Spotlighting Our Nurses

THE coronavirus in Saint Lucia has reached a new threshold, recording two deaths, which is yet another blow added to the burden the nation is now shouldering.

However today, we turn our attention away from COVID-19, to focus on another disease that is also sapping us medically – diabetes, and the tremendous work one group of unsung heroes is doing, to ease the advance of the disease and care for those infected.

Today is World Diabetes Day, a campaign that has decided to focus on promoting the role of nurses in the prevention and management of diabetes. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2020 is “The Nurse and Diabetes.”

We not only applaud the decision to feature nurses but also join in highlighting the crucial role nurses play not just in supporting persons living with diabetes but in battling the coronavirus, they being on the front lines in that battle.

But as earlier said, the focus is not on the coronavirus today. We take great pleasure in joining the World Health Organization, the International Diabetes Federation, affiliates and all others to ‘big-up’ nurses worldwide, especially those at home.

To all our nurses at home we say a heart-felt thank you for your services. You not only account for a significant number of the local health workforce, but the outstanding work you do for diabetics in Saint Lucia and other people living with widely varying health concerns, makes you extra special, hence our special thank you for your services – past and present.

While we are aware that some of you (perhaps all of you) work under stressful conditions, we believe that your motivation to face challenges confronting you will help you to bring into effect the skills and professionalism you continue to exhibit.

We also recognize that as the number of people with diabetes (and other ailments) continue to rise here at home, your role as nurses becomes increasingly important in managing the impact of the condition on our people.

And so we stress on the need for government and other healthcare providers to continue to invest in the education of our nurses who can make the difference between a good and fulfilling life and one of suffering for people afflicted with diabetes.

Recently the State of the World’s Nursing 2020 report outlined the latest evidence on and policy options for the global nursing workforce. It presented a compelling case for considerable – yet feasible – investment in nursing education, jobs, and leadership.

It would serve our healthcare system well to peruse this report as it is now quite clear that we will need professional nurses on the job to help Saint Lucia steer its way through the myriad of maladies, viruses, diseases, pandemics, epidemics and what have you that marches relentlessly through the land.

The World Health Organization has predicted that worldwide, the number of nurses trained and employed needs to grow by 8% a year to overcome alarming shortfalls in the profession by 2030. WHO estimates that the total investment required to achieve the targets outlined in the Social Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 stand at 3.9 trillion USD – 40% of which should be dedicated to remunerating the health workforce.

These alarming shortfalls in the nursing profession makes it easy for our nurses to migrate, hence we endorse whatever the government is doing to keep them grounded here.

We again applaud our nurses and urge them to continue working with diabetics not only to make their lives better but also, through education, help in reducing the spread of diabetes in country.

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