On April 7th the world celebrates World Health Day.
#WorldHealthDay was proposed at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and took effect in 1950 with the goal of raising awareness about a relevant health theme and area of concern for the World Health Organization each year. Topics have previously focused on important health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change.
This year, the concern continues to be the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic and the theme is: “Building a Fairer, Healthier World for Everyone”.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):”In recent years, countries in the Western Pacific have experienced rapid economic growth, migration and urbanization. This created opportunities for better lives for many, but left others behind. The COVID-19 pandemic has undercut recent health gains, pushed more people into poverty and food insecurity, and amplified gender, social and health inequities. This World Health Day, we’re calling for action to eliminate health inequities, as part of a year-long global campaign to bring people together to build a fairer, healthier world. The campaign highlights WHO’s constitutional principle that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”
The world is still an unequal one. The places where we live, work and play may make it harder for some to reach their full health potential, while others thrive. Health inequities are not only unjust and unfair, but they also threaten the advances made to date, and have the potential to widen rather than narrow equity gaps. However, health inequities are preventable with strategies that place greater attention to improving health equity, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized groups. COVID-19 has hit all countries hard, but its impact has been harshest on those communities which were already vulnerable, who are more exposed to the disease, less likely to have access to quality health care services and more likely to experience adverse consequences as a result of measures implemented to contain the pandemic.
That’s why we are calling on leaders to ensure that communities are at the forefront in decision-making processes as we move forward to a new future, and that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health. At the same time, we urge leaders to monitor health inequities, and to ensure that all people are able to access quality health services depending on their needs and values within their communities.”
#ApartTogether we share the responsibility, and humanity, of ensuring equity in health to everyone around the world.