Zero Pride

Brazil holds the world record for deaths of nursing professionals

The country represents 30% of all deaths in the nursing sector worldwide

Translated by: Ítalo Piva

Brasil de Fato | Porto Alegre |
Brazil represents 30% of all covid-19 deaths in the nursing community worldwide - Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil

On the front-lines of the battle against covid-19, 325 nurses, technicians and nurse assistants have lost their lives working in Brazil’s healthcare system. The data was published by the Nursing Observatory, an arm of the Federal Nurses Council (COFEN), created to evaluate the impact the pandemic is having on professionals in the sector.

Brazil alone accounts for 30% of the deaths of nurses on the planet. The international organization that unites national nursing councils under one umbrella, the International Council of Nurses (ICN), confirms the numbers. The entity’s political advisor, Hoi Shan Fokeladeh says that, “with the last update of the numbers in June, we know that Brazil had the highest number of nurse deaths.”

Out of the total, 64% of victims are women, who in large part were practicing their professions. The largest number of deaths, 35.4%, occurred in the country’s southeast, where the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais are located.

The northeastern and northern regions, which have poorer populations and more precarious healthcare infrastructure, account for 27.2% and 21.5% respectively.

In Brazil, where there is an average of 2.4 nursing professional deaths every 24 hours, the Nursing Observatory shared that almost 30,000 nurses, technicians and assistants have contracted covid-19.


Around the globe, there have been more than 16 million infections, of which, 1.1 million are health professionals (which beyond nurses include doctors, therapists, pharmacists, among others). “In our investigation, we found that 7% of all those infected worldwide are healthcare workers,” says ICN political advisor Hoi Shan Fokeladeh.

Edited by: Rodrigo Durão Coelho e Katia Marko