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World Health Day

Dr Andrew Wilson

World Health Day

Dr Andrew Wilson, clinical chair of NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Tuesday (7 April) is World Health Day and is being used this year 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 the 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.

Here are some key facts about nurses and midwifes:

  • Globally, 70 per cent of the health and social care workforce are women. Nurses and midwives represent a large portion of this.
  • Nurses and midwives play a key role in caring for people everywhere, including in times of conflict and during outbreaks such as COVID-19.
  • 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.
  • Nurses and midwives have a relationship with their patients that is based on trust: knowing the full picture of someone’s health helps improve care and saves money. They also know the traditions, cultures and practices of their communities, making them indispensable during an outbreak or emergency.

Here are the five key investment areas for World Health Organisation (WHO) to achieve these goals:

  1. Accelerate investment in nursing and midwifery education
  2. Employ more specialist nurses
  3. Invest in the leadership skills of nurses and midwives
  4. Make midwives and nurses the heart of primary health care
  5. Support nurses and midwives in delivering health promotion and disease prevention.

The WHO is calling for your support on World Health Day to show your appreciation for their work and thank them for what they do to keep us healthy.