BIREME Bulletin n¬į 43

World Health Day 2020: Support nurses and midwives

World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7, to commemorate the founding of the World Health Organization and to raise awareness of health-related issues. The theme of this year’s celebration is nursing professionals and all health teams, for their heroic dedication and sacrifice in the global fight to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Therefore, it is of fundamental importance on this date, to recognize, value, respect, and celebrate the work of doctors, intensivists, paramedics, pharmacists, technicians and all health professionals on the front line of health care to Covid-19 patients.

It is important to note that 2020 has been designated as the International Year of Nursing and Midwifery Personnel, which is why World Health Day focuses on the current situation and recommendations aimed at strengthening this professional category. This is critical to achieving national and global goals for universal health coverage, maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases, including mental health, emergency preparedness and response, patient safety and the delivery of integrated, people-centered care, amongst others.

dia-mundial_enThe Region of the Americas has some 9 million practitioners in the nursing profession, 4.5 million of whom are university-trained nurses, 87% of them women. Nurses and midwives account for more than 50% of the health workforce and are essential to the delivery of health services at the first level of care. The greatest challenges are adopting effective national and regional policies that include adequate investment to tackle the shortage of human resources, expand the role of nurses, and regulate and improve their working conditions.

BIREME, in the framework of its mission to democratize access to information, knowledge and evidence in health, contributes extensively to these global and regional campaigns, placing in the hands of nursing professionals high quality scientific literature and nursing techniques, selected and available in the Virtual Health Library ‚Äď VHL Nursing. The VHL has the objective of selecting, organizing and disseminating the best scientific output in the area, in order to facilitate the access to the best scientific evidence for professionals, students and decision makers in nursing.

Besides the VHL, BIREME has developed other products and services aimed at a wider audience, but which are also very useful for nursing professionals. Among them are VHL Primary Health Care, e-BlueInfo and MyVHL.


Links of interest

Pan American Health Organization. Nurses and midwives: Leading the way to Universal Health. Available from:

World Health Organization World Health Day 2020: Support nurses and midwives. Available from:

International VHL Nursing:

Nursing Now:

Nursing Now Brasil:

Nursing Now. Who we are:

World Health Organization: Year of Nursing and Midwifery Professionals. Key messages: Available from:

Pan American Health Organization: 2020 marks the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife: Available from:


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