World Health Day 2020: Honoring Nurses On The Frontlines

World Health Day is always observed on April 7. This year, the day is dedicated to celebrates nurses and midwives’ role and dedication at a very particular time.

When half of humanity is confined due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each day brings sobering news of tragedy and heartache. Here again, they are in the front line for us, no matter what. 

(Source: Sunway Medical Hospital)

World Health Day 2020: Theme

The tagline of World Health Day 2020 is ‘Support nurses and midwives’. To generate attention towards their contribution during the COVID-19 outbreak, World Health Day will “highlight the current status of nursing around the world”.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, the people that comprise our best defence to contain and mitigate this epidemic also face the highest risk of becoming infected themselves

WHO also pledges to make a “series of recommendations to strengthen” the nursing and midwifery workforce.

The year 2020 has also been designated by the World Health Assembly as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Why is it celebrated

Put “quite simply”, without the aid of nurses there would have been “no response” to COVID-19 emergency or any other public health emergency.

The World Health Day is observed to celebrate the efforts put in by nurses and midwives, and “remind world leaders of the critical role [that] they play in keeping the world healthy”.

Nurses are involved in all stages of emergency management, including prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery

“Nurses and midwives are the backbone of every health system,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). There are 22 million nurses and two million midwives worldwide, accounting for half of the global health workforce and an additional nine million of them will be necessary to achieve the commitment of providing all people with access to health care by 2030.

The WHO also released a ‘State of the World’s Nursing Report 2020’ which provides the “most up-to-date evidence on and policy options for the global nursing workforce”. The report also makes the case for higher investment in nursing education, jobs and leadership.

(Source: Sunway Medical Hospital)


The current pandemic is an important reminder of the critical importance of collaboration not only within our communities but also around the world. We are truly all in this together.

Our response to the challenges we face is strengthened by our close ties both in these past exercises and in our active cooperation today to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Our nurses, doctors and other health professionals are the heroes of this crisis. So are all those who are supporting their effort, especially their families and loved ones.

So around the globe on this World Health Day, we salute their commitment and honour their courage.