By Maimuna Sey Jawo
The Gambia merged with the rest of the world to observe International Nurses’ Day.
The minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, presided over celebrations marking the Day, staged at the school of nursing campus in Banjul.
Under the theme ‘Nurses; a voice to lead healthcare for all’,
Minister Samateh paid tribute to the nurses, saying their work “must not go unrecognized”.
“Nurses all over the world every day are advocating for greater health for all in the most challenging circumstances amid limited resources to deliver healthcare to those in need,” he said.
He said the government recognises the “tremendous contribution” of nurses in national development and their efforts towards the attainment of goals of the NDP.
“We will strengthen efforts in providing basic equipment in every facility in the country necessary to facilitate quality delivery of services,” he promised.
The Director of Nursing Services, Lamin Marong, described nursing as the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and the caring for the ill, disabled and people about to die.
He said over the years, nurses and midwives have contributed to major global health landmarks, including contributions in the eradication of smallpox maternal and child mortality.
“In The Gambia, nurses continue to be present everywhere at all times. We continue to provide healthcare to individuals, families and communities. At the primary level we live with the communities we serve and uniquely position ourselves to understand the determinants of their health, customs and culture and how best to deliver services. We inform, educate, train and through these we empower them to participate effectively and make decisions with regard to their health as individuals, families and communities, among other things,” Marong said.
Organised annually by the International Council of Nurses, International Nurses Day celebrates the contribution that nurses make to societies around the world.
The date has a very strong significance, being the birthday of perhaps the world’s most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale.