Cyprus Mail

Tributes pour in to mark International Nurses Day (Updated)

Health officials on Wednesday paid tribute to nurses in honour of International Nurses Day, with President Nicos Anastasiades and Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou extending thanks on Twitter.

May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, is a day established by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) to honour the millions of health professionals offering their services around the world.

“The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in our health systems and the enormous pressures our nurses are working under, as well as shining a light on their incredible commitment and courage,” ICN CEO Howard Catton said.

In a tweet, the president paid tribute to nurses and health professionals “who have been on the frontlines providing treatment, comfort and support to their patients”.

“Thank you for saving lives, thank you for keeping humanity alive,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Health Minister expressed “appreciation, admiration and thanks to all nursing staff for their invaluable contribution to the efforts against the pandemic”.

“We are proud of our nurses, who are undoubtedly one of the main pillars of our country’s health system and contribute greatly to alleviating human pain,” he continued.

On behalf of the Health Ministry’s hospital services acting director Evagoras Tambouris “warmly congratulated” all health professionals for their “commendable contributions through their work, to the fight against the pandemic”.

The past year’s healthcare crisis has reaffirmed the importance of nurses in preserving the health of the public, he said.

In addition, state health organisation (Okypy) head Christos Loizides said that “The word ‘gratitude’ feels small when talking about the tireless and mighty work of nurses, especially during the difficult period we are going through which has seen hospitals taking over the treatment of Covid-19 patients”.

In their own announcement, nurses from the civil servants’ union (Pasydy) thanked health professionals for their work, adding that “we know the struggle is hard, the fatigue unspeakable, the demands complex and numerous, and the losses unfortunately unavoidable”.

This day “is a reminder of the daily struggle of nurses” and their contribution to public health, Pasydy continued, adding that those in charge need to guarantee that health professionals can continue their work.

“Exultations and talks of heroism mean absolutely nothing if they are not accompanied by acts of recognition for the multilevel work of health professionals in Cyprus and abroad bearing the brunt of the pandemic almost on their own,” state nurses union (Pasyno) said.

“Our struggle and sacrifices continue, with the hope that those in charge will support us in practice, providing the necessary support so that at the end of the pandemic we can be proud of our national health system and health crisis management,” Pasyno continued.

Pasyno added that the pandemic is not over yet, urging the public to continue taking necessary measures, all the while “keeping in mind that we are at war with a sinister and unpredictable enemy whose behaviour we cannot predict”.

“Without your contribution, without everyone taking personal responsibility, all we fought for will be lost,” they concluded.




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