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Representatives of graduate nurses join JICA Chief representative and Lao health officials at a ceremony in Vientiane.

Lao nurses obtain licences with support from JICA

A group of 96 nurses received licences after they passed nursing exams and completed eight-month internship programmes at provincial hospitals in Oudomxay, Xieng Khuang, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Khammuan, Savannakhet, Saravan and Champassak.
Nurses are viewed as being instrumental in helping to restore and rebuild health systems affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Laos and worldwide, attendees heard at an event to celebrate International Nurses Day hosted by the Ministry of Health and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on May 26.
“Our Nurses Our Future - Value, protect, respect and invest in our nurses for a sustainable future for nursing and health care” is the theme for 2023 adopted by the International Council of Nurses (ICN).
Nursing licences were presented to 16 nurse representatives by the President of the Healthcare Professional Council, Professor Dr Ponmek Dalaloy; JICA Laos chief representative, Mr Nagase Toshio; and Nursing and Midwifery Board chair, Ms Phengdy Inthapanith.
A representative of the graduating cohort said how proud she was to be recognised as a fully licensed nurse, adding that she greatly appreciated the commitment and support provided by mentor nurses during her internship programme.
Academic presentations were followed by a panel discussion at a joint ceremony moderated by the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Nursing Science, University of Health Sciences (UHS), Dr Anousone Sisoulath. The panelists discussed the status of nursing in Laos in line with the ICN’s theme.
“In Laos, the post-Covid 19 economic crisis has further aggravated a challenging situation, placing limits on the employability quota for civil servants that include human resources for health such as nurses,” Director General of the Department of Health Personnel, Dr Khampasong Theppanya, said.
Dean of the Faculty of Nursing Science, Professor Souksavanh Phanpaserth, said there is an ongoing need to strengthen quality nursing education that significantly upgrades the capacity of the existing nursing workforce, including contract and volunteer staff, to improve the quality of nursing. Mahosot Hospital Deputy Director, Ms Bouavan Pathoumthong, encouraged young nurses to seek opportunities to learn to be confident and to find value in daily nursing practice through patient appreciation.
Worldwide, International Nurses Day 2023 comes at a time when more nurses, at the heart of the response to the pandemic, have become stressed, burnt out, absent, and on strike.
As the pandemic has made underlying poor working conditions and unsafe staffing concerns even more apparent, the ICN stresses that there can be no effective recovery and rebuilding of the healthcare system without sufficient investment in well-supported nurses.


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