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New WHO director-general makes major commitment to nursing

The new director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has affirmed his support for nursing.
who

The new director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has affirmed his support for nursing

The new director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) affirmed his support for nursing on Wednesday, promising to have a regular dialogue with nursing leaders.

Addressing the International Council of Nurses (ICN) 2017 congress in Barcelona via videolink, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also confirmed he would be appointing a senior nurse on his team at the WHO.

Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected earlier this month and will begin his five-year term on 1 July.

Speaking to nurses from more than 135 countries via video on the final day of the conference, he said: 'Nurses are essential to increasing access to quality and affordable healthcare around the world.

'There is no doubt

The new director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has affirmed his support for nursing

who
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus begins his term as WHO director-general on 1 July.
 Picture: Getty Images

The new director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) affirmed his support for nursing on Wednesday, promising to have a regular dialogue with nursing leaders.

Addressing the International Council of Nurses (ICN) 2017 congress in Barcelona via videolink, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also confirmed he would be appointing a senior nurse on his team at the WHO.

Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected earlier this month and will begin his five-year term on 1 July.

Speaking to nurses from more than 135 countries via video on the final day of the conference, he said: 'Nurses are essential to increasing access to quality and affordable healthcare around the world.

'There is no doubt in my mind that nurses are the linchpin of this effort, regardless of whether from a developed or developing country. We all need a strong, sustainable nursing workforce to achieve this goal.

Nurses' voice

'Nurses are the foundation of our ambition of universal healthcare for all.

'I promise to  support your efforts and listen to your input – you are a very essential partner.

'To ensure this, I promise to keep my pledge of having a senior-level staff person representing the nursing community, and secondly I commit to having regular dialogue with your leadership. Your perspective and voice is essential in the work of the WHO.'

ICN director of nursing and health policy Howard Catton said the WHO had attracted criticism in the past, including from the ICN, for not employing enough nurses, in particular senior nurses.

Visibility, support

ICN wrote to all prospective director-general candidates in advance of the election and a letter in response from Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus was the first step in marking his support for nursing.

Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote that he would offer his 'full support' to increase the visibility, training and support systems around nurses.

He also wrote: ‘I can also commit to having a senior-level staff person representing the nursing community on my team at WHO.’

Mr Catton said the ICN was 'delighted' with the support from Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

'He believes in nurses and thinks we are the lynchpin to delivering universal healthcare coverage.'


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