With the novel coronavirus pandemic underscoring the urgent need to strengthen the global health workforce, a report said Monday that more than 50% of health workers are nurses but found that the current tally of 28 million nurses leaves a shortfall of 5.9 million. 

“Nurses are the backbone of any health system. Today, many nurses find themselves on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a video press conference.

He said Tuesday is the WHO’s birthday, which is celebrated every year as World Health Day in this International Year

Read more: Nurses on COVID-19 frontline, world needs millions more