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IINMO to host Global Nurses United GNU Conference in Dublin September 22
Press Release


INMO to host Global Nurses United (GNU) Conference in Dublin on September 22

Prof Leonard Rubenstein the leading expert on safeguarding health workers in conflict zones will address the conference at 3.30 p.m. 

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) will host an international conference of Global Nurses United (GNU) on Thursday, September 22, 2016 from 9.30a.m. – 5.30p.m. in William Norton House, 575 North Circular Road, Dublin 1. 

As Ban Ki-moon, the outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations, declares the level of depravity displayed in the attack on a humanitarian convoy in Aleppo as reaching a new lowering of the bar of humanity, delegates at a special conference of nurses in Dublin will hear just how low that bar has dropped.


At 3.30 p.m. Mr Leonard Rubenstein, Chairman of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, will bring delegates right up to the current day by providing accounts of the coalition’s factual report “No Protection, No Respect, Health Workers and Health Facilities Under Attack 2015 and early 2016” available here https://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/SHCC2016final.pdf 

Mr Rubenstein directs the Program on Human Rights, Health and Conflict at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Chairs the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, which promotes the security of health workers and services threatened by war or civil unrest. In his presentation Mr Rubenstein will describe the crisis in the security of health services in situations of conflict, what the international community needs to do, and what the nursing community can do to advance protection of colleagues working in violent settings.

An Executive Summary of the factual report is available here http://reliefweb.int/report/world/no-protection-no-respect-health-workers-and-health-facilities-under-attack-2015-and 

The following is an excerpt from the report which puts the conference in perspective: “In Syria, 27% of the health workers killed in 2015 were shot, executed, or tortured to death. In Iraq and Libya, the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has forced health workers, under threat of death, to give its fighters priority in treatment, including moving from their places of work at civilian hospitals to ISIL facilities housing injured fighters. ISIL executed at least 12 health workers in 2015. Health workers have been ambushed, abducted, and killed—often while in marked medical vehicles—in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.”

The conference will mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising with the theme “Delivering Nursing and Midwifery Services in Conflict Zones”. 65 delegates will attend from 15 different countries spanning Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Australia and the Philippines, all of whom are Trade Union leaders in their own countries.

In the morning session delegates will hear a presentation from Mark Loughrey, Nurse Historian on the role played by nurses and midwives during the 1916 Rising.     This will be followed by a presentation by Prof Jean Orr, Margaret Kerr, Mary McCullagh and Rita Develin from the Royal College of Nursing in Northern Ireland who contributed to the publication “Nurses Voices”.  They will relay their stories from the Northern Ireland Troubles and how the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast became a leader in how to deal with gunshot wounds.
The day will end with a Question and Answer session chaired by Ms Patricia King, General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. 
Speaking ahead of the Conference, Dave Hughes, INMO Deputy General Secretary said: 

“Yesterday the UN confirmed that 21 people were killed in an attack on a humanitarian aid convoy in Aleppo province.  They were on their way to deliver assistance to 78,000 people. A health clinic was reportedly damaged in the attack. Unfortunately news reports like this are becoming more and more regular.

This conference will provide a particular insight into what is happening on the ground and outline what Global Nurses United can do to work to safeguard health facilities and health professionals providing care in conflict zones and other emergencies.”


Editor’s Note:
GLOBAL NURSES UNITED  https://www.nbnu.ca/global-nurses-united/ 

Nurses from fourteen countries gathered in June 2013 for a conference hosted by National Nurses United, the largest union of registered nurses in the United States. The nurses shared similar stories of fighting austerity, privatization of public health services, attacks on public workers, and heart breaking erosion of patient care standards and how these devastating policies are hurting their communities and impacting the health of their patients.
The result – the formation of the action oriented Global Nurses United.
Global Nurses United (GNU) provides organizations from the endorsing countries the ability to work collectively to guarantee the highest standards of universal health care, as a human right for all and to secure safe patient care, especially regarding safe nurse-patient ratios.
GNU is unified in opposition to the adverse effects of income inequality, poverty, attacks on public workers and the ravages of climate change. GNU members are strong supporters of the Millennium Development Goals but are demanding immediate action, and this means nurses need to speak up now!
The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is a founding member of the GNU.

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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:0016640600 E:inmo@inmo.ie