Nursing and midwifery in the history of the World Health Organization 1948-2017

Publication year: 2017

Every country needs a competent, motivated, well-distributed and supported health workforce. Health workers are the cornerstone of the strong, resilient health systems needed to achieve universal health coverage. These are the people who keep the world safe, improve health, and protect the vulnerable. These are the people who detect, prevent and manage health emergencies, and who promote the well-being of women, children and adolescents. Nurses and midwives are the unsung heroes of the health workforce and the backbone of primary health care systems. Making up over half of the health workforce in many countries, nurses and midwives can transform the ways health actions are organized and how health care is delivered. Over the years, nurses and midwives have contributed to major global health landmarks, like the eradication of small pox and the dramatic reductions in maternal and child mortality that have occurred in many countries. But nurses and midwives need support and they need recognition. (AU)