Salute to healthcare workers on World Health Day

Muscat: Thousands of healthcare workers, doctors, nurses and paramedics are all out there dutiful 24X7 taking part in the battle against the pandemic on this World Health Day which falls on April 7 every year.

Nurses and midwives are the people who devote their lives to caring for mothers and children; giving lifesaving immunisations and health advice; looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. They are often, the first and only point of care in their communities. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.

In this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, World Health Day (April 7) WHO celebrates the work of nurses and midwives and remind world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy especially at a time like this.

“Around the world nurses are demonstrating their compassion, bravery and skills as they respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. In this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, World Health Day, we celebrate the work of nurses and midwives and remind world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy,” said the WHO Representative to the Sultanate.

According to the annual report released by the Ministry of Health, there are nearly 9,000 doctors, about 20,000 nurses and nearly 2,500 pharmacists working in Oman’s healthcare sector. As many as 266 government health clinics and 1,000 private clinics are operating in the country.

In order to be truthful to their profession, these medical practitioners sacrifice a lot of things which a commoner can’t even imagine.

“Yes, we do sacrifice a lot in life wherever in the world we are. We know it for sure that in service to humanity, we need to let go so many things,” Dr Benny Panakkal, Medical Director, Badr al Samaa.

“Health is everyone’s responsibility,” says Salu Jose, Academic Coordinator of  Mental Health Nursing programme, Higher Institute of health Specialties.

“The potential risks healthcare workers are facing are numerous. Compared to many professions healthcare workers’ sacrifices are high in magnitude. This includes the long years of study, nature of work, life-long learning, potential health hazards they face at work, emotional stress, burnouts (especially health workers in critical care areas) make them heroes,” adds Salu.

The first report titled ‘State of the World’s Nursing Report’ by WHO and Partners Nursing Now and the International Council of Nurses highlights the status of nursing around the world (with regional and country data) and makes a series of recommendations to strengthen the nursing and midwifery workforce – a need that is being starkly highlighted by the current Covid-19 pandemic.

The report provides an in-depth look at the largest component of the health workforce and identifies important gaps and priority areas for investment to strengthen nursing around the world.

With this in mind, the World Health Assembly has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.