The World Health Organization (WHO) came into being when its Constitution was enacted on April 7, 1948, the anniversary of which is now celebrated as World Health Day. The purpose of World Health Day is to raise global awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for WHO.

Aptly, World Health Day 2020 celebrates nurses and midwives and the role they play in keeping the world healthy. 2020 is the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. On April 7, the WHO will launch its first State of the World’s Nursing Report 2020. This will provide a global picture of the nursing workforce and provide support for planning to optimize the contributions of nurses to improve the health for all. (A report on the state of the world’s midwives is scheduled for 2021.)

Nurses have been on the forefront of the COVID 19 response. According to the WHO, without nurses, there would be no response. Here are ways to honor nurses in our communities, on April 7, 2020 and every day:

  • Show respect and appreciation for nurses and midwives by thanking them for what they do;
  • Ask local leaders to support nurses and midwives by making investments to enable them to achieve their full potential;
  • Hold local leaders accountable to nurses and their leaders in improving health services and engaging in them in decision-making.