Western Cape Government Health Honours Nurses during May as International Nurses Day is Celebrated

Theuns Botha, Minister of Health

Western Cape Government

The Western Cape Government Health wishes to thank all Nurses that work in government facilities in the Western Cape for their hard work and dedication on International Nurses Day, 12 May 2013.

International Nurses Day is celebrated annually on the 12th May on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, the founder of modern day nursing.  This year the clinical facilities throughout the Western Cape will be hosting events during the month of May to commemorate the sterling work rendered by the dedicated nursing professionals employed in the Western Cape Government Health.

The Western Cape Health Minister, Theuns Botha, says “Our nurses form almost half of the staff component of the health department, and play a special role in providing and maintaining the health care system through the provision of a comprehensive quality health care service. I want to thank every nurse for your special commitment to health care.

“Despite intense efforts to develop, recruit and retain specialised nurses, and despite the Occupational Specific Dispensation for nurses, the specialized services now have 25,4% less specialised nurses than 4 years ago. A  main challenge remains to increase the number of nurses to be released and trained in specialty nursing.  In the Western Cape 746 nurses still need to be trained by 2015. “

The Theme for 2013 as directed by the International Council of Nursing (ICN) is: Closing the Gap:  the Millennium Development Goals: 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Three goals:  numbers 4 (reduce child mortality), 5 (improve maternal health) and 6 (combat HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases).  – are specifically related to health, and their achievement is closely linked to the other goals including those focused on poverty, hunger, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

As the largest health care profession in the world, there is no doubt that nurses are key to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Nurses are often the only health professionals accessible to many people in their lifetime. So nurses are particularly well placed and often the most innovative in reaching under-served and disadvantaged populations. Nurses are educated to understand the complex nature of maintaining health and wellness, and the impact of psycho-social and socio-economic factors such as poverty, unemployment and ethnicity. They see the context for well being and accordingly act so as to reach beyond the immediate presenting problems.

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