Midwives recognised in 73rd WHO World Assembly opening remarks

on 20 May 2020

Midwives worldwide have been recognised for their contribution as frontline staff during the covid-19 pandemic during the opening remarks at the 73rd World Health Organization (WHO) World Health Assembly.

The opening speech, presented by WHO’s Director-General, said:

“My sisters and brothers,

As you know, this year is the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

This Assembly was intended to be a moment of recognition for the incredible contribution that nurses and midwives make every day, in every country.

The pandemic has robbed us of that opportunity. But it has only served to illustrate why nurses, midwives and all health workers are so important.

Nurses and midwives have been on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, putting themselves in harm’s way. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of humanity.

Last month, WHO published the first State of the World’s Nursing report.

It shows that the world is facing a shortfall of 6 million nurses to achieve and sustain universal health coverage.

But it also provides a roadmap for governments to invest in nursing, to fill that gap and progress towards universal health coverage. Health for all.

Now more than ever, the world needs nurses and midwives.

Please join me, wherever you are, in standing to show your appreciation for these true health heroes.”

The full opening speech from the 73rd World Health Assembly can be found on the World Health Organization’s website here.