The world celebrates International Day of Nurses every 12 May to honour nurse Florence Nightingale’s pioneering work in the field 200 years ago.
“As a nation, we owe our well-being to the untiring commitment of nurses whose positive impact on our lives reaches beyond our physical health,” Ramaphosa said.
Calling on all communities to accord nurses the necessary gratitude and support for their untiring work, the South African leader said the highly valued contribution of nurses to society has taken on exponential importance in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic since it broke out in the country in the first week of March.
“Nurses are the frontline of our healthcare system. We appreciate the dedication with which they perform their duties in public and private hospitals, and clinics, and as neighbours who don’t mind being woken up in the middle of the night when we need help,” he said.
Apart from medical duties, Ramaphosa said nurses provided comfort and counsel to all types of people.
“More broadly, nurses are community-builders, mentors, counsellors and educators who provide psychosocial support, beyond the medical domain, to the communities in which they are based and are at the forefront of our fight against many social ills,” he said.