Nurses charged to play greater role in promoting public health
Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton, has charged the nation's nurses to prepare to play a greater role in promoting and protecting public health.
He noted that nurses, given the regular and frequent contact they have with people, are in a unique position to promote healthy lifestyles and advise persons against habits that can endanger their health.
"The nursing profession has to prepare itself (for nurses) to be greater advocates for the cause of public health and wellness in our society," he said.
The Minister was addressing the launch of Nursing Now, a global campaign aimed at promoting the profession, held on Tuesday at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St. Andrew.
The initiative is geared at, among other things, raising the status of nurses globally, and maximising the contribution that nursing makes to universal health coverage and women's empowerment and economic development.
Its key partners are the World Health Organization (WHO), International Council of Nurses, the United Kingdom (UK)-based Burdett Trust for Nursing, and nursing organisations across the globe.
Minister Tufton, in endorsing the campaign, said it is going to reinforce the value of the nursing profession to public health locally, in the region and internationally.
He noted that the impact of nurses is greatest at the level of primary healthcare; the preventative side of health, which is a major thrust of Governments globally.
"It is a good time to highlight, to reinforce that importance, in order for us to take note and to do more to promote the interest, role and the contribution of a very crucial sector in the delivery of public healthcare," he said.
Dr. Tufton said the initiative will enable "greater empowerment of our nurses and provide them with the ability and the capacity to prepare themselves to provide greater leadership, as an important response to the public health challenges the country faces".