ICN joins the Zambia Union of Nurses Organization in a vigil commemorating the lives of nurses and midwives who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic

2 August 2021

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The International Council of Nurses Chief Executive Officer Howard Catton joined a Zambia Union of Nurses Organization (ZUNO) vigil for the Zambian nurses and midwives who have died during the pandemic.

At the candlelit vigil on Friday 30 July, ZUNO General Secretary Fray Michelo said:

“On behalf of the Nursing profession and Midwifery in Zambia, may I pay tribute to our colleagues and friends who have died in the course of carrying out their professional duties. These people lost their lives while caring for and protecting patients with compassion, skill and dedication. Every life lost during the pandemic is a tragedy, and we are determined that our nursing and healthcare colleagues are remembered now and in the future. We will never forget them.”

Speaking via a video link, Mr Catton sent condolences on behalf of ICN President Annette Kennedy and the ICN Board, expressing his condolences and heartfelt thanks to the families of Zambia’s nurses and midwives who have died.

Mr Catton said: “We remember and honour each one of them for their care and compassion, but also for their bravery and courage. It takes not just a good heart to be a nurse, but also a brave one. This pandemic has taken an immense toll on nurses and midwives right around the world. It has been too high a toll because countries have not invested sufficiently in protecting their healthcare workforce.

‘ICN is committed to continuing the fight to ensure that nurses and midwives everywhere are respected and valued for their incredible work, which is in itself an expression of our humanity, one to another.

‘They will not be forgotten. We and the world will always remember the brightest of lights that they shone in these, some of our darkest hours and days. To their families and friends, I hope there may be some comfort in knowing that the thoughts and prayers of the 27 million-strong family of nurses worldwide, and more than 130 National Nursing Associations, in addition to the Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation, are with you at this time. Through their sacrifice our solidarity is strengthened, and we will lead the world to be both a healthier and a better place for all.”

At the vigil a list of the names of some of the nurses and midwives who have died during the pandemic was read out:

Justina Musonda Mulisa, Catherine Daka Chiboleka, Sam Chima, Edina Kapatamoyo, Pamela Chilambe, Phillip Nzambi, Rosemary Mwaba, Margaret Chiti Chavula, Jennipher Munshya, Gwai Philile, Charity Mainza Mulonga, Mary Adon Zulu, Lorraine Mumbati, Agatha Mwanakombo, Grace Kapesha Nyambe, Mirriam Phiri, Betty Lungu, Enala Tembo, Seanq Sylvester, Namalambo Namwinga, Owen Chipunza, Priscilla Mulenga, Alice Mboni, Humphrey Kaunda, Lisa Choompa, Esther Katiba, Elita Simalyata, Serah Mpande, Natasha Msoni, Webster Kashimite Musonda, Jane Banda, Nelly Akalemwa, Michael Phiri.

Download the communique here