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07/04/24 | 8:37 pm | World health day

On World Health Day, making ‘My Health, My Right’ a reality for all

Every year on April 7, nations worldwide come together to celebrate advancements in healthcare while acknowledging ongoing challenges. From the frontline fight against COVID-19 to addressing long-standing health inequalities, this year’s World Health Day reflects a strong commitment to creating a healthier, fairer world for everyone.

World Health Day, one of the 11 official global health campaigns led by the World Health Organization (WHO), traces its origins back to 1948 during the First Health Assembly held by the organization. It was during this assembly that April 7, the founding date of WHO, was designated as World Health Day. The objective of this day is to raise awareness about various global health issues and to mobilize support for addressing them effectively.

Over the years, these celebrations have focused on raising awareness about specific health themes to underscore priority areas of concern for the World Health Organization.

Themes such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change have been addressed over the past decades. Various activities are planned for the day to disseminate information, increase awareness, and educate people about different health issues, disorders, and mental health concerns.

The WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All has found that at least 140 countries recognize health as a human right in their constitution. Yet countries are not passing and putting into practice laws to ensure their populations are entitled to access health services. This underpins the fact that at least 4.5 billion people — more than half of the world’s population — were not fully covered by essential health services in 2021.

To address these types of challenges, the theme for World Health Day 2024 is ‘My health, my right’.

This year’s theme was chosen to champion the right of everyone, everywhere to have access to quality health services, education, and information, as well as safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.

World Health Day 2024 serves as a poignant reminder of the critical role of health and calls for collective efforts, in a world still recovering from the impacts of a global pandemic.

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Last Updated: 22nd May 2024