They have some of the most important jobs in the world. They save lives on a day to day basis, while working long hours. No, they don’t wear capes or have super powers, they hand out band-aids, administer shots and comfort the sick. I’m referring to the healthcare workers like nurses, pharmacists, midwives and doctors, that are critical to keeping our world healthy. Workers, that we don’t show enough appreciation to on a national and international level.
Statistics show we’re experiencing a shortage of more than 5 million health workers, one million of those are front-line health workers. In the third world, where well-equipped doctors and hospitals are few and far between, front-line health workers are the first and often the only, access to the health care system for millions of people. Approximately every 3 seconds, a child’s death is prevented due to care provided by a front-line health worker.WOW, right? Yet, most of these lifesaving healthcare workers might receive a hug or a thank you, but won’t receive any formal recognition.
By 2020, America will be short more than a quarter million public health workers. According to the New York Times, “The Global Health Workforce Alliance estimates that a billion people alive today will die without ever seeing a health care worker. Additionally, the W.H.O. estimates that with a ratio of less than 2.3 doctors, nurses and midwives per 1,000 people, countries are unable to provide even the most basic health services.
“Every year, awards are given to recognize the accomplishments of celebrities, actors, singers, athletes and entertainers,” said Mary Beth Powers, Campaign Chief for Save the Children’s Newborn and Child Survival Campaign. “Alongside the Oscars and Golden Globes in January, we will begin to honor a group of people who rarely receive recognition or accolades — health workers.”
The REAL Awards are a first-of-its kind global awards program to honor health workers. The awards will recognize honorees in the United States and nine other countries.
Starting Sept 23, 2013 you can visit www.theREALawards.com to read the inspirational stories of the international REAL Awards honorees and nominate a health worker in the United States. The nomination period will be followed by a public, online voting period for the US nominees and in January 2014, all REAL Awards honorees will be announced. REAL Awards trophy presentations will take place in April 2014.
The REAL Awards are sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Merck Company Foundation, Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare, and GlaxoSmithKline. Supporting partners include American College of Nurse Midwives, AWHONN, National Physician’s Alliance, The American College of Obstetricare and Gynecologists, AANP, AAOHN, American Academy of Pediatrics and the CHA.
Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and 120 countries around the world. Follow Save the Children on Twitter @SavetheChildren and on Facebook.