When crises arise and survival instincts kick into overdrive, whether we admit it or not, mosts default response is flight, not fight. However, there are those select few whose instincts defy the nature of common man. Military service members, police officials, firefighters, nurses, midwives and others.
This World Health Day, everyone around the globe is invited to celebrate the work of our incredible nurses and midwives. At this very moment our health care workers are on the frontline of the Coronoavirus (COVID-19) emergency response. Everyday the brave men and women of this community are providing high highest caliber, respectful treatment and care, leading community dialogue to address fears and questions and, in some instances, collecting data for clinical studies. Frankly, without nurses, there would be no response.
“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.” - World Health Organisation.
In just a few short weeks, COVID-19 has shown us that Our medical community is undeniably unprepared for a worldwide pandemic of this magnitude, and far less, for even greater biological/medical threats.
Today, we call upon the young men and women, whose nature it’s just a little abnormal. We call on them, to join the fight, to stand with our health professionals and ensure our most essential professional is adequately staffed, skilled, foreword thinking and strong to ensure everyone can get the medical care they need.
Facts & Figures
- There is a global shortage of health workers, in particular nurses and midwives, who represent more than 50% of the current shortage in health workers.
- Nurses and midwives provide a broad range of essential health services close to the community and in all levels of health facility.
- Though there are approximately 28 million in the global nursing workforce, the world still needs 18 million professional nurses to achieve and sustain universal health coverage by 2030. Approximately half of that shortfall – 9 million health workers – are nurses and midwives.
- The Western Pacific Region has a quarter of the global workforce, around 7 million nurses. 95% of these professionals are women and 51% are below the age of 35.
- One nurse out of three (33%) in the Region is born or trained in a country other than their current country of practice.
- In 2018, the shortage of nurses in the Region was estimated to be 350,000. 89% of this shortage is concentrated in low- and lower middle-income countries.
- 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.
Get Involved. Support our Nurses & Midwives
Do your party today. Support nurses and midwives.
Say thank you. Long hours, grueling demands, limited supplies, understaffing and not nearly enough sleep. We sometimes forget that a little kindness can go a long way for someone that may be having a difficult day. Remember to be curious and respectful to your healthcare workers. Give them a smile. Ask them how their day was. Compliment them on a job well done. Now more than ever they need to know that they are important and that we appreciate all that they do.
Advocate. Though our governments are all focused on the matter at hand, let us not forget that they are here to serve those who serve us. Call upon your local leaders, businesses, and law makers to do more to protect and invest in our healthcare workers education, working conditions and rights.
Donate. This is an especially trying time for us all. Where you are able, lend a helping hand. Our healthcare workers are our first and only line of defense in crises like these. Contact your local hospitals, nurses associations and supporting agencies. Find out what they need from us. Donate what you can. Organize a fundraiser, rally the community to support these heroes.
Organize recognition awards/certificates: Organize recognition awards/certificates for midwives and nurses in your local/national healthcare facilities in appreciation of their contribution to the community.
Set up or take part in public events: Organize public events and meetings with active participation of nurses and midwives, patients, national health leaders and health sector partners. You could use an event to recognize and appreciate nurses and midwives – live on stage or through videos – encouraging nurses and midwives to tell their own stories.
Display campaign posters: Produce and display International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife posters at strategic locations – supermarkets, bus stops, schools, local health facilities, health ministry etc.
Engage local leaders and celebrities: Ask your leaders, health care leaders to promote the Year of Nurse and the Midwife in their speeches, on social media, websites, television and radio interviews.
Participate in the Health for All Film Festival: Until 30 January 2020, encourage film makers you know to submit their short films in the category dedicated to nurses and midwives in our Health for All Film Festival. Best films will be displayed at the World Health Assembly in May.
Work through the media: Getting media coverage for your activities can take our message to mass public audiences and helps to get the attention of policy-makers and politicians.
Work with artists: Approach artists to create artwork for health workers, with a focus on nursing and midwifery. Encourage theatre groups to produce plays on health workers, with emphasis on nurses and midwives.
Build and strengthen partnerships: Many voices strengthen our call. Work with organizations that share your goals and form coalitions so that there are more voices behind the celebration. Engage with nursing and midwifery groups and associations, non-governmental organizations and local health-care advocates and community leaders in your efforts.
Get active on social media: Join the drum roll and participate in our appreciation social media campaign on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Share photos and video “testimonials”—of and from nurses and midwives, patients, health leaders, influencers and advocates—explaining why this vital workforce is essential, and why we need greater investment in the health workforce.The primary hashtag that we are using is #SupportNursesAndMidwives but look out for posts using #Nurses2020 and #midwives2020 as well.
Get moving - organize your own national Walk the Talk: Walk the Talk The Health for All Challenge” promotes healthy lifestyles and highlights the need for access to health for all people around the world. We encourage you to work with local partners and organize this fun event to get people moving.
For more information, visit the World Health Organisation today.
Written by: Alissa Millett, Soulteria Founder & CEO