The 7th of April marks World Health Day and has been a tradition since 1950. Every year a new theme is introduced to raise awareness of a specific health issue such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change. This day is only the starting point of creating change and raising worldwide attention and goes way beyond the 7th of April.
This year the theme is ‘Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone’. But what does this actually mean? The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the world into unchartered territory which further bridged the gap of inequity. There has been mass unemployment, racial inequality and a tense political climate which is why this theme is so fitting for this year.
This campaign focuses on 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.”
For the first time in 20 years, global poverty levels are predicted to rise. So, why has the WHO chosen the theme of building a fairer, healthier world for everyone?
Our world is an unequal one. Depending on where you live, what you do for a living, your age etc. people don’t have the same access to healthcare and this needs to change. The main take-away of this campaign is no matter who you are or where you are from in the world we should all have the same access to healthcare. WHO is committed to ensuring that everyone, everywhere, can realize the right to good health.
What Can Be Done?
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world hard but especially the communities that were already vulnerable. However, health inequity can be prevented if world leaders take action and ensure that all people have access to healthcare whenever they need them.
- Work Together – the government and communities need to work hand in hand and very closely to find the causes of inequities and work on finding a solution both within the health sector and beyond.
- Collect Reliable Data – on gender, age, income, education, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics which will make it possible to assess inequities in subgroups and create change that is impactful to those subgroups.
- Tackle Inequities – by increasing investment in primary healthcare. This is a key aspect in ensuring that health services are accessible to everyone.
- Act Beyond Borders – We will not be able to move past the COVID-19 pandemic until every country in the world has been treated which means all communities need access to vaccinations, tests and treatments. Yes, governments should be thinking on a national level but on an international level as well.
If you are wondering how you can celebrate World Health Day this year, then the first step would be to start taking care of your health! Check out the Food For Thought Blog for ideas on how to start your health journey today because it is never too late to show up for yourself and your body.
By Pooja Depala