Today is World Health Day, and while in the midst of the COVID-19 global health crisis it seems an appropriate time to reflect and celebrate not only those working on the frontlines to fight the virus but also those who continue to work to uphold global health and well-being. This year the focus of World Health Day is in celebrating the work of nurses and midwives around the world.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and its partners will make a series of recommendations to strengthen nursing worldwide which will be vital in achieving universal health targets. In Aotearoa, we are today approaching the end of our second week in level four lockdown. While such restrictive measures will be stressful and challenging for some, it is one of the best and most selfless thing we can do to keep ourselves and our whānau safe and healthy.
As people navigate the grief and stress related to COVID-19, the work of social workers will be critical in providing expert support and advice. ANZASW would today like to recognise the work of health social workers. As part of an essential service, these social workers often work alongside nurses and midwives and other health professionals as part of inter-, multi- and trans- disciplinary teams. Partnerships with DHBs and other health professionals see health social workers play a key role in identifying and working with systemic issues which impact the ability of patients and their whānau to maintain their best health. ANZASW would also like to extend our support to all health professionals working to overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19.
Also of note, the Government last week announced its plan to support Māori communities and businesses in response to COVID-19. The response focuses on providing health, social and economic support targeted at the specific needs of Māori. Te Puni Kōkiri will provide support, resources and information for whānau, hapū and iwi during this time. This will include providing infrastructure and technology that may be required as well as helping to facilitate health services that are specific to Māori needs.
Once again, ANZASW would like to extend its warmest thoughts and support on World Health Day to all those caring for our communities.