The World Health Organization (WHO) will focus on the theme of a fairer, healthier world for World Health Day on 7 April 2021. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become clear that there are many inequalities in the world which need to be addressed.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the message was that everyone in the world is in the same boat. However, this is not quite true: everyone was in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Some people have better access to healthcare than others and live healthier lives because of their financial situation, geographical location, nationality and many other factors.
Things we take for granted such as access to running water, food security, clean air and employment opportunities are not a given for millions of people around the world. As a result, the ones less fortunate are faced with unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness and premature death. Not only is it a tragedy, but it also harms societies and economies.
It is unfair, but it is preventable. Strong leadership from all strata in society can help to provide better living and working conditions that are conducive to better mental and physical health. By actively taking an interest in monitoring health inequalities, these leaders can ensure that all people have access to quality health services when they need it most.
Covid-19 has ravaged the world, resulting in millions of deaths. The impact will linger for decades to come especially in vulnerable communities that are more exposed to disease, with less access to good healthcare and thus more likely to suffer from the economic and health consequences of the pandemic.
So, on World Health Day 2021, take a minute to reflect on how you can make the world a fairer and healthier place.
image credit: www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2021/campaign-materials