7 April 2021
Today, April 7, marks the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO was established in 1948) and as such is a day celebrated annually as World Health Day.
Each year draws attention to a specific health topic of concern to the global community, the theme for 2021 being "Building a fairer, healthier world".
Globally, 70% of the health and social workforce are women and nurses and midwives represent a large portion of this.
The WHO recognises that nurses and midwives play a key role in caring for people everywhere, including in times of outbreaks and settings that are fragile or in conflict.
The organisation says achieving health for all will depend on there being sufficient numbers of well-trained and educated, regulated and adequately supported nurses and midwives, who receive pay and recognition commensurate with the services and quality of care that they provide.
This World Health Day, WHO is calling for action to eliminate health inequities, as part of a year-long global campaign to bring people together to build a fairer, healthier world.
The campaign highlights WHO’s constitutional principle that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition”.
“The world is still an unequal one. The places where we live, work and play may make it harder for some to reach their full health potential, while others thrive. Health inequities are not only unjust and unfair, but they also threaten the advances made to date, and have the potential to widen rather than narrow equity gaps.
“However, health inequities are preventable with strategies that place greater attention to improving health equity, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalised groups”.
That’s why WHO is calling on leaders to ensure that communities are at the forefront in decision-making processes as we move forward to a new future, and that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health. At the same time, WHO urges leaders to monitor health inequities, and to ensure that all people are able to access quality health services.
Facts and Figures:
- For the first time in 20 years, global poverty levels are predicted to rise and hinder the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals
- More than 1 billion people living in informal settlements or slums are facing increased challenges in preventing infection and transmission of the coronavirus.
- The Asia-Pacific region as a whole accounts for nearly 82.5 million or 32% of the world’s international migrants.
- 5.9 million children in the Asia-Pacific Region are at risk of not returning back to school due to the disruption to education and the economic impact of the pandemic.
- 52% of the Asia-Pacific population remains unconnected to the internet.
WHO is calling on world leaders to ensure that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health - a campaign on this has been launched on the dedicated World Health Day 2021 web page: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2021