Today is Eid-ul-Adah, a most auspicious day for Muslims across the world. It signifies the ultimate sacrifice the Prophet Ibrahim was willing to make in obedience to God, and embodies humility and generosity — attributes that are vital to the upliftment of humanity.
Throughout civilisation, mankind has been making sacrifices for personal and societal advancement. Here, in Guyana, our history is inundated with stories about selfless sacrifices made by Guyanese foreparents as they laboured in search of betterment for the generation following them.
That cycle continues, and today none can dispute that parents want the best for their children; a desire they would pursue with unwavering commitment.
These are not mere words, but are inherent in parenthood, as exemplified by the untold and sometimes unrecognised sacrifices they make as that sense of responsibility through hard work remains.
It is not without its difficulties, more so for some than for others. However, on the average, many, locally and across the globe, have unfortunate commonalities which are driven by financial challenges. Despite this, parents and guardians remain steadfast to that responsibility of steering their children towards opportunities for societal upliftment.
This is more profound in the provision of education, and will continue to be something on which they will not compromise, while often masking their sacrifices and formidable challenges with a protective smile. That smile, which hides the pain over the years, becomes one of unbridled joy when success is finally achieved, and is evident every year when National Grade Six Assessment, CSEC and CAPE results are announced.
This year, as Guyana celebrates Eid-ul-Adah, our healthcare workers are also faced with lifechanging decisions as they put their lives at risk to save those who are battling COVID-19.
The challenges healthcare workers – especially doctors and nurses — face daily cannot be underestimated. For this reason, governments and other healthcare partners must continue to make the necessary investments in healthcare workers, to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge, and are well equipped with the resources they need to do their work in a comfortable and safe environment.
Historically as well as presently, doctors and nurses are at the forefront of fighting epidemics and pandemics that threaten health across the globe. As we have seen around the world, they are demonstrating their compassion, bravery and courage as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To equip the world with the nursing workforce it needs, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its partners have recommended that countries educate and train nurses in the scientific, technological and sociological skills they need to drive progress in primary health care; establish leadership positions, and support leadership development among young nurses; and ensure that nurses in primary health care teams work to their full potential, for example in preventing and managing noncommunicable diseases; and improve working conditions, including through safe staffing levels and fair salaries etc.
Today, locally and further afield, we see the importance of healthcare workers, and we must salute them for their tremendous sacrifices.
Today, as we celebrate Eid-ul-Adah with the Muslim community, a moment must be spent to reflect on those health care workers around the world who selflessly make sacrifices to help those infected and affected by COVID-19.