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World Health Day 2020: Five Things To Know About The Day Dedicated To Global Health

At a time when the whole world is battling a pandemic - novel coronavirus, healthcare professionals are the frontline soldiers in this war and the World Health Day 2020 carries more importance than ever.

Every year, April 7 marks the World Health Day. It is celebrated with a unique theme and varied activities are organised across the globe around the same theme. The day aims at drawing everyone's attention towards global health.

The theme for World Health Day 2020 is 'Support nurses and midwives'. It is to highlight the critical role nurses and midwives play in keeping the world healthy.

Why Is World Health Day Celebrated?

The objective of the World Health Day is to raise global awareness of a specific health theme and to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organisation (WHO). The celebration is marked by activities which extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these important aspects of global health.

When Is World Health Day Celebrated?

In 1948, the WHO organised the first World Health Assembly which called for the creation of a "World Health Day". In 1950, the first World Health Day was celebrated on April 7 and since then, it is observed every year on the same day.

What Is The Theme Of The World Health Day 2020?

Over the past 50 years, WHO, through World Health Day has highlighted important health issues like mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change. The theme for World Health Day 2020 is ?Support nurses and midwives'. It is to remind world leaders of the critical role nurses and midwives play in keeping the world healthy.

What Is The Status Of Nurses And Midwifery Around The World?

- Globally, 70 per cent of the health and social workforce are women compared to 41 per cent in all employment sectors.

- Investing more in midwives, who are critical for maternal and newborn health as well as for family planning, could avert over 80 per cent of all the maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths that occur today. And when a midwife or group of midwives provides care from pregnancy to the end of the postnatal period, almost a quarter of pre-term births can be prevented.

- There is a global shortage of health workers, in particular nurses and midwives, who represent more than 50 per cent of the current shortage in health workers.

- For all countries to reach Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health and well-being, WHO estimates that the world will need an additional 9 million nurses and midwives by the year 2030.

What Is The Role Of Nurses And Midwives?

Nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and delivering primary and community care. They provide care in emergency settings and will be key to the achievement of universal health coverage.

According to WHO, achieving health for all will depend on there being sufficient numbers of well-trained and educated, regulated and well supported nurses and midwives, who receive pay and recognition commensurate with the services and quality of care that they provide.