May 23, 2011(KPL) Xieng Khuang province is hoping the celebration of International Nurses Day has illustrated the essential role the profession plays in the development process and encourages the sector to continue funding skills upgrades.
The celebration takes place each year on May 12 to mark the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.
Nightingale, a British nurse, was born into a wealthy family but decided to become a nurse to help soldiers injured during the Crimean War (1853-1856), during which Britain and France fought Russia for control in the Middle East.
She provided medical treatment for the injured without prejudicing any nationality. Her habit of making ward rounds at night earned her the nickname ‘The Lady with the Lamp’.
Several British newspapers covered the work of Florence Nightingale and on her return to the UK she was widely regarded as a heroine and is globally recognised as having laid the foundations of professional nursing. Xieng Khuang has been celebrating International Nurses Day for many years and the district hospitals take it in turns to host the event each year.
This year Khoun District Hospital played host to guests including the Director of the provincial Health Department Dr Bouasone Synouanthong and the Deputy Governor of Khoun district Mr Bouathong Mangnormek.
During the event, Provincial Head of Nurses Ms Lomsavay Phommahaxay reviewed the history of Florence Nightingale and presented awards to the outstanding nurses of the last 12 months.
The theme of this year’s commemoration was ‘Closing the Gap: Increasing Access and Equity’.
The gap refers to inequality in access to healthcare services between the rich and poor, developed and developing countries, men and women, and between urban and rural populations.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) uses the event to raise awareness of the role played by nurses throughout the world.
The shortage of nurses in many third world countries, particularly in rural areas, constitutes a major obstacle to healthcare access. Nurses in theses countries are often overworked, poorly paid, poorly regarded socially, have limited access to equipment or resources and have few career development opportunities.