Ceremony honours role of nurses, midwives in pandemic combat hinh anh 1Luong Ngoc Khue, Director of the Health Ministry’s Department for Management of Medical Examination and Treatment, addresses the ceremony in Hanoi on May 12 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Health held a ceremony in Hanoi on May 12 to mark the International Nurses Day and affirm the role of nurses and midwives in public health care, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging around the world.

This year’s International Nurses Day (May 12) coincides with the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Council of Nurses also designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Highlighting nurses and midwives’ important contributions to the provision of medical services, Director of the Health Ministry’s Department for Management of Medical Examination and Treatment Luong Ngoc Khue said nurses and midwives have also effectively joined hands with other medical workers in the fight against COVID-19.

At present, Vietnam is one of the five countries that have successfully contained the pandemic, and nurses and midwives have considerably helped to secure this success, according to him.

However, Vietnam is still facing a shortage of nurses and midwives, Chairman of the Vietnam Nurses Association Pham Duc Muc noted, elaborating that the ratio of these professionals in Vietnam remains low – about 11 nurses per 10,000 people, which is two and three times lower than in Thailand and Malaysia, respectively.

Due to the shortage, the country has yet to be able to provide comprehensive care for patients, which also means patients still need their relatives or hire others to support them in hospitals, he admitted.

At the ceremony, WHO Representative in Vietnam Kidong Park recommended the country invest more in the education and empowerment of nurses and midwives, noting that WHO pledges to stand side by side with Vietnam in manpower training in this regard./.