Year of Nurses and Midwives: 2020

Health care service delivery serves a means of providing the public with safe health care as Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services.

Nurses and Midwives may not have won noble prizes for their work towards the sustainability of the human race; they however devote their lives in caring for mothers and children; giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice; advocating for individual and community health benefits, and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. They are often, the first and only point of care in their communities. In is predicted that the world would be needing 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.

That’s why the World Health Assembly during the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said:

“WHO is proud to nominate 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. These two health professions are invaluable to the health of people everywhere.

‘Without nurses and midwives, we will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or universal health coverage.

‘While WHO recognises their crucial role on a daily basis, 2020 will be dedicated to highlighting the enormous sacrifices and contributions of nurses and midwives, and to ensuring that we address the shortage of these vital professions.

‘I would like to thank the International Council of Nurses and the Nursing Now campaign for raising the status and profile of nurses and am proud to contribute to the recognition of their work.”

ICN and the Nursing Now campaign believe that 2020’s designation will reveal the benefits of having a properly trained and resourced nursing workforce in every country in the world.

ICN President Annette Kennedy said:

“The 20 million nurses around the world will be thrilled to see their profession recognised in this way. I would like to congratulate WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for his farsightedness and wisdom in seeing the benefit of highlighting the contribution of nurses to healthcare, and the WHA members for making his vision become a reality.

She said the designation of 2020 was especially welcome as it coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, one of the founders of modern nursing.

“Florence Nightingale used her lamp to illuminate the places where nurses worked, and I hope the designation of 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife will provide us with a new, 20-20 vision of what nursing is in the modern era, and how nurses can light the way to universal health coverage and healthcare for all.”

Lord Nigel Crisp, co-Chair of the Nursing Now campaign said:

Investing in nursing and midwifery will make an enormous contribution to the rapid, cost-effective and high quality scaling up of universal health care.

‘This is a once in a generation opportunity for governments to really show nurses and midwives how much they are valued, not by empty words, but by effective, decisive action to give us the human and physical resources needed to get the job done.”

Joining WHO and partners including, the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), International Council of Nurses (ICN), Nursing Now and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in a year-long effort to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives, highlight the challenging conditions they often face, and advocate for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce.

For further information please contact

Gyorgy MadaraszPress Officer, International Council of Nurses, Tel: +41 22 908 01 16

Kathryn Irwin, Communications Director, Nursing Now at Kathryn.irwin@nursingnow.global


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