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International Nurses Day & battle against Coronavirus

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Praying and keeping her family members and all the patients in the hands of Jesus, Roseline Daniel, Head Nurse, and Nursing superintendent at eye spenser Hospital Karachi said that it is a great service she chose 37 years ago filled with enthusiasm of serving the sick people at hospital and anywhere in the world.

She forgets her own life, and keeps teaching of Christ in her mind and heart, serves the humanity, but now, she also fears and wears a protective suit, a face mask, goggles, and gloves while going to each bed, checking blood pressure of the patients but do not stop praying while performing her duty and believes in God’ protection that he will save her from this deadly virus, Roseline added.      

Neelam Mushtaq, 33, working as a Registered Female Nurse for more than 10 years at National Institute of Cardio, expressing her concerns and worries, over the announcement of the Government bringing relaxation in lockdown, shows their seriousness and measurements on Covid-19. Since, the day of announcement the number of cases have increased, people going out for shopping and visiting their relatives ,are risking their lives and it gets worse when they are seen without masks and gloves, she said. 

Nurses front line fighters

In Pakistan, at the time of writing, there are over 32,662 confirmed coronavirus cases with 724 deaths, reported from all over the country. Among that there are more than 440 healthcare workers across the country, including 70 Nurses who have been fighting as frontline fighters, have tested positive for Covid-19, and eight have died, according to the latest data from the authorities. And even, there are those who were quarantined but after getting recovered they are back to work to treat the same patients because of whom they were infected.  

Despite the noble duty, Nurses in Pakistan, are often neglected and least preferred, as they are working in a highly misogynist culture, they are harassed, working tirelessly and for long working hours, with low wages.  

According to Mr. Sarfraz Asif, Executive Board Member of Nurses Christian Fellowship International, Director of New Life Institute of Nursing, and Co-founder at Karachi King’s School & College Of Nursing the previous data of Health Vision of the Government of Pakistan 2018, and for population of 207.775 million in 2017, there were 205,152 doctors and 104,046 nurses (including midwives and lady health workers) and Ninety (90) per cent of nurses are females in the country.  

Whereas, Adv. Saleem Michael, legal advisor of Karachi King’s School & College of Nursing, thanking and praising, all the Christian Nurses in Pakistan for their contribution in the health sector, said that he is highly concerned for the exact data of Christian Nurses, but he is sure enough to say that they are around 40% Females, and 6% Male as a whole, working all over in Pakistan, which could be more than 47500.

Recommendations and concerns of Nurses

Mr. Asif also said that, keeping in mind the senility and requirement, at least there should be 4 nurses for each patient, but unfortunately in Pakistan.

Now in Pakistan, Asif says, number of Nurses will be more reduce as RN 3 years Diploma of nursing stopped since 2018 while all over the world RN Program is existing, Pakistan must be re-continue RN Program to fulfill the shortage of nurses which is a real necessity and need of the our country.

There is a critical level for Human Resources for Health (HRH), in Pakistan, as we observe that the most significant shortage lies in the fields of Nursing and Midwifery, with the proportion of nurse-midwife per 1,000 population standing at less than 0.5. The Pakistan Nursing Council is entitled and empowered to register Nurses and their Auxiliaries to practice in Pakistan, and this prestigious institute, who has the responsibility to highlight the need and measures to fulfill the requirement of Nurses in Pakistan.  

Despite these significant lapses, until quite recently policymakers in Pakistan have never made a serious attempt to effectively address the problems faced by nurses and midwives in the country.

On 12 May 2020, at the same time of the International Nurses Day, the Young Nurses Association (YNA) called out Sindh government has boycott work, and had protest for better job conditions during pandemic and complained about the lack of proper equipment for battling the virus at Karachi Press Club.   

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