World Health Day 2021
This blog is your one stop guide to what the day is, why it is celebrated and how to get involved!
What is World Health Day?
World Health Day, celebrated on April 7th each year, is a day proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which aims to increase the awareness and attention of a specific health topic of concern for people who live all around the world. The day aims to highlight the importance of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
The theme of World Health Day
The theme of 2021 is “Building a fairer, healthier world” which has been proposed as a result of the COVID pandemic which has meant that the health access inequality is rising significantly.
Why is World Health Day Important?
This last year since the COVID pandemic has hit, it has highlighted that some people are able to live healthier lives and have easy access to healthcare, whilst millions of others simply do not. In some parts of the world, families struggle to provide clean water, food and shelter, let alone healthcare which can lead to ‘more suffering, avoidable illnesses and premature death’ states the WHO. Pre- COVID, some communities were struggling when it came to accessing healthcare, but the impact of COVID, has meant these communities are struggling more than ever before, as there have been significant measures put in place to contain the virus, meaning access is much more harder.The WHO claim that it is not only unfair but also preventable when people’s health is suffering because they cannot get access to healthcare. This day calls upon countries leaders to ensure everybody in a nation has healthy living and working conditions and that they monitor health inequalities to ensure that everybody in a nation has access to healthcare where and when they need it.
- Up to 60% of people living in some regions of the world do not have access to essential healthcare
- Poverty levels are expected to rise, diminishing the world of the Sustainable Development Goals
- More than 1bn people have a greater risk and challenge of becoming infected and transmitting COVID
The History of World Health Day
World Health Day, as proposed by the WHO, has been celebrated since 1949, which was one of the first official acts of the WHO. Each year, the WHO has proposed a different theme based on suggestions by the staff and government members.
The theme for 2020, which was proposed after the COVID pandemic hit, was Support Nurses and Midwifes to highlight the work and role of nurses and midwifes, in particularly as the COVID outbreak had started. They, like many other health professionals were at the forefront of the COVID response, continuing to provide high- quality treatment and care and addressing any fears and concerns. Many nurses, midwives and many other health professionals went months without seeing family or even their children with the fear of passing the virus on, due to the exposure risk of working in a hospital.
Some of the other themes have included Depression in 2017, Protecting Health from Climate change in 2008 and Road Safety in 2004.
How to get involved in World Health Day 2021?
You can show support and get involved in the day in various ways:
- Send a letter to leaders. If you are passionate about a certain area, such as the under- funding for student’s mental health, writing a letter to a politician could bring the issue to the forefront
- Start a petition. If you are passionate about a certain area and think others may be too, why not start a petition. You never know, it could be the start of a positive change!
- Say thank you to health professionals. If you have some friends studying health related courses or have family members who work in healthcare, no matter if they’re a dentist or a doctor, thank them and appreciate them for their hard work, especially through the pandemic!
- Donate to a charity! As written above, there are millions of people in deprived communities without the access to simple things we take for granted like clean water and food and medical care if we need it. Consider donating to a charity like Water Aid or Healthcare Relief for Africa to contribute to making a difference. Some links are below:
- Water Aid: https://www.wateraid.org/uk/
- Healthcare relief for Africa: https://www.healthcareforafrica.co.uk/
- Food for Life: https://www.foodforlife.org.uk/about-us/our-partners/health-education-trust
- PATH: https://www.path.org/
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