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2020 is declared the international year of the nurse and midwife

Decision by the World Health Organization to name 2020 the international year of the nurse and midwife recognises the professions’ work and puts them in the spotlight

Decision by the World Health Organization to name 2020 the international year of the nurse and midwife recognises the professions’ work and puts them in the spotlight


WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the World Health Assembly
in Geneva last week. Picture: Getty Images

Nursing will be in the spotlight next year, with 2020 declared the international year of the nurse and midwife by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The decision, announced in Geneva last week, means nations will celebrate the health benefits nursing and midwifery bring to the global population.

Role of nursing in sustainable development

WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: ‘Without nurses and midwives, we will not achieve the sustainable development goals or universal health coverage.

‘While WHO recognises their crucial role on a daily basis, 2020 will be dedicated to highlighting the enormous sacrifices and contribution of nurses and midwives, and to ensuring we address the shortage of these vital professions.’

Florence Nightingale’s bicentenary

International Council of Nurses president Annette Kennedy pointed out the year will coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

‘Florence Nightingale used her lamp to illuminate the places where nurses worked. I hope the designation of 2020 as the international year of the nurse and midwife will provide us with a 20-20 vision of what nursing is in the modern era, and how nurses can light the way to universal health coverage and healthcare for all.’


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