(Dr. S N Misra, 7th April 2020)
The theme for this year, 2020 is ‘Support nurses and midwives’. This coincides with the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The essential contribution of nurses and midwives to improving the health outcomes of individuals, families and communities cannot be denied. Nurses and midwives play a pivotal role in all areas of health service delivery: promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Nurses also are pivotal in providing health care services in the community and the individual levels in various PHCs, CHCs, District hospitals, Medical Colleges and tertiary care hospitals. India is a major contributor of trained nurses across the globe. They are often the primary-care givers and sometimes, the only point of contact with the health care delivery system. While the world is fighting an enormous battle to tame the Covid19 pandemic, nurses across the globe are at the forefront of healthcare delivery. Tertiary care and intensive care are largely manned by highly skilled critical care nurses who team up with the doctors and paramedics in very successfully managing many patients towards a successful cure. Our field level nurses, the Auxiliary Nurse midwives (ANM) are very well known for their contribution in primary care and MCH programs. They have risen to the task again and are taking up difficult challenges in contact tracing of Corona positives through a ‘door-to-door’ campaigns. As Florence Nightingale, the ‘Lady with the Lamp’ has quoted – I attribute my success to this:—I never gave or took an excuse, nurses over the years have never stayed away from providing the best of care, wherever and whatever the conditions might be.
In the recent past, I had the privilege of working with nurses across India on a large scale capacity building program where we reached out and closely understood the efforts and contribution of around 1.5 lakh nurses across all states. In these difficult times, we salute and acknowledge the sacrifices of nurses across the globe who has succumbed while providing selfless care to Covid19 patients. Our homage and prayers. May you continue to be the angel that you were….