New Delhi : The milestone of vaccinating one crore-plus people in a single day in India was possible only because of dedication and untiring efforts of Nursing Personnel, said the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. He was speaking on the occasion of presentation of the National Florence Nightingale Awards to the Nursing Personnel at a virtual ceremony today (September 15, 2021).
The President said that it was the unrelenting support provided by the nurses, which has helped us in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. It is only because of their sustained efforts that we have achieved the distinction of vaccinating a sizeable portion of our population. The milestone of vaccinating one crore-plus people in a single day in India was possible only because of their dedication and untiring efforts.
The President said that many of our nurses have lost their lives in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that one of the awardees lost her life while treating COVID-19 patients. He said that for this sacrifice, the nation would always be indebted to her. He stated that the services and sacrifices cannot be evaluated in terms of any pecuniary benefit. Still, the government has acknowledged the contribution of nurses during the pandemic and has launched ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP): Insurance Scheme for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19’ to provide a comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs. 50 lakh to all healthcare providers.
Pointing to the theme for the International Nurses Day 2021, ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A vision for future healthcare’, the President said that it brings out the central role of nurses in healthcare delivery systems worldwide. Nursing indeed plays a crucial role in addressing multiple health challenges and responding to the health needs of individuals, communities and society. Nurses and midwives are often the first point of contact between the people and the health system. Nurses and midwives not only contribute to meeting the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets, but also towards education, gender sensitisation and economic growth of the nation. They play a fundamental role in the healthcare delivery system and are critical to our healthcare delivery.
The President noted that nurses in our country are adapting themselves for innovative and challenging roles. He said that now, those who engage in nursing can develop specific skills and competencies. The government has launched the ‘Midwifery Service Initiative’ to create a new cadre of midwives. They would be called Nurse Practitioner Midwife (NPM) who would be equipped with the requisite knowledge and competencies. With the help of this initiative, health services would be able to reach the women of the last rung of the society.
The President said that today’s award winners have set exemplary examples of service to the people. Sometimes even in the absence of basic transport facilities, they have provided medical facilities to the people. Some have even gone beyond the call of duty and provided services for social welfare like educating people against child marriages, providing assistance during natural disasters and extending the helping hand to the tribal community. He congratulated all the awardees and expressed hope that they would continue to heal the suffering people and enhance the prestige of this noble profession.