The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has signed up to support the International Council of Nurses’ (ICN) new global campaign, #NursesForPeace, condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and calling for the protection and safety of nurses and healthcare workers and an urgent end to the conflict.
Last week, ICN hosted a webinar with European nurse leaders to discuss the crisis, which has so far killed more than 400 people. Several Ukrainian nurse leaders joined the meeting from the basements of their hospitals, sharing vivid accounts of the tragic situation unfolding across the country and the need for international solidarity to end hostilities.
Tetyana Chernyshenko, President of the Nursing Association of Ukraine, who joined the webinar from Kyiv, said a lot of cities are under fire and many civilians have been wounded or killed.
“Our people are looking for shelter in subway stations, and bombs are hitting not only places of residence but also hospitals… Babies have even been delivered in the subway shelters or in the hospital basements,” she said.
Aneliya, a senior nurse from Kyiv, the nation’s capital, is among many nurses living in the hospital.
“We are seeing increased attacks in Kyiv and preparing for a large number of wounded,” she revealed in the webinar.
“We are particularly worried about the growing lack of basic medical supplies, including tourniquets. We are also providing first aid training for civilians but we desperately need more supplies.”
Participants unanimously voiced their solidarity and support for the nurses and the people of Ukraine.
Following the meeting, ICN and European nursing peaks issued a joint statement strongly condemning the actions of Russia, the disruption to health services, and the attacks on healthcare facilities and innocent civilians. Nurses and healthcare workers must be allowed to carry out their work protected from threats and violence, and the people of Ukraine given ready access to vital equipment, medicines and supplies required to treat all of their healthcare needs, the statement declared.
“The world’s nurses demand that the health and wellbeing of the people of Ukraine is safeguarded and that can only be achieved through lasting peace, because peace and health are inseparable.”
The ICN subsequently launched a new global campaign, titled #NursesForPeace, which calls on the world’s nurses to stand in solidarity with the nurses of Ukraine.
“The world’s 28 million nurses stand in solidarity with their colleagues in Ukraine, and speak with one voice demanding an end to the aggression which has already seen an unknown number of deaths, and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. No more lives should be lost,” ICN President Pamela Cipriano said.
“Under the banner #NursesForPeace we will continue to use every avenue available to us to support the humanitarian efforts in both Ukraine and its bordering countries, where nurses are once again playing a central leadership role.
“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the courageous Ukrainian nurses and those in neighbouring countries who are endeavouring to find practical solutions to protect and care for their patients in seemingly impossible circumstances.”
ICN will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with its members and partners to show solidarity with nurses and healthcare workers across Ukraine and advocate for a swift and peaceful resolution to the war.
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