• AIICO Pension Blog Team

The World Health Day COVID-19 let slide


This year, the organization has chosen as its theme: “2020 International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife”. Perhaps we did not see the coronavirus pandemic coming, but this year’s theme couldn’t have been more apt. WHO said: “This World Health Day, we honour the contribution of nurses and midwives, recognizing their vital roles in keeping the world healthy. Nurses and other health workers are at the front line of COVID-19 response, putting their own health at risk to protect the broader community.



On April 7 of every year, the world celebrates World Health Day. This has been the case since the World Health Assembly ratified the day in 1948 and it took effect proper in 1950. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the World Health Day is aimed at creating awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern.


This year, the organization has chosen as its theme: “2020 International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife”. Perhaps we did not see the coronavirus pandemic coming, but this year’s theme couldn’t have been more apt. WHO said: “This World Health Day, we honour the contribution of nurses and midwives, recognizing their vital roles in keeping the world healthy. Nurses and other health workers are at the front line of the COVID-19 response, putting their own health at risk to protect the broader community.


“Comprising more than two-thirds of the health workforce in the WHO Western Pacific Region, nurses are critical in responding to health needs in all settings and across the lifespan. In the 2020 International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, the World Health Day is an opportunity to highlight the work of nurses and midwives around the world, while celebrating this workforce as one of the most valuable resources of every country.”


Since the celebration of World Health Day over 50 years ago, global health systems have never been tested the way they have been this year. This brings to the fore the emphasis the WHO has on advocating for commitment and resources to strengthen the nursing and midwifery workforce, improve their education and working conditions, and enable them to work to their full potential in this year’s commemoration.




To underscore the importance of nurses and midwives to global healthcare delivery, WHO launched the State of the World’s Nursing 2020 report, which was developed in partnership with the International Council of Nurses and the worldwide Nursing Now campaign. According to WHO, “The report provides a technical description of the nursing workforce worldwide and highlights their contribution in delivering Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.”


It is estimated that nurses and midwives account for 50% of the global healthcare workforce and they usually are the first health point of contact. While the world is being stretched to its healthcare limits by the coronavirus pandemic they have still remained at the front line and it is imperative that we pause and spare a thought for these selfless individuals. They have been exposed to the most life-threatening hazards and deprived of the comfort of being with their families.


The World Health Day would have shed a spotlight on them for one full day. Sadly, a global pandemic has taken the shine off this important day as those who it was dedicated to are back on the battle line honoring the call of duty with very little thought to the Day dedicated to then because of a health emergency never experienced in recent history. Covid-19 may have toned down the 2020 World Health Day: International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, but we still find it important to celebrate our nurses and midwives. They are appreciated now and always!



52 views