Vanuatu needs more nurses for its healthcare system.

The Director of Curative Services at the Ministry of Health (MOH), Dr Willie Tokon, made this statement during the International Nurses Day.

He said:”The government must increase the nursing production (new nurses).

“We (Vanuatu) need more graduates.”

The International Nurses Day is held annually on May 12 to praise the contributions made by nurses to the society.

In Port Vila, the event was held at the Vila Central Hospital (VCH).

Yesterday’s event noted that nurses are the largest group in the MOH and they play critical role within and beyond the healthcare setting.

Nurses work overtime, on shifts from day to night and back to day at health facilities in their communities across the country.

Despite facing common challenges such as low salary and staffing, they are committed to improving welfare, safety and recovery of patients.

Nursing is hailed as one of the noblest profession in the world.

Director Tokon described nurses as the backbone of the health sector.

He reminded them of the value of their profession and to continue to uphold their pledges.

When responding to Director Tokon’s statement on nursing production, the Director General (DG) of the MOH, George Taleo, said nurses are the top priority in the new health structure.

“80 to 90 percent of the health reform focuses on improving nursing.

“The development of nursing career is an important aspect of the health structure.

“Nurses will be the first ones to be recruited into the system once the implementation plan is declared soon, on May 18.

“Without nurses, there would be no life,” he said.

Dr Tokon advised the nurses, especially young graduates not to refuse any request to serve in the remote areas.

‘Nurses a voice to lead achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)’, is the theme of this year’s International Nurses Day.

The day gives a chance to everyone; the government and society to recognize the role nurses play in achieving the SDGs.