Nurses and midwives stand in solidarity with vulnerable nations tackling COVID-19
Australians know all too well that the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be over for anyone until it’s over for everyone. With countries in our region struggling to cope, the time is now to pledge support to the most vulnerable.
Together with high profile supporters, from former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, to epidemiologists, CEOs, and our favourite celebrities, nurses and midwives are asking Australians to pledge to support our neighbouring vulnerable nations who are battling COVID-19 with weaker health systems.
Wednesday 19th August marks World Humanitarian Day, and will see more familiar faces join the ‘End COVID For All’ movement. Australians including Carrie Bickmore, Sammy J, Adam Liaw, Dr. Susan Carland, Mel Doyle, and Benjamin Law will voice their support and ask fans to join them in signing the ‘End COVID for All’ pledge.
Former Australian of the Year, esteemed epidemiologist and UNICEF Australia Ambassador Professor Fiona Stanley said that though the pandemic has affected us all, it has not affected us all equally. “In Australia we have been very fortunate to battle COVID-19 with a strong health and social support system,” Fiona said.
“Australians know that we have a long road ahead to overcome this pandemic, but while our borders are closed, our hearts are not. While we face our own challenges at home, we can still offer critical support to those who are far less equipped to deal with this crisis,” she said.
Already over 150 organisations and over thirteen thousand Australians have ‘signed the pledge’ to stand in solidarity with our neighbours and to encourage the Australian government to continue to provide vital support to developing nations through this crisis.
It comes as close neighbours like Indonesia and India struggle to contain the virus, with the outbreak in India now the fastest growing in the world, with around 60,000 cases being reported each day.
Many of our close neighbours such as Papua New Guinea have no running water for thousands of school children to wash their hands. In Timor-Leste, there are only five ICU beds for the whole population and 70% of health posts lack access to running water. Meanwhile, in the world’s largest refugee settlement, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 40,000 refugees live in each square kilometre, meaning social distancing is near impossible.
NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association General Secretary Brett Holmes was keen to support the initiative.
“As health advocates, we recognise the importance of a collaborative approach towards tackling the COVID-19 pandemic globally”, Mr Holmes said.
“We have a duty of care in our communities, but we are also compelled to assist countries less fortunate than ours in facing this insidious disease and flattening the curve worldwide. We stand in solidarity with likeminded organisations in supporting the #EndCOVIDForAll campaign.”