As the Taliban’s tragic takeover of Afghanistan proceeds, nurses from around the UK have shown their support for their nursing and health colleagues.
In the midst of political instability, members of the profession have asked for the “protection and support” of Afghanistan’s healthcare personnel.
“As a profession, nursing is about people and no matter how far away they may be from our shores we are compelled to act”
Meanwhile, nurses have expressed special worries about the hazards presented to women and girls, in light of the Taliban’s track record on women’s rights.
Following the withdrawal of US soldiers, Taliban insurgents have swept throughout the nation, seizing control of the country’s capital, Kabul, over the weekend.
Disturbing footage from the broader media has revealed thousands of residents attempting to flee the situation, while reports reveal cases of women being compelled to abandon their professions in order to replace males.
The Royal College of Nursing said in a statement released Tuesday evening, “The devastating situation in Afghanistan continues to leave the world in great distress and asking what more we and our political leaders can do.”
“Those working in nursing in the UK are thinking about colleagues doing similar work in unimaginably different circumstances,” it said.
The institution noted that Afghan health professionals had “had encountered a significant number of obstacles in recent years, including tremendous shortages of healthcare staff and purposeful acts of violence.”
“We expect the international community to stand with nurses in Afghanistan now, and the communities they serve too,” the RCN added.
“We call for the protection and support of this workforce as they continue to undertake their essential role”
The RCN Feminist Network and We Are Global Nurses
It emphasized that it was “dedicated to recognizing and supporting nursing professionals worldwide in their pursuit of safety, staffing, working conditions, and development.”
“As a country, we must not shirk our international humanitarian responsibilities,” it stated. “As a profession, nursing is about people, and we are obliged to intervene no matter how distant they are from our shores.”
It said the groups “stand together in solidarity with our nursing and health care colleagues in Afghanistan as they continue to provide care for their population amidst political upheaval”.
“We call for the protection and support of this workforce as they continue to undertake their essential role,” added the statement.
They went on to express their concern for Afghan residents, particularly women and girls.
“It is our job as nurses and nursing staff to speak out about human rights, and we are very worried about the threats that the present political scenario poses to some Afghan people, particularly women and girls.
“We urge all UK nursing organisations to speak up for the people of Afghanistan to have equal human rights, access to healthcare services and education.”
The groups also appealed to the UK government to “urgently provide safe routes for refugees to enter the UK and advocate for the human rights of everyone in Afghanistan”.
This morning, prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed to parliament that the government was committed to relocating 5,000 Afghans this year.
He said that, so far, the government had “secured the safe return of 306 UK nationals and 2,052 Afghan nationals”, as part of its resettlement programme focusing on “the most vulnerable, particularly women and children”.
Mr Johnson noted that a further 2,000 Afghan applications had been completed and that “many more” were being processed.
He stated that the issue will be monitored in the future, “with the potential of accommodating up to 20,000 [people] in the long run.”