April 7th is recognized as World Health Day, a global awareness day sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO). This dedicated day of awareness allows an opportunity to recognize important and current health issues including topics such as mental health, global access to healthcare, the impact of climate change on our health, and more. For 2020, the World Health Organization recognizes the critical role that all nurses and midwives play in keeping the world a safe and healthy place. It is especially important for us to recognize these heroes for the role they play in the current global pandemic that is COVID-19. As the world has collectively learned, our nurses and health care workers are fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic. Nurses play a pivotal role in a number of ways which include “providing high quality, respectful treatment and care, leading community dialogue to address fears and questions and, in some instances, collecting data for clinical studies (WHO).” At the core, nurses and midwives are the heart and soul of our healthcare system. They form relationships based on trust, which can lead to a better understanding of the patient’s health situation – ultimately allowing for improved care and a reduction in cost. On this World Health Day, the World Health Organization will be focusing their efforts on raising awareness and making recommendations to the global community on ways to strengthen and encourage our nursing and midwife workforce.
What You Can Do
In the wake of this public health emergency, it is the perfect time to show our appreciation for the selfless job that nurses and midwives do. Below are some of the ways that we, as individuals, can show our support during this crisis.
• Donate any supplies you may have – gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, etc. There are many healthcare facilities that do not currently have adequate supplies.
• Follow CDC guidelines about social distancing and frequent hand washing in order to reduce transmission of the virus.
• STAY HOME!!
• Donate money on Venmo or PayPal to help a nurse or midwife as they continue to care for our loved ones.
• Offer childcare services to healthcare workers in need.
• Arrange delivery or take out for a hospital unit (be sure to check ahead on this one as rules and restrictions will vary).
• Recognize them in a social media post – sometimes just getting proper recognition can go a long way.
• Drop off groceries and other essential supplies to those healthcare workers who need it.
• Call ahead before going to the doctor – this helps reduce the amount of people who need to be seen and allows medical staff to focus on the most serious situations.
• Donate blood
• Thank a nurse for their bravery, service, and commitment.
As the lifeline of our healthcare systems, nurses and midwives’ well-being directly affects other global health issues. These issues include universal health coverage for all, children’s health, infectious disease control, emergency preparedness response, and so much more. If nurses and midwives can work to their maximum potential – allowing them to represent a leadership role in their communities – then we can lay a fantastic groundwork for global standardized care. Key issues that are being addressed in response to this goal include creating a safe environment for nurses to work in, as well as solidifying deserved professional respect from their medical colleagues and patients. “By developing nursing and midwifery, countries can achieve the triple impact of improving health, promoting gender equality, and supporting economic growth (WHO).” Let’s collectively do everything we can to recognize these selfless heroes while working to strengthen and support the nursing and midwife community.
For more information about advocacy efforts for nurses and midwives, please visit the World Health Organization website here.
For the latest news regarding COVID-19, click here.