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Remembering the Lady with the Lamp and honouring the nurses across the globe, the World Health Organisation celebrates the International Nurses Day annually on May 12.

The day marks the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, who showed the highest epitome of nursing care to the world. This year's celebration of the Day is more important as it celebrates the 200th birth anniversary of Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

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Under the horrifying pandemic situation, the nursing fraternity across the world deserve the highest respect and honour for their relentless and selfless services for the well-being of the people by being the flag bearers of the fight against Covid-19.

Rather than the doctors, the nurses are those 'angels' who work more with the patients and assures their well-health throughout.

International Nurses Day 2020

The theme for this year's celebrations is 'Nursing the World to Health.' The theme for International Nurses Day 2019 was – 'Nurses – A Voice to Lead – Health for All.'

According to the WHO, 'Nurses account for more than half of all the world's health workers, yet there is an urgent shortage of nurses worldwide with 5.9 million more nurses still needed, especially in low- and middle-income countries.'

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WHO on International Nurses Day 2020

The World Health Organisation, on behalf of the day and the pandemic crisis, has urged all the nations to ensure:

  • the occupational safety and health of nurses along with the other health workers, notably through the unhindered access to personal protective equipment so that they can safely provide care and reduce infections in health care settings.
  • nurses and all health care workers have access to mental health support, timely pay, sick leave and insurance. In addition to this, the authorities must also provide access to the most up-to-date knowledge and guidance required to respond to all health needs, including outbreaks such as Covid-19.
  • the financial support, as well as other resources required to help respond to and control COVID-19 and future outbreaks, are mandatorily provided to the nurses.

Florence Nightingale, the Lady with the Lamp

Born on 12 May 1820, Florence Nightingale was an English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing.

Her services during the Crimean War, where she organised the tending to wounded soldiers helped her rise into prominence. Her continuous rounds with a lighted lamp to keep a check on the wounded soldiers helped her gain the persona of the 'lady with a lamp.'

In 1860, Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital in London, which turned out to be the first secular nursing school in the world.

The nursing school now works as a part of King's College London. The world always remembers Nightingale for showing the right path for the nursing fraternity.

The Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses, and the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve, were named in her honour to mark the height of her services.

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