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World Health Day 2020. Thank you!

6 April 2020 by Sharon McGowan

Now, more than ever, we are watching our health system and waiting to see how it will cope in the coming days, weeks and months.


At the heart of the COVID-19 crisis are the people. The patients, nurses, doctors and other health workers who are testing, treating and caring for us during this time.


World Health Day offers a timely reminder to say thank you to our health workers.

2020 is the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and right now we are reminded that nurses are critical to keep the health system running and provide the necessary support for patients.


So, how can we support our nurses and other health workers during this time?


Importantly, if we look after ourselves, reduce opportunities for the virus to spread and manage existing conditions, we can relieve the pressure on our health workers and the health system. Of course, for any emergencies it is still essential to call triple zero (000).


First, there are simple tips to help stop the spread and stay healthy:

  • Stay at home as much as possible to stay safe

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often

  • Practice social distancing (at least 1.5m between people)

  • Cough or sneeze into your arm.


Second, it is important to manage any existing chronic conditions in accordance with medical advice. This includes keeping in touch with your medical team through appointments or Telehealth consultations and following up necessary tests and medication.


Our helplines have specially trained staff on hand to answer any questions about COVID-19 and chronic conditions.

  • Kidney Helpline 1800 454 363

  • StrokeLine 1800 787 653

  • Cancer Council 13 11 20

  • Heart Foundation Helpline 13 11 12

  • Diabetes NDSS Helpline 1800 637 700


Finally, we can still keep healthy while social distancing by eating well, keeping physically and mentally active, drinking alcohol in moderation only, and finding ways to connect with family and friends through online catch ups, and good old fashioned letter writing.


Sharon McGowan is Chair of the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance @ACDPAlliance and CEO of Stroke Foundation

More information about chronic disease and COVID-19.

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