Health For All: World Health Day 2023 and How You Can Contribute To Building A Healthier World
The Origin of the World Health Day
Well, imagine a day dedicated to promoting global health and well-being. A day when awareness is raised about vital health issues to encourage people to improve their general health and make a difference in the world. That is the purpose of World Health Day!
First established by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1950, World Health Day was created to raise awareness about the importance of global health and to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO. Since then, every year, on the 7th of April, individuals, and communities all around the world come together to advocate for better health and its importance for all.
World Health Day 2023: Health For All
Let's dive in and explore what makes World Health Day special and how we can all contribute to building a healthier world, one step at a time.
The theme for this year's world health day is "Health for All". It highlights the need for everyone, regardless of their economic or social status to have access to basic healthcare services. The theme was introduced by the World Health Organisation as a vision for achieving global healthcare for all which is in line with Universal Health Coverage, a key target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 3.8.
Despite the "Health for All" goal, there are still wide global disparities and inequities in health outcomes and access to care. An example of the disparity we are talking about is the geographical disparity of people living in rural areas without access to healthcare facilities and resources. This lack of access to healthcare facilities ad resources increases the mortality of mothers and children, and the spread of communicable diseases.
Also, there is a disparity that comes with having a low socio-economic status and being financially constrained. In some parts of the world, racial disparities exist due to discrimination and structural inequalities, thereby hampering access to healthcare. In other parts of the world, especially in low-income countries, women and girls are not left out of health disparities as they face barriers such as limited mobility, lack of education, and restrictive cultural norms such as stigma around their reproductive health, segregation of the male health care providers from examining them when accessing healthcare services.
In addressing these disparities, there is a need to ensure that everyone has access to comprehensive, integrated, and people-centered healthcare services regardless of their gender, geographical location, or socio-economic status. More so, a thorough strategy that involves spending and investing in the health sector is needed to reduce health inequities.
We all have a vital role to play, hence everyone should be involved in crusading for quality healthcare services. Individuals and communities should come out strongly in demanding better healthcare services and actively participate in planning, implementing, and assessing programs toward achieving global health for all.
Achieving ‘Health for All’ is not a one-man mission, therefore global co-operations and partnerships, and intersectoral collaboration will be needed in addressing the broader determinants of health.
Here’s what I mean;
The health sector can collaborate with other sectors such as the educational sector to bridge the disparity gap by having health education programs in schools, teaching children the importance of living healthy, and promoting healthy behaviours such as participating in sporting activities. Furthermore, partnerships could also be built with international organizations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), Partners in Health, Save the Children, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United Nations Children's Funds, and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), amongst many others, which can be useful to work towards improving access to healthcare, providing the essential medicines and medical supplies, easy access to medical care in the face of crisis and emergencies, leveraging on available resources and expertise to make progress towards the global goal of achieving Health for All.
Inequities and disparities are not the only challenges facing the global healthcare system. The incidence of war represents a major threat to the physical and mental well-being of people as demonstrated in recent times with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. A recent report noted that 628 health facilities have been damaged, 215 health workers have been killed and 287 health workers kidnapped across the world. During times of war such as the one seen in this video, access to a good hospital becomes a matter of life and death. When these hospitals are destroyed, the hope of a common man to access health care through these hospitals is lost. The only hope left for the common man in times of war is access to skilled health workers and the necessary facilities to ensure the continuity of healthcare services. As we strive for health for all, we should not forget the plight of those caught in the crossfire of war and military attacks. They are humans too and as such, the state of their health matters just as much as anyone else's, and they deserve access to quality healthcare and to be in good health, regardless of their circumstances.
How can you contribute to Building A Healthier World?
In the quest to build a healthier world, we cannot afford to be passive spectators. We must take action, you and I. "Health for all" is for all and we are no superhumans to not need a good healthcare system hence the need to promote it more. As a forward-thinking generation, we can create a sustainable, more equitable, and healthier world by making educated decisions about our health and well-being, consuming environmentally friendly products that promote healthy choices, eating healthy, and maintaining safe spaces for our mental health. We should ensure that by sanitation, we have clean environments that are void of pollution in all its forms, as this can help prevent environmental hazards that affect both the young and old. Lastly, we should not underestimate the power of our actions no matter how small they may seem. They are capable of creating a ripple effect that will be felt throughout the whole world.
From me to you, Happy World Health Day.
Take care of your health, there is no way to sugarcoat it. Building a healthier world starts with you and me. If you are not healthy, how would you educate others to live healthily?
If you have the resources, donate to causes that promote healthy living and provide services to underserved communities.
Harm yourself with Knowledge by educating yourself about health-related issues so that you can make informed decisions and in turn educate others too.
Health workers should be equipped with the necessary tools, skills, equipment, and training needed even in the advent of war.
The government should ensure that programs and policies are made to ensure that everyone has access to healthcare services with little or no financial restraints involved
Volunteer for medical outreaches and social programs that speaks about healthy living. You can also give volunteering support as a research person to drive innovation and progress in the health field.
WRITTEN BY Modupe O. Oreye.
Modupe O. Oreye is a bright and young law undergraduate presently pursuing her degree at the University of Benin, Nigeria. She is a change strategist and growth personnel with a committed passion for personal and career development, and student leadership in social and environmental spheres. Modupe is passionate about advocating for quality education, and human rights and taking social actions to advance these causes. She is a writer, a Linkedin optimisation person, and a corporate compere as she is skilled in moderating social and online events.
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EDITED BY Tunmise Afape
Tunmise is a designer with a knack for storytelling. He is a lover of creativity and art and enjoys working at the intersection of brands, people, technology, and storytelling. He strongly believes in the power of storytelling and believes this power can change the world and help in achieving the SDGs when well utilized. He is a big lover of football and music.