World Health Day was instituted at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and is celebrated across the globe on the 7th of April each year. The celebration since its inception is aimed at creating awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization.
The celebration over the past years has served as an opportunity to focus the world’s attention on important health issues that affect the human population such as mental health, maternal and child health as well as issues affecting climate changes. This year’s World Health Day has the theme: “Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone”
Statistics from the World Health Organization shows that for the first time in 20 years, global poverty levels are predicted to rise and hinder the progress towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. This together with the global challenge in the fight against the COVID- 19 pandemic has undercut recent health gains, pushed more people into poverty and food insecurity, and also amplified gender, social, and health inequalities.
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. There is a clarion call for action to eliminate health inequalities and to bring people together to build a fairer, healthier world for all where everyone is made to achieve his or her full health potentials.
As the world commemorates this day, the Ghana College of Pharmacists adds its voice in calling on leaders to ensure community involvement in decision making as we move forward to a new future where everyone has access to good healthcare and is living and working in conditions that promote wellbeing. Also, we urge leaders to monitor and bridge health inequalities and inequities. We should ensure that everyone is able to access quality health services depending on their needs and values within their communities. Community members should speak up when they identify health inequalities and bring them to the notice of community leaders.
We encourage health professionals to take up opportunities to practice in all communities, both rural and urban. This will bridge the access gap. We appeal to the government and other non-governmental organizations to support the training of more specialist health professionals to facilitate the equitable distribution of specialized healthcare across the country.
As we celebrate World Health Day, let’s all play our part to build a fairer healthier world for everyone.