Ranjan K Baruah
(With direct inputs from WHO publication and feedback may be sent to [email protected])
Whether we do politics with COVID-19 or not but the fact remain is that all of us are worried and concerned and want to be safe from this virus. Activities starting from hand washing or using mask or even call from our Prime Minister to light candles or diyas all have corona in common. People have different opinions on different issues but no one can deny that all of us want to live. In this juncture it is most important to take care of our health and also promote others to maintain good health and remain active all day till we beat corona.
We are aware that globally 7th April is observed as World Health Day. 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. 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. Quite simply, without nurses, there would be no response. The tagline for this year’s World Health Day is: Support nurses and midwives.
Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services. These are the people who devote their lives to caring for mothers and children; giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice; looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. They are often, the first and only point of care in their communities. The world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. That’s why the World Health Assembly has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
In this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, World Health Day will highlight the current status of nursing and around the world. WHO and its partners will make a series of recommendations to strengthen of the nursing and midwifery workforce. Globally, 70% of the health and social workforce are women. Nurses and midwives represent a large portion of this while nurses and midwives play a key role in caring for people everywhere, including in times of outbreaks and settings that are fragile or in conflict.
On World Health Day, the World’s Nursing Report 2020 is going to be launched. The report will provide a global picture of the nursing workforce and support evidence-based planning to optimize the contributions of this workforce to improve health and wellbeing for all. The report will set the agenda for data collection, policy dialogue, research and advocacy, and investment in the health workforce for generations to come.
There is no doubt that achieving health for all will depend on there being sufficient numbers of well-trained and educated, regulated and adequately supported nurses and midwives, who receive pay and recognition commensurate with the services and quality of care that they provide. Investing more in midwives, who are critical for maternal and newborn health as well as for family planning, could avert over 80% of all the maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths that occur today.
Contribution of nurses and midwives are essential if we wish 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. We must show nurses and midwives our appreciation for their work and thank them for what they do to keep us healthy. Let us call on our local leaders to do more to support nurses and midwives and make investments that enable them to work to their full potential.
Many things are to be done for our nurses and midwives. They must get the space to work actively and deliver best where they can also coordinate effectively with other health professionals. They may work in government institution or private but their rights must be protected so that they can give their best. As they work with community so getting good respect and responses in community is also important for them. “Nurses and midwives are the backbone of every health system: in 2020 we’re calling on all countries to invest in nurses and midwives as part of their commitment to health for all”, stated by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO. Let us all extend our support and make sure that nurse and midwives can perform their best for ensure health care for all and at present situation let us praise them for their service in beating COVID19.