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World Health Day: Building a fairer, healthier world

There are no other resources like having good health.

World Health Day

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  8 April 2021 2:11 AM GMT

Ranjan K Baruah

(With direct inputs from UN publication and feedback may be sent to bkranjan@gmail.com)

There are no other resources like having good health. Good health is essential to remain ahead of others. Without good health nothing works well. The recent pandemic has bought some inequalities as a few are accessed with healthcare while billions around the world are deprived from healthcare services. In spite of making progress we have not been able to bring IMR or MMR to zero level which shows that lots of the activities are yet to be done to ensure proper healthcare around the world.

The recent pandemic has highlighted, some people are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others - entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age. There are people who are unable to get access to an effective healthcare system.

We are aware that all over the world, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have poorer housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities, experience greater gender inequality, and have little or no access to safe environments, clean water and air, food security and health services. This leads to unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness, and premature death. And it harms our societies and economies. This is more common in parts of Africa and also in South Asia and a few other regions of the world.

Lot of things can be done and one of the opportunities for us in this regard is World Health Day (WHD) which is observed around the world on 7th April. April 7th marks the celebration of WHD. From its inception at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and since taking effect in 1950, the celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization (WHO). The date of 7 April marks the anniversary of the founding of the WHO in 1948.

Over the past 50 years this has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal and childcare, and climate change. Different themes are being chosen every year to mark the occasion. 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.

WHO is 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."

This year's focus is to make a fairer and healthier world which is possible if everyone takes part. Roles and responsibilities vary from agencies to agencies. Governments have different roles whereas corporate and civil societies have to play other roles if we want to make a healthier world especially when pandemic has brought many questions in front of us. Political leaders and global leaders should ensure that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health.

We are aware that 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 healthcare services and more likely to experience adverse consequences as a result of measures implemented to contain the pandemic. It's time for action and work hand in hand to bring solutions and provide healthcare to all. Let us all contribute and make sure that healthcare in our society is affordable for all so that many things can be prevented and a sustainable future can be achieved.

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