Participants at the event

By Ndey Sowe

The Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) has on Monday commemorated International Nurses Day, at the School of Nursing in Banjul.

The occasion is an international day observed around the world on the 12th May of each year, to highlight the contribution that nurses make to the society. The theme for this year’s commemoration is: “Nurses a voice to lead healthcare for all”.

Dr. Ahmad Lamin Samateh, the Minister of Health congratulated the nurses on the day, adding that nurses must not go unrecognized but should be hailed.

“It is abundantly clear that you are the anchor of our health care delivery system”, he said. He added that nurses deliver care to the people at the hardest to reach communities with minimal resources and under unfavorable environment.

He noted that nurses are at the forefront of promoting the rights of consumers, he went on to say that nurses see it as a human right and a duty for people to participate as a group or individually in planning and implementing their care.

The Health Minister describes nursing care as respectful and unrestricted by consideration of age, colour, creed, culture, uncommon physical features, or illness, gender, race, social status, to name a few.

“Nurses all over the world every day are advocating for health for all in the most challenging circumstances with limited resources to deliver health care to those most in need”, he quoted ICN President, Annette Kennedy.

Dr. Samateh underscored government’s commitments towards recognising the efforts of nurses, which he referred to as tremendous towards the contribution to the implementation of the National Development Plan.

“I want to assure you that I am on your side, I praise your contribution to the health of this country”, he said, adding that he will share their challenges and concerns.

Lamin Marong, the Director of Nursing Services said “I hope we all use this day to reflect on the life of the woman duped “the angel of Crimea” or the “lady with the lamp”, adding without whom the nursing profession will not be recognised or considered.

He said nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well, and in all settings. Mr Marong said it includes the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people, as well as promoting a safe environment for all.

“In the Gambia, nurses continue to be the group present everywhere at all time”, adding that nurses continue to provide health care to individuals, families, and communities”, he said.

He concluded by saying, “the hospitals are stress provoking, we act as the solution, we are good at it, and we are the puzzle solvers, we are nurses, nurses are life, for nursing is noble.

Other speakers include, Mam Kumba Ndow Ceesay, Vice President Nagam and Sanna Darboe, the Assistant spokesperson nurse’s association.

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. ICN commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the international nurse’s day (IND) resources and evidence.

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