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World Health Day 2021: WHO Issues Five Calls For Urgent Action To Combat Global Inequity In Health

World Health Day 2021: COVID-19 has hit all countries hard, but its impact has been harshest on those communities which were already vulnerable, said WHO

World Health Day 2021: WHO Issues Five Calls For Urgent Action To Combat Global Inequity In Health
Highlights
  • Work hand in hand with affected communities: WHO to governments
  • Around 12 crore people worldwide have been driven into extreme poverty: WHO
  • As of April 7, 2021, over 28.7 lakh people have died from COVID-19

New Delhi: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inequality in access to healthcare worldwide. It said that some people are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others, entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age. Because of this inequality in access to healthcare, people suffer illnesses, unnecessary sufferings and death. With an aim to address this inequality by calling on world leaders to take note of it, WHO decided “Building a fairer, healthier world” as the theme for marking the World Health Day 2021. Under this initiative, WHO has issued five calls for urgent action to combat global inequities.

Also Read: World Health Day 2021, The Day Dedicated To Building A Fairer, Healthier World For Everyone

Five Actions For World Health Day

WHO has called on government, international organisations and political leaders to work hand in hand with affected communities and individuals to address the root cause of inequalities to implement solutions within and beyond health sectors. Following are the five actions suggested by the WHO:

1. Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments within and between countries
2. Post-COVID-19 recovery budgets and plans that protect and prioritise health and social sectors
3. Equitable services and infrastructure in all communities – both urban and rural
4. Stronger primary health care for everyone, everywhere
5. Better data collection and reporting so countries know where the health inequalities are so they can address them better

In his address on the World Health Day, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, WHO said,

So, as countries respond, recover and rebuild, it’s vital for all governments to invest in better health and social services and remove the barriers that prevent so many people from using them – so more people have the chance to live healthy lives.

Dr Tedros further said that health inequalities are not just unfair, but also make the planet less safe and less sustainable.

Also Read: World Health Day 2021: It’s Time To Make Health A Top Priority

COVID-19 And Health Inequality

According to the WHO, COVID-19 has hit all countries hard, but its impact has been harshest on those communities which were already vulnerable like senior citizens, people with pre-existing illnesses, socially and economically disadvantaged groups among others.

Further highlighting the inequality in healthcare access globally, WHO said that as of April 1, of the half billion vaccines administered, 86 per cent were in high-income countries and 0.1 per cent in low-income countries.

WHO highlighted that about 10 crore people around the world are pushed into poverty each year due to out of pocket spending on health and around 12 crore people have been driven into extreme poverty in the last year as a direct or indirect result of the pandemic. This, according to Dr Tredos, will further worsen the issue of inequality in access to healthcare.

Also Read: World Health Day 2021: Ministers And Politicians Urge People To Take All Precautions And Fight COVID-19

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 (WaterSanitation 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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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