Date Published: 7 April 2020

World Health Day 2020: Support Nurses and Midwives

Support nurses and midwives is the tagline for World Health Day 2020.

7th April is World Health Day. This year it is receiving attention in the context of widespread appreciation for people who provide healthcare while there is so much concern about coronavirus (COVID-19).

The purpose of World Health Day, which has been celebrated since 19501, is to draw worldwide attention to the subject of health and increase awareness of a specific subject considered important for global health. Sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) together with other groups, World Health Day is one of eight offical global health campaigns promoted by WHO1,2.

The WHO has announced3 that:

" In this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, World Health Day will highlight the current status of nursing and [midwifery] around the world. WHO and its partners will make a series of recommendations to strengthen of the nursing and midwifery workforce. "

WHO stated that today (7 April 2020) is the day to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives and to remind world leaders of the important roles performed by these professionals to keep populations healthy, pointing out that nurses and other health workers are currently at the forefront of COVID-19 response. WHO states that it is vital to strengthen the global nursing and midwifery workforce in order to achieve targets for 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.

The WHO has launched the first ever State of the World's Nursing Report. The State of the World's Nursing Report 2020 gives a worldwide perspective of the nursing workforce. It sets an agenda for data collection, policy dialogue, research and advocacy, and investment in the health workforce for generations to come. A similar report on the Midwifery workforce will be launched in 2021. The full Nursing Report is now available in English together with Executive summaries in all 6 official languages4. Availability of the full report in the other languages is schedued for May 2020.

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