The World Health Organisation is calling upon governments to
invest more in health especially in educating and training nurses.
This follows the release of the first report that highlights the plight of
nurses in many countries.
The report titled, ‘State of the World’s Nursing-Investing in
Education, Jobs and Leadership’ was released in commemoration of World Health
Day released by WHO in partnership with the International Council of Nurses
(ICN) and Nursing Now, reveals that today, there are just under 28 million
Between 2013 and 2018, nursing numbers increased by 4.7 million.
But this still leaves a global shortfall of 5.9 million - with the greatest
gaps found in countries in Africa, South East Asia and the WHO Eastern
Mediterranean region as well as some parts of Latin America.
It highlights the need for countries to educate more nursing staff and put in
place favourable working conditions. It also shows that if no investments are
made in nursing staff, the world is going to face a shortage in 2030.
Baroness Mary Watkins, the chairperson of the Nursing Now and also a co-author
of the reports says that the report shows that something needs to be done
urgently to increases the number of nurses in the world especially in this day
and age where global pandemics like COVID-19 take a toll on the workforce.
//Cue in; “It shows very...
Cue out...home countries.”//
According to Watkins, for the world to achieve universal health coverage, the
number and all Sustainable Development Targets by 2030, the world needs an
additional 6 million nurses.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General says that the report is a
reminder of the unique role that nurses play in the world. He says it a wakeup
call for governments to invest more in their workforce.
“Nurses are the backbone of any health system. Today, many nurses
find themselves on the frontline in the battle against Covid-19. This
report is a stark reminder of the unique role they play, and a wakeup call to
ensure they get the support they need to keep the world healthy.
One of the things that I hope the world learns from COVID-19 is
the need to invest in health workers not just to protect lives but livelihoods
as well,” Dr Tedros said.
The report also shows that the number of nurses available in the world to
handle all the world’s sick is not enough.
According to the report, the world needs an additional 5.9 million
nurses to serve the current global population of 7.8 billion people.
To stop pending global shortages, Annette Kennedy, the President of the
International Council of Nurses says investment in educating professional
nursing workforces is important.
“Politicians understand the cost of educating and maintaining a
professional nursing workforce, but only now are many of them recognizing their
true value. Every penny invested in nursing raises the well-being of people and
families in tangible ways that are clear for everyone to see,” she says.
give the world a better nursing force, the report recommends increasing funding
to educate and employ more nurses and to also educate and train nurses in the
scientific, technological and sociological skills they need to drive progress
in primary health care.