World Health Day 2020: History, significance and theme

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Published: April 7, 2020 12:00 PM

This year, the day holds additional significance as it has fallen between the global health emergency caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.

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World Health Day 2020: Every year on April 7, World Health Day is celebrated to spread awareness regarding health all over the world. It is held under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO). This year, the day holds additional significance as it has fallen between the global health emergency caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.

World Health Day: History and Significance

According to the WHO website, the First World Health Assembly, held in 1948, asked to create a World Health Day to raise global awareness on specific themes related to health in order to highlight an area of importance for the WHO. Therefore, since 1950, the World Health Day has been marked on April 7 every year. The WHO uses the day to mark the launch of a long-term programme, in relation to which activities are undertaken and resources are provided much beyond April 7.

World Health Day 2020: Theme

For 2020, which is the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, according to the WHO, the theme is to celebrate these key medical professionals who are often undermined. The international health agency said that in the COVID-19 response, nurses have played such an important role in providing quality care and treatment, addressing fears of patients and even collecting data for clinical studies, that without nurses, the response to the pandemic would not have been possible.

Thus, the WHO will use this year to highlight the status of nursing all over the world and will remind world leaders about the crucial role they play in order to ensure a healthy world. The tagline for this year is ‘Support Nurses and Midwives’.

In relation to this, on Tuesday the WHO released a report titled ‘State of the World’s Nursing Report – 2020’, which highlights the global nursing situation at the moment.

According to the report, 70% of the global health and social workforce is made up of women, and a considerable portion of this is represented by nurses and midwives. Further making a case to encourage investment in nursing education and jobs, the WHO report said that health for all would depend on the availability of an adequate number of nurses and midwives who are well-trained, educated, regulated and also supported. Moreover, these nurses and midwives should also receive pay and recognition in tune with the quality of care and the service provided by them.

World Health Day 2020: Wishes from leaders

On the occasion of the World Health Day, several leaders took to Twitter to greet their followers.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu took to Twitter and asked the people of India to respect the selfless work being done by the medical community. He also emphasised that any assault or attack on doctors and nurses is unacceptable.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also reached out to his followers and said that all of us should pray for the wellbeing of each other and also be grateful to the medical professionals for the strong fight they are putting up against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted that the occasion this year comes at a very difficult time and therefore we are all more grateful than ever to the health workers.

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