Celebrating World Health Day

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Celebrating World Health Day

World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April each year. The theme in 2024 is “My health, my right.” 

The World Health Organisation is calling for action to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to quality health services without financial hardship and to other basic conditions for a healthy life.

These include safe water, clean air, nutritious food, adequate housing, quality education, decent working conditions, and freedom from discrimination.

The date of 7 April marks the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948.

Around the world, the right to health of millions is increasingly coming under threat.

Diseases and disasters loom large as causes of death and disability.

Conflicts are devastating lives, causing death, pain, hunger and psychological distress.

The burning of fossil fuels is simultaneously driving the climate crisis and taking away our right to breathe clean air, with indoor and outdoor air pollution claiming a life every 5 seconds.

The WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All has found that at least 140 countries recognise health as a human right in their constitutions. 

Yet countries are not passing and implementing laws to ensure their populations are entitled to access health services. 

This underpins the fact that in 2021, at least 4.5 billion people—more than half of the world’s population—were not fully covered by essential health services.

Global public health days offer great potential to raise awareness and understanding about health issues and mobilise support for action from the local community to the international stage. 

There are many world days observed throughout the year related to specific health issues or conditions – from Alzheimer’s to zoonoses.