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As Canadians, we’re lucky to benefit from our healthcare system and years of scientific research that have helped ourselves and our families lead healthy lives.
In April, we celebrate two globally significant health days – DNA Day and World Health Day. Both days recognize the phenomenal achievements made in the scientific field, but also reminds us of the role that healthcare service workers play to support and act on such ground-breaking research. Especially in these recent times while we’re experiencing the impact of COVID-19 in all areas of the country, their work has never been more recognized or top of mind to help not only children, but all Canadians.
Since 1948, World Health Day has shone a light on a different health-specific theme each year. 2020 has been deemed the year of nurses and midwives, celebrating the lifesavers at the front lines who support the children and their families.
The World Health Organization reports that, in order to achieve universal health coverage by 2030, the world requires 9 million more nurses and midwives. This is a testament to their necessary role in our global healthcare system, which is especially relevant considering our current global climate. Although nurses and midwives take up nearly 50% of the global health workforce, these types of workers often conduct their services in challenging circumstances. At Canada’s Children’s Hospital Foundations, we’re certainly aware of the integral work nurses and midwives provide to the overall health of children, babies and the women who bring them into the world.
DNA Day is on April 25th, which commemorates the day in which the findings on DNA structure was published to the world, marking a significant achievement that has since changed the lives of millions of kid’s health who have been affected by genetic disorders, cancer and countless other health complications.
The National Human Genome Research Institute leads this national day celebrating the latest advances in genomic research, with a particular emphasis on rare genetic diseases. CHEO is home to Care4Rare, a world-renowned research consortium focused on identifying the genetic causes of rare diseases. Using state-of-the-art genomic technologies, they have studied more than 1,000 rare diseases among 5,000 families worldwide and identified the genetic cause for 50% of diseases they studied. More than 1,000 families have received a genetic diagnosis through Care4Rare, providing much needed answers to what is wrong and how to provide the best care.
An important mission of The National Human Genome Research Institute is to make science for everyone. Read up on the “15 ways Genomics Influences Our World” for more information. As for World Health Day, learn more about why nurses and midwives were chosen to be the focus of 2020.
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