Nurses and midwives make up nearly 80 percent of the health care workforce in developing countries. Yet too often they are not included in policy-making, and are not empowered at the full scope of practice. And unless we address the oversight, we can’t reach universal health coverage.
Eighty percent. In developing nations, a nurse or midwife is often the sole practitioner (frequent in rural regions), or the only type of practitioner at a health facility. And access to the facility itself is a challenge; often the nearest one is hours away.
When a nurse is the sole practitioner (or one of very few), it’s simple. We need more nurses and midwives, and as a society, we must invest in the nursing and midwifery workforce.
Even more urgently, when a nurse is the sole type of practitioner, they must be allowed—legally—to practice at the full extent of their preparation. And too often, they are not.
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Jhpiego—led by a nurse dean, Dr. Patricia Davidson, and a nurse CEO, Dr. Leslie Mancuso, respectively—laid out the challenge with stakeholders at “Power on the Path to UHC 2030,” an event that occurred alongside the United Nations General Assembly.
The WHO declared 2020 the year of the Nurse and the Midwife. And 2020 is getting closer. “Now that the world is watching, it’s our duty to act,” says Dr. Leslie Mancuso.
Look for the upcoming blog from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing & Jhpiego.
- Patricia Davidson, Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
- Leslie Mancuso, President & CEO, Jhpiego
- Marisol Touraine, Chair of the Executive Board, UNITAID
- The Hon. Dr. Diane Gashumba, Minister of Health, Republic of Rwanda (Keynote)
- Madeline Naegle, ICN Nursing Perspective & NYU College of Nursing
- Emmanuelle Hébert, ICM Midwifery Perspective & University of Québec at Trois-Rivières
- Jim Campbell, Director, Health Workforce Department, World Health Organization (Moderator)
- Robert Maitru, Director of Operations, Unitaid
- Anneka Knutsson, Chief of Branch, Sexual and Reproductive Health, United Nations Population Fund
- Joy Marini, Global Director, Women’s Health, Office of the Chief Medical Officer, Johnson & Johnson
- Angela Mutunga, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Jhpiego
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: SYDNEE LOGAN
Sydnee Logan is the Social Media and Digital Content Coordinator for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She shares what’s going on with the world.