International Nurses and Midwives Day: ‘Only one nurse for every 2,500 patients in Pakistan’

Published: May 12, 2015
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PHOTO: CHEREE FRANCO/EXPRESS

PHOTO: CHEREE FRANCO/EXPRESS

PHOTO: CHEREE FRANCO/EXPRESS ILLUSTRATION: EXPRESS

KARACHI: The fact that there is only  one nurse for every 2,500 patients in Pakistan shows the profession is in dire need of committed individuals.

As she shared this statistic from 2010, Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery director Jacqueline Dias emphasised the need to have more nurses. “The ratio of nurses to doctors is 1:3, which should be reversed according to international standards,” she said. Dias was speaking as the keynote speaker at a seminar at Ziauddin College of Nursing to mark International Nurses and Midwives Day on Tuesday.

Nearly 400 nursing students were in attendance in colourful garb on the day that also marks the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, widely known as the founder of modern nursing.

Dias stressed the importance of using innovative ways in the nursing practice to be more cost-effective and care-effective — a practice that is also the motto of the International Council of Nurses. She pointed out that the standardised curriculum for nurses was made as recently as 2006. “What provision has been left for people who only have a diploma or who were working in the field of nursing from before that time?” she asked.

“The way you walk, the way you talk to the patients, the way you carry yourself. It all makes a difference that is part of the change,” she said .

Alia Nasir, the dean of Ziauddin’s nursing college suggested looking into the current status of health in Pakistan, the allocated budget and if everyone has access to healthcare.

Florence Nightingale raised the status of nursing from an unskilled profession to a medical profession, said Fauzia Pesnani, the head of oncology at Ziauddin’s nursing division. A short play on the life of Florence Nightingale was presented by the students before the cake-cutting ceremony.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2015.

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