This week I received the first newsletter for the 2021 International Council of Nurses (ICN) virtual congress taking place in November. This congress promises to be a highly relevant one for these times with the theme of “Nursing Around the World” using a virtual format that will increase access to the event.
Abstracts are due by March 11, 2021 for e-posters and oral concurrent sessions on eight sub-themes. Sub-themes include Nursing Workforce, Epidemics & Pandemics, Global Health Challenges, and Digital Health & Innovation. The concurrent sessions will be 10-minute pre-recorded video presentations grouped by sub-theme.
Having attended past ICN congresses – in Barcelona, Durban, Singapore, and Vancouver – I can attest to the value of meeting nurses from around the world, listening to their presentations, and learning about policy advocacy to apply to my own work. Along with colleagues, I have submitted abstracts and been part of presentations. And sometimes an encounter at a congress has led to later collaboration and exchanges.
Global Vaccine Equity
Throughout the pandemic ICN has been vocal on the behalf of nurses and health workers globally and is supporting the current WHO campaign on vaccine equity in the first months of 2021, the Year of the Health and Care Worker.
The WHO Declaration calls on “global, national and local leaders to accelerate the equitable rollout of vaccines in every country, starting with health workers and those at highest risk for COVID-19. This includes scaling up vaccine manufacturing and rejecting vaccine nationalism at every turn.”
WHO urges world leaders to increase contributions to the COVAX facility and also calls on Ministries of Health “to work with WHO and others to invest in and prepare their primary health care systems for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to their health workers.” Further, as is expressed often these days, distribution of vaccines quickly and equitably will be key to ending the pandemic. Individuals and organizations can lend their support by signing the declaration and by getting messages out through social media. #VaccinEquity
By Nora Whyte – February 18, 2021
I acknowledge with respect that I live on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.