ICN President sends message of solidarity and support for nurses in India and elsewhere who are fighting the pandemic

27 April 2021


Photo credit: Keystone / Piyal Adhikary


ICN President Annette Kennedy has sent a message of solidarity and support to nurses around the world as they continue to battle against the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She highlighted the plight of nurses in India, where some hospital and healthcare services are being overwhelmed by the demands for treatment from patients with the virus.

Ms Kennedy spoke during an ICN webinar on the COVID Effect and the global nursing and healthcare workforce, which included contributions from the International Labour Organisation. The President described the difficult situation in India and thanked the many Indian nurses who have travelled abroad to nurse in foreign countries.

“We want to share our deep sympathy and solidarity with all the nurses of India,’ Ms Kennedy said. ‘For those who have come to our countries to help us, it must be very difficult to watch what is happening and to know that they have friends and colleagues in India at this time. I send my sympathy to them and thank them for being with us in different countries throughout the world: they have given us such great support and helped us by working very hard, and this is very difficult time for them.”

After the webinar, Ms Kennedy issued the following statement:

The Covid-19 pandemic is still causing havoc as it continues to surge around the world. We have all seen on TV the desperate situations that nurses in some countries are facing, most recently in India, where the number of cases is soaring, and there are serious shortages of beds and desperately needed oxygen.

These scenes are distressing, and I am sure I speak for all the world’s nurses when I express my solidarity and support for the Indian Nurses Association, and for all of the nurses of India, and elsewhere, as they tackle this grave ongoing situation.

Nurses and others in the healthcare workforce are continuing to work hard in extremely difficult conditions as they battle against the ravages of Covid-19.

Like everyone else, I have watched with sorrow and alarm as the virus has spread around the world. But seeing the reaction of nurses has filled me with great pride in our profession.

I know that this work is taking its toll, and I know that nurses are making enormous sacrifices to ensure that their patients get the care and treatment that they need. Many of our colleagues have paid a high price for their willingness to put their patients’ needs first, and tragically, many have died.

To all nurses, I would like to say I am proud of each and every one of you, whether you are on the frontline fighting this dangerous virus or providing the everyday care that must continue, despite the onslaught of the pandemic.

The pandemic has shown the world that nurses are an indispensable source of hope during sickness, and that they continue to care, even when they are confronted with problems that seem insurmountable.

So today I am sending good wishes on behalf of the International Council of Nurses, our board members and all the world’s 20 million nurses as they carry on doing the everyday miracle that is nursing.

Download the communiqué here