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5 ways you can honor a health worker

Friday 25 April 2014

1. Share inspiring stories of health workers in your area.

Let your community know just how valuable this person is. Pitch a story about one or more local health workers, or submit a letter to the editor to local media outlets. The media can help get health workers’ stories out to a wide audience, including decision-makers and influencers, so that everyone knows about the important role of these community heroes. Also, you can write a letter to the Ministry of Health or other appropriate government agency to remind them of the crucial role health workers play in the lives of their community, and how important it is to provide training and support they need to continue to do their jobs. Sharing the specific story of how a health worker helped a local family can be quite moving and powerful.

2. Pick a day to encourage the giving of simple gifts.

Just imagine how powerful it would be if all the health workers in your area were thanked with a flower, card, homemade meal, or cup of coffee on a specific day. For that one day, it would truly feel the whole community was showing appreciation for all of their hard work. Talk to partner organizations about identifying an appropriate gesture that would be meaningful to health workers in your community and get the word out. You may even want to ask local businesses if they would like to help support this one-day effort by offering discounts or prizes to health workers.

3. Present an award.

Work with partner organizations, supporters, friends, and family to honor a few truly inspiring health workers in your area with an award. Whether it’s a simple certificate that they can hang in their home or office, or a more elaborate trophy, either one can be empowering. You can invite a notable person from the Ministry of Health, or other government official, to help in the presentation. This would also be something of interest to the media, so be sure to invite local journalists. Ask the health workers to invite their family and friends, too, so that everyone can join in the celebration.

4. Get the community involved.

From infants to elders, everyone depends on the help of health workers. Establish a special day to honor your local health workers with performances and activities celebrating all that they do. You could engage local musical acts, carry out a community walk or race to honor how far health workers travel, create an art exhibit featuring the work of local children, or arrange a local celebrity appearance. You can also make T-shirts and hats to commemorate the day, or create a banner. Also, express your support for frontline health workers using the hash tag #healthworkerscount on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. You don’t have to do this alone!

5. Educate your community.

One of the best ways to thank health workers is to encourage people to follow their medical advice, and find out how you can help them get the word out to the community. Keeping your community healthy is the perfect way to honor your health worker. Also, let your government officials know about the importance of community health workers. With government support, these health workers can get the provisions they need to address the challenges your community faces.

Learn more about about World Health Worker Week here.