Nurses Week is an annual National event in the Turks and Caicos Islands commencing on Sunday 7th to Friday 12th May 2017; with the 12 May being celebrated as International Nurses Day, which is also Florence Nightingale's (the founder of Nursing), birthday. "These permanent dates enhances planning and position Nurses Week as an established recognition event". The theme selected by the International Council of Nursing for 2017 Nurses Day is 'Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.'
Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO said “Nurses respond to the health needs of people in all settings and throughout the lifespan. Their roles are critical in achieving global mandates such as Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It includes seventeen (17) goals and one hundred and sixty nine (169) targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues in the world, such as ending poverty, hunger, improving health and education, combating climate change, etc. Nursing has a major role to play in relation to SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well- being for all ages. The work of nurses also has a major impact on the delivery of other SDGs such as education and poverty – these are often referred to as the social determinants of health (SDH). The Social Determinants of Health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and impact on the conditions of health and daily lives. As nurses we seek to help people achieve their optimal health. Our work frequently includes addressing the SDH and nurses understand the links between wider conditions and individual and population health such as health inequities, which is the unfair and avoidable difference in health status seen within and between countries.
Mrs. Jackurlyn Sutton, Chief Nursing Officer/Primary Health Care Manager, believes that the nursing service of the Turks and Caicos Islands is on the frontline in addressing some of these issues, especially as they relate toSDG 3: To ensure healthy lives and promote well- being for all ages through our routine Maternal and child health (Antenatal and immunization programme), community outreach, HIV care and treatment, curative and preventative services. The soon to be implemented Primary Health Care Renewal Strategy will enable nurses to identify gaps in the delivery of health care as we move towards addressing inequities in health and universal health coverage. We are indeed thankful to God for blessing us with the skills and knowledge as nurses to be a part of this work in addressing the health needs of individuals, families and communities in our beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands.
In her contribution, Nurse Elaine Claire, President of the Nurses Association stated, “3rd John v 2 says "Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prosper". It is this time of the year again when the aim of celebrating International Nurses Week is to increase public awareness about nursing and nurses contribution towards health care. Nurses therefore come under the spotlight worldwide and are given the rightful recognition we so deserve, for our sterling contribution in healthcare delivery systems.
HAPPY NURSES WEEK!!