The Nigeria Association of Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has charged its members to see the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to excel in their profession as Florence Nightingale did in her time.
President of NANNM, Abdurafiu Adeniji, said, with the outbreak of COVID-19 ushering in 2020, the dignified year of nurses and midwives, coincidentally, its about recapitulating the historical antecedent of nursing.
“It thus has to gear us to perform well and excel just like Florence Nightingale did in her time,” he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has dedicated this year as the Year of Nurses and Midwives, while the theme of the year 2020 International Nurses Week celebration is “Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Nursing the World to Health.”
The NANNM president said Florence Nightingale was a social reformer, scientist, theorist, researcher, statistician and excellent clinician who was given the title of “The Lady with Lamp” during the Crimean War that broke out in 1853.
According to him, the role of Nightingale during the war between the British Empire and Russian Empire reduced the 60% fatalities at the battle field in 1855 to 2% through her efficient nursing intervention.
He said, “Just like it was in her days the success at entrenching good personal hygiene, nutrition and adequate attention to manipulate the environment cannot be down played in any successful control measures for infectious control strategies. This feat and accolade she earned from the high and mighties made The Chief Medical officer at Scutari Hospital Dr, Duncan Menzies, to be envious and mobilized to oppose and bury the work of Florence Nightingale. The happenings today where other professionals envy and conspire to malign the image of Nurses perhaps is not strange in historical perspective of Nursing profession.”
He stated that the 2020 celebration is aimed at showcasing the role of Nurses and Midwives, to recognize and celebrate the unique and vital responsibilities of these group of professionals that constituted and has been described as the back bone of the entire skilled and multidisciplinary health sector.
“This unique honour was targeted at raising the profile and status of nursing and midwifery workforce worldwide. It also corresponds to 120 anniversaries of the ICN,” he said.
Adeniji expressed gratitude to God for keeping the Nurses alive to celebrate another nurse’s week despite the pandemic of COVID-19, stating that in all sense of reasoning, the Association have the responsibility to appreciate all the nurses and midwives for all they have been doing worldwide including in Nigeria in the battle against the ravaging pandemic.
The NANNM president said the WHO director-general, Dr. Tedro Adhanom, has further harped on the importance of nurses and midwives as the single vital and unique workforce that constitute about 60% of the professionals in health care services.
He said, “He recognizes that the nurses and midwives perform very important, unique and pivotal roles and are often the first professional contact the patient have and perhaps the only one, from the cradle to the grave available, accessible and approachable to the client. Thereby, becoming the only hope to the hopeless and voice of the voice.”
Nurses’ week is celebrated annually from the 6th and culminates on May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, and is the observance of International Day of Nurses which is spearheaded by International Council of Nursing (ICN) since 1971.