Dr Rajiv Gupta
World health day is celebrated every year on 7 April, by World Health Organization (WHO) and related organizations. The constitution of WHO came into force on April 7th 1948,that’s why the day is celebrated as World Health Day and seen as an opportunity by the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year.
The celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization. The WHO organizes international, regional and local events on the Day related to a particular theme. World Health Day is acknowledged by various governments and non-governmental organizations with interests in public health issues
Over the past 50 years this has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change. The celebration is marked by activities which extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these important aspects of global health.
World Health Day 2021 brings light to inequality in health care and WHO”s committed to ensuring that everyone everywhere can realize the right to good health. WHO argues that access to sufficient health care should not be a luxury reserved for the few and poor health is unfair and preventable. For World Health Day 2021, WHO is calling on leaders from around the globe to support everyone to have living and working conditions that are conducive to good health.In addition they are asking leaders to monitor health inequities so that all may access quality health care at any point that they need it, especially in times of pandemic such as one that continues to effect so many. Keeping above situation in place: This year the theme of World Health Day is “BUILDING A FAIRER, HEALTHIER WORLD”
Our world is an unequal one.
As COVID-19 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, grown, live, work and aged.
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 not only unfair: it is preventable.
That’s why we are calling on leaders to ensure 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 when and where they need them.
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. So this World Health Day, we are calling for action to eliminate health inequities, as a part of a yearlong global campaign to bring people together to build a fairer, healthier world.
No one should be put in situation where they have to choose between availing health services and feeding their family members. It is about ensuring right to access healthcare i.e all people and community should have equal access to good quality health services, where and when they need them without suffering financial hardship. Full spectrum of healthcare services is needed throughout life from promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. Access to alternative healthcare system should also be available and health care at community level and home care level should be emphasized.
The campaign highlighted the 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, or economical and social condition. WHO is committed to ensuring that everyone, everywhere, can realize the right to good health.
(The author is Professor and Head Community Medicine GMC, Jammu)
Dr Rajiv Gupta