World in need of six million nurses, says WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned on Tuesday that the world is in need of nearly six million nurses.

WHO, which is also partners with Nursing Now and the International Council of Nurses (ICN), mentions in a report the crucial role the nurses play, who consist more than half of all health workers worldwide, reports AFP.

“Nurses are the backbone of any health system,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

“Today, many nurses find themselves on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19,” he noted, adding that it was vital they “get the support they need to keep the world healthy.”

The report said that there are just under 28 million nurses on the planet.

In the five years leading up to 2018, the number grew by 4.7 million.

“But this still leaves a global shortfall of 5.9 million,” the WHO said, pointing out that the greatest gaps were in poorer countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and parts of South America.

The report urged countries to identify gaps in their nursing workforce and invest in nursing education, jobs and leadership.

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