It’s the time of year when many of us join family and friends to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. While we may focus on the achievements and successes in our own lives, we should also reflect on how far together, our world, has progressed.
The global poverty rate has been halved since 2000, with some research suggesting that someone escapes extreme poverty every 1.2 seconds. Around the world, under-five mortality rate has decreased by 56 percent and about 20 000 fewer children died every day in 2016 than in 1990. Global average life expectancy increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s.
As we reflect with gratitude on these achievements, now more than ever, we wholeheartedly thank the millions of health workers around the world who are making this progress a reality.
They are caring for our friends and family. They are delivering babies and ensuring a healthy start for new generations. They are treating the most common of illnesses and injuries. They are responding to devastating natural disasters. Health care providers, from community health workers to nurses, midwives, and physicians, are at the core of improving the well-being of individuals and building the resilience of communities around the world.
Despite their essential role, investment in the health workforce is too low. Chronic under-investment in education and training of health workers, limited opportunities for professional development, challenging working conditions, and limited resources, constrain and constrict the capacity and potential of health workers. If we are to achieve the highest attainable standard of health, investment in the health workforce and empowerment of health workers is critical.
In spite of these challenges, health workers remain dedicated to ensuring patients are getting the care they need.
So, thank you to the providers caring for our families and our communities. Thank you to the physicians, nurses, and midwives, who are overcoming obstacles and treating patients. Thank you to the health workers ensuring a healthier future for us all.