gfburmamay660pxIn a surprise appearance before the 2019 Congress of the International Council of Nurses, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that investing in a stronger nursing workforce is essential for achieving universal health coverage (UHC). He proposed that “every country bring one nurse and one midwife to the World Health Assembly next year,” as part of planned celebrations of the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, saying: “The world must hear their voices and their stories.”

Health workers are not a cost, they’re “an investment that pays a triple return for health, gender equality and economic growth,” Dr Tedros said, citing the 2016 United Nations High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth.

“The world is facing a shortfall of 18 million health workers needed to achieve and sustain universal health coverage by 2030,” added the Director-General in his remarks Sunday before the Congress. Nurses and midwives make up half of this projected shortfall – a gap of 9 million professionals……more