Laos marks International Nurses Day
More than 100 nurses gathered this week at Mahosot Hospital in Vientiane to observe International Nurses Day, which recognises the contribution of nurses to public health.
The day is marked annually on May 12, which is the birthday of Florence Nightingale who was born in 1820. She was pivotal in raising the standards of modern nursing and her work and memory has inspired a range of global events.
Deputy Director General of Mahosot Hospital, Ms Aphone Visathep, said the roles and duties of nurses were important for improving medical services because nurses were effectively the first line of help a patient will encounter. She urged all nurses to ensure their patients received top quality treatment to create satisfaction for the patient and their relatives during their stay at the hospital.
In Laos, nursing and midwifery policy encourages nurses and midwives to hold activities on International Nurses Day to deepen the public's understanding of the professions. They also want to build up awareness and bolster pride in their work with a view to better education and employment prospects for nurses and midwives.
The day not only introduced people to the life and work of Florence Nightingale, but also included presentations on the achievements made by nurses over the past year. In addition, the hospital was decorated with posters for this important day, which highlighted the significance of commemorating not only medical practitioners, but also patients.
In Laos, nurses make up the majority of healthcare and medical professionals and perform a number of extremely important duties in the course of their daily work.
However, compared with other Asean countries, the ratio of nurses to the total population is extremely low. The Ministry of Health is currently drawing up a plan to help improve nursing skills, as they play an important role in terms of quality service within the medical profession.
“We hope that International Nurses Day will encourage hospital workers to provide even better care to their patients and engender greater respect from the public for the work that they do,” said Ms Aphone.
Japan International Cooperation Agency's Human Resources for Health project supported the event.
By Xayxana Leukai
(Latest Update April 17, 2013)