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7 Apr


World Health Day sits differently, this year, seeing as the world is still in the middle of fighting a pandemic that has changed our lives forever. Right at the forefront of that fight are health workers – a key part of whom are nurses and midwives, keeping others alive and healthy, while putting their own lives at risk. This daily sacrifice deserves immense honour, and the World Health Organisation couldn’t agree more.

“7 April 2020 is the day to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives and remind world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy,” says the WHO. “Nurses and other health workers are at the forefront of COVID-19 response – providing high quality, respectful treatment and care, leading community dialogue to address fears and questions and, in some instances, collecting data for clinical studies.”

This year (International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife), WHO, alongside its partners, aim to highlight the current status of nursing and around the world, ultimately making recommendations on how to strengthen of the nursing and midwifery workforce. “This will be vital if we are to achieve national and global targets related to universal health coverage, maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases including mental health, emergency preparedness and response, patient safety and the delivery of integrated, people-centered care, amongst others.”

Around the world, 70% of the health and social workforce are women and nurses and midwives represent a large portion of that number. Official statistics also show that midwifery, where care includes proven interventions for maternal and newborn health as well as for family planning, could avert over 80% of all maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths.

The tagline for World Health Day 2020 is: Support nurses and midwives. Show your support on social media today for these amazing health workers, using the hashtag #ThanksHealthHeroes!

Kunmi Odueke
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