World Health Organization – 2021: Year of the Health and Care Workers

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2021 the year of the health and care workers in appreciation and gratitude for their unwavering dedication in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. This year-long campaign is under the theme – Protect. Invest. Together.  It highlights the urgent need to invest in health workers for shared dividends in health, jobs, economic opportunity and equity.
This year, they are calling for everyone’s support and action to ensure that our health and care workforces are supported, protected, motivated and equipped to deliver safe health care at all times, not only during Covid-19. They ask that you add your voice to those calling for additional investments in health and care workers, including:

  • Ensure the world’s health and care workers are prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Recognize and commemorate all health and care workers who have lost their lives during the pandemic.
  • Mobilize commitments from Member States, International Financing Institutions, bilateral and philanthropic partners to protect and invest in health and care workers to accelerate the attainment of the SDGs and Covid-19 recovery.
  • Engage Member States and all relevant stakeholders in dialogue on a care compact to protect health and care workers’ rights, decent work and practice environments.
  • Bring together communities, influencers, political and social support in solidarity, advocacy and care for health and care workers.

The world is facing a global shortage of health workers. We must invest in education, jobs and decent work to protect the world from disease and achieve universal health coverage.

Globally, 70% of the health and social workforce are women. Nurses and midwives represent a large portion of this. We need to invest in gender equity.

SOURCE: World Health Organization, 2021