Nurses on Wednesday urged the government to include them in policy and decision making processes as they are on the forefront of all efforts being made to achieve the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at a ceremony arranged by Shifa International Hospital (SIH) to celebrate International Nurses Day (IND).
The MDGs are eight goals that all 191 UN member States have agreed to try to achieve by 2015.
Former Punjab Nursing Director General Nisab Akhtar was the chief guest and the ceremony was attended by nurses from various hospitals of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Acting SIH Nursing Head Raeesa Kausar thanked the participants on SIH’s behalf.
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on May 12, the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
The International Council of Nurses commemorates it each year by distributing the International Nurses’ Day (IND) Kit. The IND Kit 2013 contains educational and public information materials for use by nurses everywhere.
Akhtar emphasized that nurses must be engaged in advocacy: “We must be involved in the development of any program introduced to improve health services as it is nurses who have the practical knowledge of how health service delivery can be designed, coordinated and effectively implemented.”
The IND theme for 2013 is “Closing The Gap: Millennium Development Goals 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1”. Akhtar said that as the largest health care profession in the world, nurses’ role is crucial to achieving the MDGs.
Nurses are often the only health professionals people have access to, so they are particularly well placed and are often adept at reaching disadvantaged populations, said the chief guest.