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WHO Europe extends Year of the Nurse and Midwife



The Year of the Nurse and Midwife has been extended into 2021 in Europe because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been announced.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had dedicated 2020 to celebrate and showcase nurses and midwives across the globe, chosen to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

But in a speech at WHO Europe on Monday, WHO regional director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge promised nurses and midwives that Covid-19 will be ‘pushed back’ and ‘we will celebrate you’.

He continued: ‘I salute here the nurses and the midwives. It is your year. But you have been so busy that in the WHO European Region I decided to extend the year into 2021.’

Chief nursing officer for England Ruth May said on Twitter that she was ‘thrilled’ to see the extension.

Also commenting on Twitter, Nursing and Midwifery Council chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe noted that ‘2020 has indeed been the Year of the Nurse and Midwife but not in the way that we expected’.

Meanwhile, Queen’s Nursing Insititute (QNI) chief executive Dr Crystal Oldman celebrated the ‘excellent news’ on Twitter. The QNI had a short film shortlisted for the WHO film festival this year, she added.

In April, NHS England confirmed it was postponing its own International Year of the Nurse and Midwife campaign because of the coronavirus outbreak.