The World Health Assembly has designated 2020 as Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
We ask that you join us in rnarking this comrnemoration by including a mention in your New Year address. We hope that you will also take the opportunity to help us celebrate the important work of nurses and midwives throughout 2020.
The world's 22 million nurses and 2 million midwives make up half of the global health workforce — providing vital health care everywhere. They have been doing this for generations: midwifery is one of the world's earliest professions, and in 2020 we mark the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
It is therefore an opportune time to recognize the critical contributions of both professions to global health. It is time, therefore, to recognize the critical contribution both professions make to global health, and to highlight the urgent need for increased investment, training and support. If the world is to achieve the Sustainable Developrnent Goals and the target of universal health coverage by the 2030 deadline, national governments must scale up investment in rnidwives and nurses.
By developing nursing and midwifery leadership and technologies, countries can help ensure unimpeded access to high-quality and cost-effective health care, while also investing in future economic and social prosperity.
cc: Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations at Geneva
Together, we will be recognizing the millions of caring, skilled and inspirational midwives and nurses around the world — and highlighting their work to ensure that they get the support they need to have an even greater impact In the years to come.
We look forward to hearing from you on your planned activities for the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. On behalf of nurses and midwives everywhere, we thank you for your support of this initiative.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurance of our highest consideration.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Annette Kennedy — Director-General President, International World Health Organization (WHO) Council of Nurses (ICN)
Lord Crisp and Professor Sheila Natalia Kanem Tlou Executive Director, United Co-Chairs Nations Population Fund Nursing Now (NN) (UNFPA)
Franka Cadee President, International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)
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