World Health Day 2023

Did you know 30% of the global population cannot assess essential health services? Moreover, over 2 billion people face catastrophic…

Did you know 30% of the global population cannot assess essential health services? Moreover, over 2 billion people face catastrophic health spending with significant inequalities affecting the most vulnerable people. World Health Day aims to bring awareness and decrease these figures.

World Health Day is annually celebrated and focuses on a different health topic each year to raise global awareness. World Health Day takes place on the 7th of April because it is the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1948. WHO is the United Nations agency which connects people all over the world to promote health with the aim to allow everyone access to the highest levels of health. They do this by coordinating responses to global and national health emergencies. For example WHO declared COVID-19 to officially be a pandemic on the 11th of March 2020.

They not only work with emerging epidemics but also with anything that poses a persistent threat, like HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. Along with chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. This is done in over 150 locations and brings together 194 countries. Specifically, they do this by supporting countries to respond to disease outbreaks and humanitarian crises, by providing knowledge, funding and healthcare equipment and personnel. They also assess health product availability, safety and efficacy and enforce fair global access to vaccines and other health supplies.

Since its beginning in 1948, WHO has come a long way. Its first campaigns began in 1948 and focused on globally campaigning against malarian, tuberculosis, syphilis, leprosy and smallpox. All the way to 2022 where the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health, the UN Environment Programme and WHO signed an unprecedented agreement to strengthen cooperation to optimise the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment. This is a legal framework to form a coordinated approach to the health of these areas by reinforcing national and regional health services.

Each year has a different theme and 2023 is titled “Health for All”. This is also the 75th anniversary year for WHO. The key messages provided by WHO for this year are that health is a basic human right. Everybody must have healthcare access whenever they need it, without the threat of financial hardship. However, this is seemingly difficult to achieve. The COVID-19 pandemic set back every country’s journey to achieving health for all and progress must be rapidly accelerated to meet their current targets.

To get involved, you can educate yourself on the topic by looking through the #HealthForAll hashtag on social media. You could also sign any health related petitions and spread awareness of the topic both online and in person.

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