April 3, 2024

World Health Worker Day 2024: Honour our daily heroes together 

In the 1st week of April each year, the global community comes together to celebrate health workers, the backbone of the health industry and society. 

This year, the theme is #SafeSupportedHealthWorkers. The Frontline Health Workers Coalition and its partners are leading the effort. The goal is to unite advocates, health workers, leaders, and communities worldwide to call for investment, protection, and support for the health workforce. This is especially important in low—and middle-income countries. 

Let’s look at this year’s key messages: 

  1. Investing in #SafeSupportedHealthWorkers has the potential to save millions of lives. 

Expanding primary care has the potential to save 60 million lives, increase life expectancy by 3.7 years, and promote health equity(1). However, a more robust health workforce is needed to provide services to communities around the world. 

2. We need increased and more targeted advocacy to ensure every community has access to #SafeSupportedHealthWorkers to provide access to primary health care and to prevent the spread of emerging health threats. 

  1. Increased investment in #SafeSupportedHealthWorkers is crucial for achieving SDG3 (Sustainable Development Goal – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages). 

With at least half of people around the world still lacking access to essential health services—including maternal care, HIV treatment, family planning, and vaccines, the rising tide of non-communicable diseases and the ongoing threats of emerging diseases and climate change, building a robust health workforce must be a priority from the global to community level(2)

  1. #SafeSupportedHealthWorkers are the backbone of high-performing and resilient health systems, making them an essential investment for achieving global health and development goals. 

Health workers are crucial for expanding services, preventing diseases, and supporting economies. Therefore, they should be well-trained, supervised, and compensated. 

  1. Many health professionals feel unsafe and do not receive support, respect, and the appropriate working environments they need, leading to a lack of skills development and demotivation.  

Despite a surplus of unemployed health workers in several low- and middle-income countries, many countries need help to meet the international minimum target of health workers per population. The WHO projects a global shortage of 10 million employed health workers by 2030(3)

At OUCRU, healthcare workers have been a cornerstone of our public and community engagement approach. To amplifying World Healthcare Workers Week’s messages this year, we initiated a series of activities to celebrate their dedication and resilience while raising awareness and appreciation from the wider public. 

We ran a small campaign to spotlight healthcare workers’ personal stories and experiences around OUCRU and our partnered network. These short videos served to give the public a view into the daily lives and challenges these frontline heroes face. [videos are available soon]

Besides raising awareness, one of OUCRU’s Public and Community Engagement core programmes is building capacity for healthcare workers, improving their work experience and professional opportunities, and ultimately aiming for a better comprehensive care system around and beyond the hospital. We have developed a series of online workshops and essential resources aimed at trainers and healthcare workers, as well as implement pilot initiatives around hospitals to prioritise their health and well-being. 

Capacity Strengthening for frontline vaccine workers to improve the local vaccine uptake
Read more

Online and in-person Training
Watch here

CONNECT, the resources and training hub for HCWs on The Global Health Network

Engage with healthcare workers and in hospitals
Read more

By focusing on the professional development and safety of healthcare workers, OUCRU emphasises our commitment to our vision of local research and global impact and empowering healthcare workers to continue and flourish their life-saving work with confidence and resilience. 


(1) https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/primary-health-care

(2) https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240004276

(3) https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/health-and-care-workers–protect-invest-together

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