Introduction to the April 4 blog

I continue to struggle witnessing the atrocities committed in Ukraine and thinking about the more than 10 million Ukrainians who have been displaced internally or who have become refugees across borders.

I also think about the tragedies not profiled by our media that remain largely ignored. For example, about 30 million people are experiencing alarming hunger, severe levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in north-eastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. As reported by Oxfam, 10 million of them are facing emergency and famine conditions. These are just four of the many countries that are facing high levels of food insecurity this year. In Malawi, Sudan, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo or Syria millions of people do not have enough food to feed their families. The situation in some of these countries could worsen if the international community does not address urgent needs and resolve the root causes, including wars, poverty, and climate change.

COVID has been an enormous scourge on our physical and mental health, as well as a huge blow to our economic security in affluent countries such as Canada. Imagine what COVID has brought to poor countries that do not have the resources or the healthcare systems to cope with such emergencies. These are countries, such as many in Sub-Saharan Africa, where our actions – yes, Canadian policies – have disallowed them from accessing COVID-19 vaccines, as we have reported earlier in this blog.

Our collective work to achieve a just and lasting peace everywhere, climate action, and shared and equitable prosperity and wellbeing, remains the only path to reach health-for-all.  

On a separate and sad note, RNAO joins with a broken heart the loss of long time RNAO member and Faith Community Nursing Interest Group (FCNIG) Mary Lynch who passed away suddenly on March 8. Speaking with Mary’s husband, Gerry, was a blessing as we shared the many beautiful memories about his dear spouse.

Mary was FCNIG’s president for two years, membership executive network officer for six years and most recently held the region 8 representative position for the interest group. She was a nurses' nurse, and one of the kindest persons I know. Mary will be sorely missed at our Assembly, QPD and AGMs. We are grateful for Mary’s incredible contributions to the profession and mourn the loss of a friend and colleague.