Say thanks to health workers
This year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction focuses on “Knowledge for Life” - embracing the role of traditional, indigenous and local knowledge, that complements modern science and adds to a community’s resilience. For this International Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on people everywhere to acknowledge the importance of community health workers as part of its #ThanksHealthHero campaign.
The best formula for coping with a disaster – or preparing for one that may come – is to combine technical expertise with community knowledge.
They are the doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health workers who selflessly serve their communities, often with little access to resources and sometimes at great risk to their own lives.
This campaign pays tribute to their courage, dedication and sacrifice. Join us, between World Humanitarian Day and the World Humanitarian Summit, as we send messages of thanks to health heroes around the world using the hashtag #ThanksHealthHero.
Dr Felix Sarria Baez is one of hundreds of Cuban doctors who have supported the Ebola response in West Africa. While working there, he contracted Ebola himself. He survived and returned to Sierra Leone to further help Ebola patients.
"It’s good to come back. I needed to come back," he explained. "Ebola is a challenge that I must fight to the finish here, to keep it from spreading to the rest of the world."
Hamid Ullah works as a volunteer polio worker in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. On immunization campaign days, he eagerly sets to work with his team, walking from house-to-house to vaccinate every single child under the age of five in the area. While his teammate vaccinates children and marks their finger as evidence that they have received the vaccine, his role is to fill in the tally sheet, to record when children weren’t able to be vaccinated (so that they can be reached another time), and to mark every door. The door-marking indicates how many children were vaccinated in every home, enabling the monitors to check that no child is missed.
Having survived Ebola, Sierra Leone nurse Rebecca Johnson is not only returning to work to care for people with Ebola but spreading the word that Ebola can be beaten. "I want Ebola to finish so we can get back to normal. My country is drowning – no schools, the economy is in ruins… It’s not easy."
“It is always rewarding to visit health clinics," says epidemiologist Dr John Haskew. He is supporting the work of a mobile health clinic treating refugees and displaced persons in Jordan. "There is no better reward than seeing the results of your work directly helping people, through early detection of disease and improving the quality of clinical care provided,” he says.
Celebrating everyday humanitarians: #ThanksHealthHero
Statement by WHO Director General: WHO thanks health workers on World Humanitarian Day 2015
Note to media: World Humanitarian Day: WHO honours health workers, calls for their protection
- News releases about the World Humanitarian Summit
- Recognizing health workers on World Humanitarian Day 2011