World Health Day is an international event run by the World Health Organisation, designed to create awareness for a specific health theme each year. Over the past 50 years, World Health Day has been used to highlight important health issues from mental health to childcare and climate change.
Previous themes for WHD have included 'Depression: Let's Talk' (2017), 'Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere' (2018), and last year's 'Support Nurses and Midwives' (2020) coinciding with the International Year of the Nurse.
This year’s theme marks a new direction for World Health Day: ‘Building a fairer, healthier world’. COVID-19 has highlighted that global health is fundamentally unequal – 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 were born, grow, live, work and age. All over the world, some people struggle to make ends meet, have poor housing, education and fewer opportunities for employment; many also have no access to safe environments, clean water and air, food security and health services. This leads to unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness, and premature death.
This isn’t only unfair, it is entirely preventable. This World Health Day, WHO are calling upon leaders to ensure everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health. At the same time, they are urging leaders to monitor health inequalities and to ensure all people can access quality health services when they need them.
Head to https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2021 to keep up with this year’s WHD campaign.