What is World Health Day?
World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on April 7 established by the World Health Organization (WHO). This has been celebrated since 1950. Each year, the international event raises awareness on a specific health topic. Themes of previous years’ have included Universal health coverage, depression, diabetes, food safety, high blood pressure, and more.
World Health Day Theme 2021
The theme for World Health Day 2021 is building a fairer, healthier world. The message is about giving all people access to healthcare no matter where they are from. What matters is that there is health for all. The campaign highlights WHO’s core belief 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 theme was chosen because COVID-19 has shown that while others can live healthier lives and have access to health services due to the conditions they are born into and live in, it is evident that this is not the case for everyone. Many groups around the world are struggling with income, have poorer housing conditions and education, and have little to no access to safe environments, clean water, and health services. This is unfair, however, preventable which is why WHO has asked leaders to make sure everyone has living conditions that allow good health. They have also prompted leaders to pay close attention to health inequalities and ensure that everyone can gain access to excellent health services when and where they need them.
- About 60% of people living in some countries of the Region lack coverage with essential health services.
- More than 1 billion people that reside in slums face difficulty in preventing infection and transmission of the coronavirus.
- Global poverty levels are said to rise and obstruct the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
- In the Asia-Pacific Region, there is the risk of 5.9 million children not returning to school as a result of the disruption to education and the economic impact of COVID-19.
- 52% of the Asia-Pacific population are still unconnected to the internet.
How to get involved in World Health Day 2021
- Start a petition: If you are truly passionate about the inequalities of health care, why not start a petition to support positive change? You can use online services to raise awareness and spread the word.
- Share and donate: Find some petitions that support healthcare for all and make sure to share them around and donate if you can.
- Send letters to leaders: Sending letters to politicians could be a great place to start. Doing this could ignite change or bring the issue to the front of leaders’ minds.
Below is a useful video that features WHO Reginal Director, Takeshi Kasai, discussing World Health Day 2021.