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May 21, 2011
School of Nursing, Kochi
Celebrated all around the globe in remembrance of The Lady with the Lamp, Florence Nightingale, International Nurses Day was observed at Amrita’s Health Sciences campus on May 12, 2011.
The theme of the celebrations was Closing the Gap – Increasing Access and Equity.
“The theme of this year represents the commitment of all nurses to their profession and their role in achieving improved health care for people all over the world,” stated Bri. Saibala, Chief Nursing Officer at Amrita.
The invited guest, Mrs. Grace Mathai, Vice-President of Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI) and Chief Operating Officer at MIMS Kottakkal, also spoke.
“This celebration is not limited to a region or country, the whole world is celebrating this day as International Nurses Day,” she reminded the audience.
“At a time, when there was no formal education for nursing, Florence Nightingale, who was born into a royal and rich family came forward to care for the wounded and sick,” she reminisced. “Nurses should see that they perform their work with a whole heart and mind.”
Mrs. Mathai’s talk highlighted various aspects of the theme, underlining the fact that the gap could not be closed until each and every person in India and the world had access to reliable health care services.
See Speech Excerpts »
Sampoojya Swami Poornamritananda Puri, General Secretary, MA Math and one of the senior-most disciples of Chancellor Amma, blessed the celebrations with his presence.
“We often forget to smile at others,” Swamiji said. “When we become the reason for others to smile, that brings us great blessings. Nurses can easily attain those blessings by caring for their patients with dedication.”
Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, reminded the audience that the celebration theme was profound and significant. “Nurses have traditionally always played a major role in helping bridge the gap; not just the economic gap, but also the gender gap, the geographic separation, culture, caste, religion, etc,” he stated.
Proficiency awards and prizes were distributed to students. Various cultural performances by nursing staff brought the day’s functions to a close.
Excerpts from Mrs. Grace Mathai’s Talk on Nurses Day
Closing the Gap – Increasing Access and Equity
What is the gap?
The Alma-Ata Declaration said, “Health for all by 2008.” But, is health accessible to everyone? Till now, I do not think everyone in India or abroad has access to the healthcare that they need. They may have access to a primary health center or community hospital, which is mainly managed by nurses.
Hence, this time the theme has been selected as Closing the Gap- Increasing Access and Equity. We nurses have to close this gap. The hospital services are not only for the rich. They are also for poor. Till now, they are not accessible to many.
Sometimes, people think they cannot afford health care. They will not come unless and until you and I go and tell them that these are the services which are given free of charge, these are the services which are given with eighty percent concession and so on, and convince them.
How to close the gap?
I request the nurses, whichever patient comes to your care, see that you will care for them with your whole heart and soul. We nurses should close the gap between the poor and the rich for medical care. Equal care should be given to all.
How to increase access?
We should go to the community and tell people what facilities are available at our place for them. Our door should be open for all. Equity should be maintained between the rich and poor, female and male. In this era of female infanticides, we nurses should see that this does not happen.
We should see that each one of us strives to help the poor. Let us give a part of our wealth, maybe a very small part of our health, for the purpose of helping the poor people. Let each one of us also open our own doors for helping the sick and the needy.
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