World Well being Group (WHO) Director-Common Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a each day press briefing on COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, on the WHO headquaters on February 28, 2020, in Geneva. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP.
As COVID-19 captures international headlines, the World Well being Group (WHO) warned Tuesday that the world wants practically six million nurses.
The UN’s well being company together with companions Nursing Now and the Worldwide Council of Nurses (ICN) underscored in a report the essential function performed by nurses, who make up greater than half of all well being employees worldwide.
“Nurses are the backbone of any health system,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned in an announcement.
“Today, many nurses find themselves on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19,” he famous, including that it was important they “get the support they need to keep the world healthy.”
The report mentioned that there are slightly below 28 million nurses on the planet.
Within the 5 years main as much as 2018, the quantity grew by four.7 million.
“But this still leaves a global shortfall of 5.9 million,” the WHO mentioned, declaring that the best gaps have been in poorer nations in Africa, southeast Asia, the Center East and components of South America.
The report urged nations to determine gaps of their nursing workforce and put money into nursing training, jobs and management.
– Shortages ‘exhaust workforce’ –
ICN chief government Howard Catton informed a digital briefing that an infection charges, remedy errors and mortality charges “are all higher where there are too few nurses”.
Moreover, “shortages exhaust our current nursing workforce”, he added.
In combating the pandemic, Mary Watkins, who co-chaired the report for Nursing Now, referred to as for pressing funding in virus assessments for healthcare employees.
“We have a very high proportion of healthcare workers not going to work because they’re afraid that they’ve been infected and that they can’t prove that they have not got the infection — or that they’ve had it, and they’re over it,” she mentioned.
Catton mentioned that 23 nurses had died in Italy and cited figures suggesting that round 100 well being employees had died all over the world.
In the meantime, he mentioned there have been reviews of 9 p.c of well being employees being contaminated in Italy and “we’re now hearing of rates of infections up to 14 percent in Spain”.
He additionally cited reviews of “completely unacceptable and reprehensible” assaults on well being employees battling COVID-19, largely as a consequence of ignorance about their work, mixed with nations not doing sufficient to guard them.
“COVID is putting it into a very stark lens for us all,” he mentioned, although he welcomed the rising appreciation in some nations of nurse’s work.
Catton mentioned that might assist change perceptions of the worth of nursing — which in flip would possibly assist make it a extra enticing occupation.
– Male recruitment –
Past COVID-19, Watkins mentioned many wealthier nations weren’t producing sufficient nurses to fulfill their very own healthcare wants, and have been subsequently reliant on migration, exacerbating shortages in poorer nations.
“Eighty percent of the world’s nurses only currently serve 50 percent of the world’s population,” she famous.
Catton warned of dangers that richer nations would depend on the Philippines and India to “supply the world with nurses”, which might result in important shortages in India.
The specialists mentioned nursing stays female-dominated and wanted to recruit extra males.
“There is clear evidence that where there are more men in any profession in the world, the pay and the terms and conditions improve,” Watkins mentioned.