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Hazel Brandy-Williams says, “We must invest in our nurses”, in International Nurses Day address.

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – The Junior Minister of Health and Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), the Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, joins the international community in recognising International Nurses Day 2022 today (May 12).

The theme for 2022 is “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health.”

The Junior Minister explained the theme by saying, “According to the International Council of Nurses (ICN), this year’s theme “focuses on the need to protect, support, and invest in the nursing profession to strengthen health systems around the world… nurses are often considered the backbone of the healthcare system. It is therefore essential that we strengthen and invest in our nursing workforce.” 

Hon. Hazel Brandy Williams, Junior Minister of Health and Gender Affairs on Nevis (file photo)

Brandy-Williams said further investments are needed to build out the Federation’s nurses as leaders, advocates, and innovators for the future of nursing in Nevis and the Federation.

The Junior Minister reported that the COVID-19 pandemic and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) continue to strain healthcare systems and the nursing workforce. 

“We must also invest in our nurses to prepare for present and future health challenges such as emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, the growing burden of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), an aging population, and health challenges associated with climate change.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the critical shortage of nurses globally and highlighted the urgent need for governments to invest in nursing.

The pandemic has also negatively impacted healthcare workers’ mental health, who remained on the frontlines according to the COVID-19 Healthcare Workers Study, prompting the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to launch a Commission on Mental Health and COVID-19.

The commission’s objective is to prepare guidelines and recommendations to reduce the negative impact on mental health caused by the pandemic and the related suffering in the region’s healthcare workers and general population.

The Nevis Island Administration continue to encourage individuals to join the healthcare professions. Brandy-Williams reminded the public of financial assistance opportunities for those entering the various nursing programmes at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) and those specialising in anaesthesia, public health nursing, theatre techniques and more. 

The St. Kitts Nurses Association and Sister Association on Nevis are currently engaged in various activities to commemorate International Nurses Day, including a Breakfast Fundraiser at the Joseph N France General Hospital on Saturday (May 14) and on Nevis, a Recognition Ceremony & Cocktail at the Nevis Performing Arts Center (NEPAC) on Sunday (May 15).

List of activities below:

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