Friday 5 June, 2020

World Health Day: Nurses battle COVID-19

A heavy cloud hangs over this year’s April 7 observance of World Health Day which in 2020 celebrates the work of nurses and midwives who are on the frontlines battling the coronavirus pandemic.  

The World Health Organisation ( WHO) has released its first State of the World's nursing 2020 report. 

According to the report, the global nursing workforce is 27.9 million of which 19.3 million are professional nurses. The global shortage of nurses, estimated to be 6.6 million in 2016 had decreased slightly to 5.9 million nurses in 2018. 

It also highlighted the need for investment in nursing education, jobs and leadership to strengthen nursing around the world.

COVID-19 has placed a strain on the healthcare system in various Caribbean countries as more resources are funnelled toward caring for coronavirus patients.  

The mammoth effort by Cuba in sending aid in the form of doctors and nurses to Italy and other hard-hit territories cannot go unnoticed.  

Cuba has been exporting doctors and nurses throughout the Caribbean as COVID-19 cases began to pop up in the region and governments reached out for help. 

Cuban health professionals are being or have already been deployed to:  

  • St Kitts and Nevis - 30 

  • Barbados -  101

  • Antigua and Barbuda - 29

  • St Vincent and the Grenadines -16

  • Jamaica -140

  • St Lucia - 120

  • Dominica-34

  • Belize- 58

Medical brigades have also either been requested or deployed to Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Cayman Islands, Grenada, French Guiana, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. 

[Cuban medical professionals arrive in St Vincent and the Grenadines]

Across the Caribbean on the occasion of World Health Day messages of thanks and hope have been shared for the brave men and women in the nursing fraternity.  

Grenada 

The Grenada Nurses Association salutes all the nurses throughout the world for the pivotal role nurses play in maintaining the health of citizens throughout the world and especially at this time. It says nurses are at the forefront in this COVID-19 pandemic, risking their lives to save the world. Nurses are great.  

 

St Vincent and the Grenadines 

SVG District Medical officer for the Pembroke District Dr Alisha Bonadie highlighted the importance of healthcare workers having access to facemasks.  

She said: “As a medical doctor, a first-line responder we have a responsibility to ensure we are protected using an N95 mask.  Save masks, saves lives.”  

 

 

One of the messages being used by nurses everywhere is “Stay Home” that way we could all help in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.  

 

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