2020: Int’l Year of the Nurse and Midwife

−In honour of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birth anniversary

−2020, an exciting year for Guyanese Nurses

DPI, Guyana, Friday, January 3, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading the development of the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report which is to be launched this year in commemoration of “The Year of the Nurse and Midwife.”

The report will be launched before the 73rd World Health Assembly to be held at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in May.

Nurses and midwives play vital roles in any health system. In Guyana, whether at a health centre, hospital, or other health facility, nurses care for mothers and children, give lifesaving immunisation and advice, look after the elderly, and generally meet daily essential health needs.

One groundbreaking achievement is that Guyana will be the first Caribbean nation to have nurses with Doctor of Science degrees in nursing. Five nurses are currently pursuing the degrees which they should complete next year. The five are Mandy La Fleur, Karen Roberts, Nicola Nero, Afesha Leacock-Marshall, and Winifred Mardenborough-Razack.

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Nurses who work at Guyana’s only tertiary health institution, the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation

Meanwhile, eight other healthcare professionals have been identified by the Ministry of Public Health to complete a Masters in Nursing and Public Health with that to be completed in August.

The health workers have accessed the programmes through the University of Sao Paolo, Brazil and will eventually establish a master’s degree in nursing programme at the University of Guyana.

The ministry has renewed its focus on nursing education to bridge the gaps and fill the deficit of nurses locally since 2018. Additionally, the salaries, allowances, and other benefits for nurses have been improved.

The WHO’s highlight 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife comes as countries recognise that those professionals constitute more than 50 percent of the health workforce.  The recognition also honours the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, a stalwart nurse who was born in 1820.

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