Nursing the world to health: WHO pays tribute to nurses, health professionals

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Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) paid tribute to nurses and all health professionals on the International Nurses Day.

"Happy International Nurses Day for tomorrow! And of course we should pay tribute to our nurses and all health professionals every single day, but at the same time, tomorrow is a very, very important day and we have to celebrate our nurses," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference in Geneva on Monday, Xinhua reported.

"As you know, during the COVID-19, they're in the front line and they're risking their lives to save others, but not only during COVID-19," he said, adding that "nurses are a bridge between the health system and the community and they have been doing so ever since the nursing profession actually started."

"So... our greatest respect and appreciation from WHO to all nurses," said the WHO chief.

Tedros said that due to the ongoing pandemic and also the consensus from the nursing associations and the midwives' associations, the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020 would be postponed to 2021. Further more, he said the consensus was to have "the 2020 as the Decade of the Nurse and the Midwife."

"The celebration is not just a celebration for the sake of celebration. It's not just to pay tribute to them; it's also to recognize their important role in achieving universal health coverage and to use nurses, midwives and other frontline health workers to achieve universal health coverage," he noted.

According to the WHO, the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife shall symbolize a year-long effort to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives, highlight the challenging conditions they often face, and advocate for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce.

The International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12 every year. The theme for this year is Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Nursing the World to Health.

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