- World Health Day is marked every year on April 7
- This year, the theme is to build a fairer and healthier world for everyone
- First World Health Day was celebrated in 1950
New Delhi: Every year April 7 is celebrated as World Health Day, to draw everyone’s attention towards global health issues. At a time like this, when the whole world is battling the worst pandemic in over a century, World Health Day and its theme this year assumes an added significance. The theme for World Health Day 2021 is ‘Building A Fairer, Healthier World for Everyone’. As the Covid-19 outbreak has shown that the inherent inequities in society, be it economic or social in nature, have a direct bearing on how vulnerable or protected people are during a disease outbreak and also determines their accessibility to basics like healthcare facilities. The gap is even more glaring now with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. While some countries have leveraged their dominant economic status to procure more doses of the vaccine than needed for their population, majority of the poor countries are still waiting for even the first batch of vaccines or are shelling out more than they can afford to procure insufficient quantity of doses to start vaccinating their population. So given this harsh reality, here’s why the World Health Day and its this year’s theme matter.
The World Health Organisation states that the health systems can only function with health workers; improving health service coverage and realising the highest attainable standard of health, which is dependent on the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality. However, WHO estimates a projected shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030, mostly in low- and lower-middle income countries.
Healthcare Workers: Status in India
In India, according to the economic survey 2020-21, the shortage of doctors in India is still an issue. As per the recent economic survey, the doctor-population ratio in India is 1:1456 against the World Health Organisation recommendation of 1:1000. Moreover, the National Health Profile, India 2019 data suggest that only eleven among India’s 28 states meet the WHO recommendation of standard ratio while none in the public healthcare sector manage to make the cut. The report highlighted that the public healthcare system in the country operates at a dismal ratio of 0.08 doctors for 1000 people.
Theme Of World Health Day
‘Building Fairer, Healthier World for Everyone’ highlights the importance of good health and equal access to health services for all.
After all while some struggle to make ends meet with their little daily income, given fewer employment opportunities. They end up with poor housing conditions and education, experience greater gender inequality, and have little or no access to safe environments, clean water and air, food security and health services. Lack of access to basic things like these leads to unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness, and premature death.
Over the past 50 years, WHO, through World Health Day has highlighted important health issues like mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change. The theme for World Health Day 2020 was ‘Support nurses and midwives’. Last year, the theme aimed to remind world leaders of the critical role nurses and midwives play in ensuring a healthy world.
World Health Day Plans This Year
This year’s World Health Day aims to call on leaders to ensure that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health. At the same time, WHO aims to target world leaders to monitor health inequities and ensure that all people are able to access quality health services when and where they need them.
World Health Day: Historical Background
World Health Day is a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative to raise awareness about the overall health and well-being of people across the world.
Back in 1948, the World Health Organisation organised the first World Health Assembly which called for the creation of a “World Health Day”. Two years later, in 1950, the first World Health Day was celebrated on April 7 and since then, it is observed every year on the same day.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.