A vision for an equitable future for the world
Confirmation by the World Health Assembly at its 72nd meeting in May 2019 that 2020 would be designated the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife was greeted with widespread excitement by nurses and midwives across the world and planning began for a year of celebrations. That 2020 was also the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale gave nurses and midwives an added reason to celebrate. The Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation (CNMF) planned its own celebrations at the 5th Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives conference, scheduled for 6-7 March 2020, with the title ‘Celebrate: nurses and midwives, breaking down barriers, leaving no-one behind’. When the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in December 2019, the CNMF felt no significant alarm about the impact on our conference. However when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, each day brought further stress. The conference went ahead, however, in an atmosphere of joy and excitement and was a great success.
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