The world is more deeply grateful than ever to its healthcare workers, said United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, during events to mark World Health Day. This year, the day fell on 7 April, coming at a particularly relevant time, with the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ongoing.
“World Health Day this year comes at a very difficult time for all of us,” Guterres said, “My message today is to our health care workers who work, day and night to keep us safe.”
Healthcare workers work round the clock, putting themselves at risk, to fight the ravages of the pandemic, he added.
Guterres also said, “2020 is the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, to recognise their specific expertise and commitment.”
“We have all had reason to give thanks for the care and professionalism of nurses and midwives. I know I do. Nurses shoulder some of the biggest healthcare burdens,” Guterres said, “They perform difficult work and endure long hours, while risking injury, infection and the mental health burden that accompanies such traumatic work.”
Midwives provide comfort at the beginning of life, he said, adding that during a pandemic, their work is even more challenging, as they bring newborns safely into this world.