OFFICIAL ADDRESS IN RECOGNITION OF INTERNATIONAL NURSES’ DAY 2018 By Hon Wendy C. Phipps Minister with Responsibility for Health, Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs

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Fellow Citizens & Residents of St. Kitts and Nevis:
Our local nursing fraternity joins the rest of their international counterparts in
celebrating International Nurses’ Day today, Saturday, May 12, 2018. This
global celebration of the nursing profession is held each year on what would
have been the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern-day
nursing who was born in 1820. International Nurses’ Day is an opportunity
to recognise all of our nurses who consistently play an invaluable role of
delivering quality nursing care to persons who are sick, suffering or on the
road to recovery.

The theme selected by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) for Nurses’
Day 2018 is “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Health is a Human Right”. This
theme is considered to be quite timely, given the leadership role and pivotal
participation that nurses, the world over, are in the habit of demonstrating in
the noble mission of delivering healthcare for all. The Federal Ministry of
Health is also of the view that the theme is also a reflection of the nursing
fraternity’s commitment to the attainment of the United Nation’s (UN)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – in particular, Goal #3, which
speaks to “Good Health and Well-Being”. Of course, SDG Goal #3 also is a
clear reflection of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, part of
which addresses the right to a good life, food and shelter, and the right of
every person to be cared for, regardless of age, gender, race, socioeconomic
status, or disability.

As is their practice, our local nurses have spread out their celebrations for
International Nurses’ Day over an entire week of activities. As such, this
year’s Nurses’ Week would have covered the period May 6-12, 2018 and
includes activities such as:

 A Church Service this past Sunday, May 6th
– at Cayon Church of
God;

 An Institutional Luncheon held yesterday Friday, May 11th – at JNF
Hospital, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.;

 A Health Fair at Independence Square held on Wednesday, May 9th;
and

 A Nurses’ Ball entitled “Nurses in Splendor” to be held tonight,
Saturday, May 12th – at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel.

A number of special events have also been held in Nevis, in celebration of
Nurses Week 2018.

The Federal Ministry of Health commends the nurses in St. Kitts and Nevis
for staging these events to highlight the priceless contribution of all nurses,
regardless of whether they work in the public or private sector. Our

government is cognizant of the fact that the role of our nurses is an
indispensable one. Without nurses our entire health infrastructure would be
crippled. We salute our nurses in private practice, and those working in the
institution and community-based health care settings. Our Government
knows that the strides we have made in public health and wellness could not
be achieved without their service and effort.

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is aware that as our population ages
and we continue to confront the formidable challenges being posed by
Chronic Non-communicable Disease (CNCDs) we would have to ensure that
the members of our nursing fraternity continue to improve upon their
professionalism, skill sets and knowledge in order to address these issues.
Moreover, as I would have indicated in last year’s Nurses’ Day Address, our
current cadre of nurses – which numbers approximately 330 – also have a
big responsibility to serve as positive role models for our young men and
women who may be seriously considering a career in nursing.

 

We also encourage our present stock of nurses to pursue specialized nursing training
and qualifications in areas such as oncology, haemodialysis, and intensive
care administration. In this way, our Federation would be less dependent on
the recruitment of foreign nurses with specialized skill sets to meet the everchanging
health care needs of our people. We however, salute those foreign
nurses who continue render excellent, professional service to our people.

On behalf of the Federal Government I congratulate all of our nurses on
Nurses’ Day 2018. We salute you for your service to the people of our
Country. We also thank you for choosing nursing as a dedicated career, and
we trust that your sterling service will continue to redound to the health and
wellness of our people. Have a Happy Nurses’ Day 2018!

May God continue to bless the people of St. Kitts and Nevis with good health,
and wellness of mind, body and spirit.

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