A commemorative coin and certificate have been issued by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to mark the profession’s recent efforts.
They are designed as a thank you to ICN member national nursing associations for their service during the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Unfortunately, most of our colleagues have lost this disease, and they will never be forgotten”
The coins and certificates, designed by former ICN board member Kallooa Bagooaduth, were signed by WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus and ICN head Annette Kennedy.
Reminder coins and certificates, also marked 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, set at the time to be received by the associations of the Founders of ICN Day on 1 July.
Last year was designated as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Assembly (WHA), the governing body of the WHO.
However, celebrations of care and mediation have been overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic that is pushing the eye health professions in unexpected ways, according to ICN.
It is said that they “fought the pandemic with incredible vigor and determination and cared for patients in the darkest times, with always the same people by their side in their last moments”.
In addition, the ICN showed that nurses stood at the forefront of the pandemic, often without or inadequate protective equipment, understaffed, unemployed and underpaid.
At the WHA in May this year, Dr Tedros announced that Covid-19 had killed at least 115,000 health and care workers worldwide.
Dr Tedros said: “The backbone of every health system, nurses provide lifelong care and treatment, in every part of the world, in every area, reaching the most vulnerable and in need.
“In 2020, they will show their strength and dedication as they fight the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“I pay tribute to all the nurses who lost their lives while doing their duty. Thank you to all the nurses who continue to work for everyone’s health.”
Ms Kennedy added: “Unfortunately, most of our colleagues have lost this disease, and they will never be forgotten.
“I hope this little milestone this special year will remind you not only of the sacrifices, but also of the energy, determination and dedication of all nurses.”
ICN, which represents the worldwide voice of 27 million nurses worldwide, will host it 28th congress from 2-4 November 2021 in virtual form, and 120 years after the first conference.
The idea of an International Council of Nurses was first proposed by Ethel Gordon Fenwick on 1 July 1899 at the annual conference of the Matron Council of Britain and Ireland.
A year later, in 1901, ICN held its first international congress in Buffalo, New York, in the US.