World Health Day commemorated [DailyTimes] 08 Apr, 2020

The April 7 is celebrated as the World Health Day to celebrate the birth of the World Health Organization (WHO), while the year 2020 has been declared as the “Year of the Nurse and the Midwives” and World Health Day this year is dedicated to the same theme.The WHO’s statement reads that nurses and Midwives have a crucial role to play in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring that “no one is left behind”. We want to highlight their commitment and the hard work they do to make our world healthier, safer and better.It added that commitment is clearer than ever at the moment, as the world faces the devastating threat of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Health workers, including nurses and midwives, are working tirelessly day and night to care for patients and save their lives. In fighting COVID-19, they are risking their own health and even their lives. Not only might they become infected with the disease themselves, but they also face distress, fatigue and burnout because of the long hours they work, and some may also face stigma and violence. So it is more important than ever that we pay tribute to nurses, midwives and other health workers, and do everything we can to keep them safe and secure.In his message on the occasion, Dr Palitha Mahipala, the WHO Representative in Pakistan emphasized that hospitals are run by nurses not by doctors, unfortunately there is acute shortage of nurses and midwives in Pakistan, we have density of nurses and midwives of 0.49 per 1,000 population compared to recommended threshold of 3.28 Nurses and midwives / 1,000 population.Dr Mahipla, emphasised that in order to achieve the target of Universal Health Coverage we have to double production of nurses and midwives, with enhanced quality of professional education. He highlighted that WHO has launched the first-ever “State of the World’s Nursing” report in 2020, prior to the 73rd World Health Assembly. The report will describe the nursing workforce in WHO Member States, providing an assessment of “fitness for purpose” relative to GPW13 targets and achievement of UHC & SDGs. He informed that Ministry of National health Services Regulation & Coordination (MoNHSR&C) has ambitious plans for Nursing & Midwifery and WHO will support every step of this initiative through our technical experts in the areas of; 1) enhancing health workforce production and retention, 2) Improved nursing education and leadership capacities, 3) Strengthening health workforce Information System and health workforce observatory for nursing, 4) Strengthening the regulation of health workforce practice and education. Dr Mahipala also visited Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Islamabad on World Health Day and Handed over scrub dresses to Executive Director PIMS & Chief Nursing Superintendent for Nurses and Midwives. In the end, Dr Palitha emphasized that the WHO pays tribute to health workers being on the frontline in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

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