World Health Day: Health workers battling COVID-19 should be protected – WHO

FILE PHOTO: Nurses used to illustrate a story

Tuesday is World Health Day. The Day is being commemorated at a time the world is at war with a deadly virus.

However, developed and developing countries are facing the same enemy which knows no boundaries or skin colour.

Since COVID-19 – a rare strain of coronavirus – broke out last December in China, human daily activities have been put on hold across the globe. There have been over a million infections while tens of thousands have died.

Health workers are the frontline soldiers of this historic battle.

As they put their lives on the line to save others, many have died and thousands have tested positive to the infection.

The World Health Day 2020 carries a more important task of not just celebrating and acknowledging the contributions of doctors, nurses and other health workers, it presents an opportunity to push their safety and protection to the front burner, several health authorities say.

A global shortage of protective equipment has added to the huge toll on the physical and mental wellbeing of health workers waging the war against COVID-19.

Nigerian Doctors Celebrate Nurses and Midwives

The tagline of World Health Day 2020 is ‘Support nurses and midwives’.

In line with the theme, Francis Faduyile, the president of Nigeria’s Medical Association (NMA), in a statement on Tuesday acknowledged the enormous contributions of nurses and midwives in the health sector of the country.

“Nurses and midwives sometimes work under intense pressure, high workload and very inhumane conditions, especially in fragile health systems. These circumstances may expose them to dangerous health risks and even death while saving others’ lives,” he said.

The NMA president said the association is particularly concerned about the hazards healthcare professionals, including nurses working at the frontlines of the war against COVID-19, face.

He urged the government to “do all it takes to ensure a healthy working environment” by providing protection, insurance and safety for all medical staff.

World Health Day: Eulogising ‘Heroic’ Health Workers

In a virtual press conference, World Health Organisation’s director-general, Tedros Ghebreyesus, also eulogised all categories of health workers for their ‘heroics’ during the pandemic.

He said Worth Health Day, which is celebrated each year on the World Health Organization’s founding day, is usually one of the group’s biggest days of the year, but this year, the day is being overshadowed by the coronavirus.

“The 2020 Worth Health Day was supposed to be the main event in our assembly in May. Unfortunately, we are in this situation,” he said.

The WHO began observing the World Health Day on April 7, 1950 after the need for a World Health Day was discussed in the First Health Assembly in 1948. Now, every World Health Day focuses on a certain key area in the healthcare system and aims to develop it.

Through this initiative, significant growth has been brought to the fields of “mental health, maternal and child care and climate change.”

To generate attention towards their contribution during the COVID-19 outbreak, the World Health Day this year highlights the current status of nursing around the world.


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