Celebrating International Nurses Day 2019: Health for All

Each year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) chooses a theme for International Nurses Day. This year, we look at the nursing voice from the standpoint of Health for All.

Nurses all over the world every day are advocating for health for all in the most challenging circumstances with limited resources to deliver care to those who need it the most.

Community outreach programmes to improve health and wellbeing in Uganda

Historically, Uganda had one of the worst health systems in the world. However, much has changed, and the country is steadily progressing. Some of its biggest hurdles to overcome is access to health services and the resources to provide them.

The Uganda Rural Fund (URF) seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults in rural communities. To achieve this, they focus on prevention and less on treatment and much of this is conducted through community health talks in villages and local schools.

Nursing staff and volunteers visit villages teaching basic health tips related to personal and household hygiene and sanitation (washing hands, boiling water for drinking etc.).

The nurses build close relationships with the community and collaborate with the local village health worker, providing clinics where basic health check-ups and treatments are undertaken. The clinic also facilitates HIV testing and counselling.

Expanding nursing education, collaboration and access to care in Botswana

Access to primary and speciality health care in Botswana is often lacking due to the limited numbers of trained health care clinicians able to provide appropriate care (especially in rural areas which dominate much of the country). This shortage has resulted in higher mortality and disability rates for many conditions and complications that could have been either prevented or easily treated with better access to care.

Advanced practice nurses with the education, skills and knowledge are best placed to assist with this health care shortage. The University of Botswana is currently the only university to offer Masters level advanced practice nursing programs in Africa, however enrolments (even though often government funded) have traditionally been limited due to the challenges of geography and time.

Dr Deborah Gray is working with the University of Botswana to enhance its educational services to facilitate an increase in student numbers. She has used her experience in advanced practice nursing education, telehealth, and web-based program development to transition the advanced practice nursing program, making it more accessible online and expanding the educational outreach for nurses and care to the country.

You can find many more examples of this fantastic work on the International Council of Nurses website.

The ICN, along with Pulse, believe that the time is ripe for nurses to assert their leadership. As the largest health profession across the world, working in all areas where health care is provided, nursing has the vast potential to achieve the vision of health for all.

That’s why this International Nurses Day, Pulse has chosen to support the Florence Nightingale Foundation. Since 1929, the Foundation has been investing in nurses and midwives to develop them as leaders, impact change and most importantly, ignite their love for the profession and do the very best for their patients. Since the Foundation has been founded, they have awarded over 800 scholarships.

For every nurse, midwife, operating department practitioner (ODP) or healthcare assistant (HCA) who works between the 10th and 13th May, we’ll donate £2 to the foundation. We’ll also donate 25p for every like, share and comment we receive across social media on International Nurses Day, so please show your support and get involved.

Pulse would also like to thank you for your ongoing compassionate care, hard work and dedication. You make a difference to so many people’s live each day, and we think you’re great.

Happy International Nurses Day

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