On 12 May, the Department of Nursing at the Faculty of Health Sciences, UM, celebrated International Nurses' Day. The Department launched the Nurses Climate Challenge and registered as a Nurse Climate Champion.
Attending the launch event, Prof. Maria Attard, Director Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, noted that she believed that this initiative was a first in that a community of academics was to be a leader in developing awareness and mobilising action regarding climate change for these professionals. It is hoped that the championing exercise of the nurse academics would be mirrored across other groups of academics from other professions.
Dr Karen Vincenti, Consultant Public Health, Ministry for Health, reminded all that climate change has been identified as the greatest threat to public health. The burning of fossil fuels for energy contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, which lead to climate change. The health care sector alone is believed to contribute almost 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to being dangerous to our environment, climate change is harmful to human health.
Mr Mario Tabone, delegate from the Directorate of Nursing Services, Government of Malta, praised the Department of Nursing for the initiative and pledged the full support.
Prof. Simone Borg, Chair of Climate Action Board (CAB), Ambassador Climate Change, congratulated the Department of Nursing for this initiative and pledged full support of CAB towards the work that the Department of Health is now committed. Prof. Borg encouraged other groups of academics to follow the example set by the nurses.
The student organisations, MHSA and KSU, attended the launch and promised their contribution in addressing the challenge which the Department of Nursing has embarked on.