Tedros Adhanom, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General says more than 18 million health workers would be needed in both low-income and middle-income nations, including Nigeria.
Adhanom, in his New Year message shared on the official website of the WHO, noted that the number should be considered by the respected governments in the next decade.
He was particularly interested in health workers safety, better welfare as well as capacity building, describing these as vital to promoting health, economic growth and equality of member nations.
“With the start of a new year, let’s take a moment to thank all the brave health workers around the world. They are doing life-saving work every day including holidays when the rest of us are with our loved ones at home.
“But the world needs to do a better job in supporting our health workers, paying them, training them, and protecting them,” the WHO chief said.
“Over the next 10 years, we estimate the world will need another 18 million health workers mostly in low-income and middle-income countries.”
Describing 2020 as the year of the Nurse and the midwife, Adhanom assured the global body would encourage partners and member countries to improve the education and employment of nurses and midwives stressing that they play important roles via health services from the first moment of life to the last.
According to him, 70 per cent of the global health workforce is female, thus jobs for health workers are often jobs for women.
“Investing in health workers pays a triple dividend for health, economic growth and gender equality. And so, as one year ends, another begins, I want to express my deep gratitude to health workers everywhere.”
He paid tribute to health workers who lost their lives in 2019.
“Here is to a safer, healthier 2020 and decade of ahead,” he declared.