ICN is deeply concerned by the decreasing numbers of nurses at the country, regional and headquarter levels of WHO. The absence of nursing expertise is evident within WHO’s technical and professional positions, and in the composition of its technical advisory bodies and expert committees.
Over the years ICN has been lobbying WHO through letters, interventions at the Executive Board and World Health Assembly and meetings with WHO leadership to increase the number of nurses in WHO.
Data from the WHO human resources annual report of December 2011 reveals 0.7% of professional staff are nurses and 90.5% are medical specialists. Dieticians and nutritionists (at 2.6 %) and pharmacists (at 2.0%) have greater representation than nurses.
In May 2011 at the ICN Conference in Malta, ICN Board of Directors and the CNR passed an emergency resolution calling on WHO to fill the nursing post and recruit suitably qualified nurses in WHO. This year, we are following up on this resolution: we have updated our fact sheet ; ICN President Rosemary Bryant has written to the WHO Director General to urgently address this matter; and there will be a major push with delegations at WHA. We urge you to discuss this with your ministries if you have the opportunity to do so.
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