Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 13, 2019 (SKNIS): The theme for the 2019 observance of International Nurses Day “Nurses: A Voice to lead – Health for All” falls in line with the many programmes and initiatives implemented by the Ministries of Health in St. Kitts and Nevis, said Minister of State with responsibility for Health, the Honourable Senator Wendy Phipps.
Minister Phipps was at the time speaking at a Nurses Day Symposium on Friday, May 10, an event planned in commemoration of International Nurses Day. International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12 annually.
“The health for all portion of the theme for this year basically resonates quite strongly with us here in St. Kitts and Nevis in terms of what we are trying to achieve and have been trying to achieve over the past two to three years in the advancement of universal healthcare coverage for every single individual in St. Kitts and Nevis regardless of their socio-economic status, political considerations, cultural differences, etc.,” said Senator Phipps.
Senator Phipps added that healthcare is available for everyone.
“As we continue to, St. Kitts and Nevis and the rest of the CARICOM member states become a melting pot for peoples of different culture, different countries, languages… it means that health for all is taking on yet another dimension which is the dimension of rendering care to persons regardless of their country of origin, the language that they speak, their attitudes towards healthcare, and even within those attitudes are sub-attitudes, attitudes towards things like vaccination…,” said the Minister.
Minister Phipps stated that the theme also suggests that nurses play a vital role in the health sector.
“What this tells us is that there is a strong advocacy role for nurses in the whole healthcare continuum because nothing can happen in terms of healthcare without that critical factor of the presence of good and reliable nursing care,” said the minister. “Having said that, it also sends the message that if you have a voice to lead you need to use that voice in a manner that is representative of the persons who you are charged to care for especially those who cannot speak for themselves.”
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. According to Minister Phipps, Florence Nightingale was “the founder of modern-day nursing who would have basically set ground-breaking principles for nursing dating back to what she has done in terms of yeoman service during the Crimean War” (1854-56).
International Nurses Day themes for 2017 and 2018 were similar to that of 2019. In 2017, it was observed under the theme “Nurses: A voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”, while in 2018 it was celebrated under the theme “Nurses: A voice to lead – Health is a Human Right”.