Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO) President, Mrs Tisa Chiponda, has reiterated the need for more investment in nursing as the country commemorates International Nurses Day amidst the fight against COVID 19.
Mrs Chiponda said government must invest in the nursing workforce as nurses make a central contribution to national and global targets related to a range of health priorities, including Universal Health Coverage adding that investment should adequately cover nursing education, recruitment and retention.
She further commended nurses for their effort in the fight against COVID 19, the disease that has so far caused an unprecedented global health crisis rendering nurses who are at the forefront of patient care delivery vulnerable to getting infected in the process.
“I do understand this is not yet over but for your commitment and manner you have arisen to the challenge is commendable. It is also testimony that nurses are a voice to lead and are nursing the world to health. ” she said
Mrs Chiponda said this in her address delivered on the occasion of the 2020 International Nurses Day virtual commemoration via Zoom with the Ministry of Health, General Nursing Council of Zambia and some nurses representing all the ten provinces of Zambia.
She noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaration of the year 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife should be regarded as an opportunity to make a step change in how nursing is regarded and advocate for the hard investment in nursing that we want to see.
She stated the image of nursing is being affected by several factors that include; nursing shortage, unfavourable working conditions, and low salaries, which need to be urgently addressed.
This year’s International Nurses Day commemoration is under the theme Nurses: A Voice To Lead Nursing The World To Health as the global nursing community also celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale whose nursing skills intersected with a broader set of interests in public health, advancement of medicine, hygiene, epidemiology, statistics and military health.
The virtual commemoration in Zambia was unusual. IND celebrations in Zambia are usually characterized by huge gatherings and celebrations across the country. The virtual commemoration had been necessitated by COVID 19 a disease caused by the coronavirus. Authorities have banned public gatherings as a public health measure in an effort to reduce or possibly stop the spread of COVID 19.