hinders effective care of patients thereby having to improvise is a big challenge for me in this profession” – Zainab Oluwanbe.
There have also been reported cases of lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for nurses in health institutions as the country combats the growing cases of COVID-19 across the nation.
As stated by the WHO, bringing these challenges to the forefront is very imperative to solving major health issues. “This will be vital if we are to achieve national and global targets related to universal health coverage, maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases including mental health, emergency preparedness and response, patient safety and the delivery of integrated, people-centered care, amongst others.”
TNCI joins the WHO to call for support on World Health Day to ensure that the nursing and midwifery workforces are strong enough to ensure that everyone, everywhere gets the healthcare they need. TNCI says a big kudos to all the Nurses out there, the uncelebrated heroes and heroines. You are the change the health sector needs and we encourage every Nurse and Midwife to be outstanding leaders in their profession.
“The wealth of our nations depends on the health of our populations, and the health of our populations depends on nursing” (Judith Shamian, Former International Council of Nursing president, 2017)
“Care for one; that's love. Care for hundreds; that's nursing. Because of nurses, we live in a happier, healthier world. Appreciate a nurse today.” – Zainab Oluwanbe, TNCI Nurse Volunteer.