Today marks World Health Day 2020, and the WHO have chosen to focus this year’s campaign around the valuable work of nurses and midwives. These extraordinary people play a crucial role in keeping the world healthy, and currently, with their work being at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, they are more critical than ever.
Without nurses and midwives, Dulas’s vaccination work would come to a standstill. We’ve provided immunisation and blood storage facilities to 37 nations, most of which are in the hardest to reach territories on earth. But without those selfless individuals at the other end, managing healthcare in often-isolated spots at the epicentres of disease outbreaks and war, communities would not be immunised and basic healthcare could not be provided.
Beyond immunisation programmes, and beyond saving lives in situations such as childbirth complications, nurses play a pivotal role in helping their villages and towns to thrive. Nurses have also contributed to slashing the mortality rates of children under five by 50% since 1985. By protecting the health of their localities in this way, healthcare workers also facilitate stronger, more economically viable communities.
The WHO also estimates that between 75-95% of developing nation healthcare providers are female, so by protecting healthcare provision to any given place, women are empowered into the workforce, into roles that are skilled and significant.
We see impacts all the time of the tireless work of nurses on the frontline of healthcare delivery. Maternal deaths are high in places like Nigeria, India and the DRC, but by working with professionals in these territories, we’ve been able to help lower these rates by providing blood storage and power sources for light. These two simple provisions enable nurses and midwives to stop unnecessary deaths occurring, and it’s vital that charitable bodies and governments continue to fund such humanitarian causes.
It’s clear too that nurses are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 response. Thousands of nurses have posted selfies to social media to show the impact of their working day. We’ve all seen the images of these healthcare professionals with faces bruised and pinched from wearing facemasks through 13-hour shifts. Over the past week in the UK, we’ve seen the Clap for Carers movements sweep the nation. This initiative sees people stand on their doorsteps to applaud the NHS for its great work throughout this crisis. This unified display of appreciation demonstrates the gratitude of the British public, however the harsh reality is that effective public health policies and resources are what really make the difference.
On World Health Day, we wholeheartedly support the WHO’s campaign goals and believe that we can all make a difference by:
1) Showing our appreciation by thanking nurses and midwives for the work that they do to keep us healthy.
2) Calling on our local leaders to do more to support nurses and midwives. Ask these leaders to make investments to enable them to work to their full potential.
We are proud to work with these incredible people, day in, day out, all across the globe. Our nurse and midwife associates are the unsung heroes of the Dulas family, and we are thrilled to salute them this World Health Day.
To the nurses and midwives!