Coronavirus: There’s a Global Shortfall of 5.9 Million Nurses, says WHO

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The World Health Organization is urging countries to create at least 6 million new nursing jobs by 2030 to offset a projected “global shortfall” as health-care workers across the world respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nursing is the largest occupational group in the health-care sector, accounting for roughly 59% of health professions, WHO says. There are just under 28 million nurses worldwide, about 5.9 million short of what the world needs to adequately care for the growing population, according to a new report published Monday from WHO, the International Council of Nurses and Nursing Now.

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The greatest deficit of nurses is in low- to low-middle income countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean region and some parts of Latin America, according to the report, which looked at 191 countries using data between 2013 and 2018.

More than 80% of the world’s nurses work in countries that account for half of the world’s population, according to the report’s findings.

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