Thu. Oct 17th, 2019

World Health Day 2019: What you need to know

doctor child tonsilsWorld Health Day is observed annually on 7 April. The message this year is that universal healthcare is attainable.

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The theme for 2019 is simple: ‘Health for all.’ We’re still far from achieving that dream, seeing as half the world’s population lacks access to health care.

Therefore, the World Health Organization is aiming to extend the coverage of accessible health care by an additional 1 billion people before 2023.

Billions don’t have access to healthcare

Almost 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty, forced to survive on just R26.78 or less a day, because they have to pay for health services out of their own pockets.

More than 800 million people – roughly 12% of the world’s population – spend more than 10% of their income on health expenses. In most cases, to care for sick children or other family members.

The director-general of WHO, Dr Tedros, said in a statement that “in 2019, this is simply unacceptable.” He adds:

“The good news is that there is a growing movement to address these inequalities. Strong and sustainable primary healthcare is the bedrock of universal health coverage and the best defence against outbreaks and other health emergencies.”

Universal healthcare is attainable

He explained that universal healthcare is “not an unattainable dream, nor will it require billions of dollars to implement.” It is achievable, right now, in 2019.

The WHO believes that no one should have to choose between good health and other life necessities. They believe that universal healthcare is not only feasible but the key to nations’ well being.

However, to make healthcare truly universal requires a shift from designing health systems around diseases and institutions towards health services designed around and for people.

WHO are collaborating with international health and development organisation to manifest their commitment to health care for everyone. He said:

“This shared commitment will be fundamental as we move forward to the next milestone in the global push towards universal health coverage – at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage in New York later this year.”

For the past 25 years, WHO focused on one priority area of concern per year, such as Global Polio Eradication in 1995, raising awareness for infectious diseases in 1997, focusing on blood pressure in 2013, and so on.

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