Today, April 7, is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) birthday. Since 1948, when the organization first came into being, it has marked this day as World Health Day. Rightly, the day has been cause for celebration of the many advances the world has made in global health.
This year, as we face the most severe health crisis of our time, with so many losing family members and friends to COVID-19, celebration hardly seems appropriate. But perhaps there has never been a more important time to acknowledge, and yes, celebrate — the many health care workers here and around the world who are fighting day and night to keep the rest of us safe by providing essential nursing and hospital services so desperately needed at this time.
Our community’s health care workers are facing extraordinary challenges and doing all they can do to slow and stop the spread of the coronavirus. Many have fallen ill themselves, and some have sacrificed their own lives while caring for others.
So in this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, please take a moment to thank the real heroes of this fight, the health care workers you have known, for everything they do, and for the risks they continue to take. The WHO invites you to send your short message of support to nurses, midwives and health workers around the world.