The month of May has for many years been and continues to be a special month for Nurses and Midwives worldwide. As you may be aware the World Health Assembly saw it fit to have the year 2020 set apart as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. This declaration presents as an opportunity for the world to join us in celebrating the work that we do as well as an opportunity to raise awareness about the status of nursing and midwifery. It is also an opportunity to highlight the challenging conditions we often face on a daily basis and the themes to commemorate both days reflect this.
The International Day of the Midwife 2020 theme is Midwives with women: celebrate, demonstrate, mobilise, unite-our time is NOW! While the International Nurses’ Day theme is Nurses: A Voice To Lead Nursing The World To Health.
The COVID-19 disease caused by the new Coronavirus has not spared any health system on earth forcing us to postpone the official commemoration of these important days. Other countries have opted to mark these important days without large gatherings or in-person events for the first time.
However, COVID-19 has at the same time put a brighter spotlight on our professions revealing the irreplaceable work that we do.
In an effort to alleviate pain and bring healing, we had found ourselves risking our lives and at times contracting the very disease we were trying to protect our patients from. Although some people outside our professions witnessed this for the first time and it made headlines, for us it is nothing new. We face very real personal risks every day we report for work. But this does not in any way erode the pride we have for our professions because we fully understand that our role is that of service to humanity. I urge you all to be confident in protecting yourselves at the same time providing the best care to your patients.
We hope that going forward, as the nation and the entire world we will come up with health goals, everyone will remember that nurses and midwives are fundamental in ensuring improved health responses. This is why ZUNO continues to demand for an enabling environment to ensure nurses and midwives deliver quality health care. It is the reason we maintain that government must invest in all areas of nursing and midwifery workforce development if any progress is to be achieved.
We are also maintaining our stance that government continue supporting us during this pandemic ensuring that the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) reach every nurse and midwife.
On behalf of the Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO), I urge you to stay committed in ensuring that quality health services are accessible to the people we serve. Furthermore let us join hands as we celebrate the role we play in the nation’s health system at all levels not just today but always.
Tisa M. Chiponda,