The year 2021 has been declared the International Year of Health and Care Workers (YHCW). This is in appreciation of the commitment and dedication of all healthcare workers around the globe as they continue to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a year-long campaign. The theme of this campaign is Protect. Invest. Together and the goal is to highlight the need to invest in healthcare workers for shared dividends in health, jobs, economic opportunity and equity.
PROTECT - Healthcare workers protected us during the pandemic; we have a moral obligation to protect them. That is why vaccinating healthcare workers first is the right thing to do.
INVEST - Healthcare workers have given their all to us. And we need to invest in them - for their education, jobs and decent work environment. We also need to invest in gender equity.
TOGETHER - We can all play a role in this vision and ensure that our healthcare workers are supported, protected, motivated and equipped. Together, we can make it happen.
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The WHO is calling out to the world for additional investments in health and care workers to ensure they are supported, protected, motivated and well-equipped to deliver safe health care, not just during times of pandemic, but at all times.
Some of the key objectives of the Protect. Invest. Together. campaign are:
- Ensuring that vaccination for healthcare workers around the world is prioritised within the first 100 days of 2021.
- Recognising and commemorating healthcare workers who lost their lives during the pandemic.
- Investing in health and care workers and mobilising commitments from member states, international financing institutions, and bilateral and philanthropic partners.
- Engaging member states and stakeholders to generate dialogue and offer solutions designed to protect the rights of healthcare workers and decent work and practice environments.
- Bringing together communities, influencers, and political and social support in solidarity with health and care workers.
There is an urgent need to invest in health workers, to provide them protection and improved work conditions. There is a need for investment in their education and employment. This campaign wants to promote a shared vision for investing in health and care workers to achieve the vision of Health for All. The global community, together, can make this happen and can help realise this vision.
Image Credit: HealthManagement.org