As Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate International Nurses Day, the Health Ministry Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwine is appealing to all Ugandans to appreciate nurses’ efforts.
“We are commemorating the International Nurses Day today. Your role in this is to appreciate any nurse that you know or come across. Let’s salute and applaud them for who they are. Happy Nurses Day,” Diana tweeted.
International Nurses Day is an international day observed around the world on 12 May of each year, to mark the contributions that nurses make to society.
Nurses account for more than half of all the world’s health workers, yet there is an urgent shortage of nurses worldwide with 5.9 million more nurses still needed, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Jennifer Nambalirwa Mateega, the head or nurses in Uganda, says they have embraced education despite the challenges.
“We have embraced education, we have very good leaders in nursing who can seat at the decision making tables and make policies for us,” Jennifer said on Tuesday morning.
She added. “In nursing, we have challenges including access to work equipment. Many times, we have to improvise so that we maintain life. The long working hours are a challenge.”
The day this year is held under the theme; A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health.”
Jennifer also spoke of th challenges of working through COVID-19 saying, “If you get an emergency, you have to extend the shift and during this time of #COVID19, people are walking long distances.”
International Day of the Nurse also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, believed to be the founder of modern nursing.