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A group of nursing and other health leaders met in Geneva in April at a meeting hosting by the WHO to consider a proposal to launch a global campaign to promote and develop nursing. The participants agreed to establish a campaign - provisionally entitled Nursing Now! - to be launched at the end of this year and run to 2020, Florence Nightingale's bi-centanary. More information will be available by the end of June.
Following the meeting some of the participants and others decided to write to the Director General of the WHO to ask for support in the development of nursing and , amongst other things, appoint a very senior nurse at the WHO itself.
The Response from Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Director General Elect of the WHO
‘I fully understand the critical roles nurses play in health systems and agree with the report’s recommendation that we must devote more attention and resources to nursing. In Ethiopia, nurses became the backbone of our reformed health system, helping ensure we could deliver essential services across our vast country of 100 million people, many of whom live in remote and rural regions. Through task-shifting to nurses, we could ease the burden on our limited number of physicians. At the same time, nurses remained tightly linked to communities, increasing the reach and impact of our system.
If I am elected Director General, you will have my full support around your campaign to increase the visibility, training and support systems around nurses. I also can commit to having a senior level staff person representing the nursing community on my team at WHO. I firmly believe that voice and perspective will provide essential input as we work to achieve universal health coverage – my top priority – better prepare for emergencies, prioritize the health needs of women, children and adolescents, address the health impacts of climate change and more broadly reform WHO.
I look forward to working with you in the future’
'TRIPLE IMPACT– how developing nursing will improve health, promote gender equality and support economic growth”
A review group of APPG members has undertaken a major review of the development of nursing globally over the last few months, holding a number of witness sessions, collecting evidence and debating our findings with the RCN, ICN and others. The report “Triple Impact – how developing nursing will improve health, promote gender equality and support economic growth” launched on the 17th October 2016 sets out a radical agenda and argues that the UK should play a major role in developing nursing globally.