Contributed by: Heidi Woodard
The World Health Organization (WHO) will be celebrating its 70th anniversary of World Health Day this year on April 7, 2018. This year the theme for World Health Day will be “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere.” The World Health Organization supports universal health care free of discrimination and easily accessible to all individuals, in all countries, all over the world.
World Health Day celebrates the date when the World Health Organization’s Constitution came into effect on April 7, 1948. The goal of the World Health Organization is “To build a better, healthier future for all people all over the world” Currently, WHO has 150 country offices employing 7000 people. WHO provides leadership, data, technical support, monitoring, and ethical and evidence-based policy options to partnership organizations including the UN.
The World Health Organization believes Universal health coverage is vital, stating, “At least half of the world’s people are currently unable to obtain essential health services. Almost 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty, forced to survive on just $1.90 or less a day, because they have to pay for health services out of their own pockets.” The World Health Organization is making great strides on focusing attention on health care and health care services.
The UN recognizes the organizations work, stating, “…donors have pledged an additional US $15.3 million to support quick action by the World Health Organization to tackle disease outbreaks and humanitarian health crises through its emergency response fund in 2018, the Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE).” However, the organization’s attention encompasses all facets of a healthier world with programs focusing on depression, clean drinking-water, immunizations, tobacco use, hearing loss, and nursing/midwifery, among many others.
World Health Day aims to be a catalyst for change ensuring an accessible, affordable health care system. WHO reports, “Every year 100 million people are pushed into poverty and 150 million people suffer financial catastrophe because of out-of-pocket expenditure on health services.”
Jamestown Gazette readers who would like to become involved with World Health Day can focus attention on collaborating with government officials and civil organizations, encouraging local representatives or reach out to representatives throughout the world. Citizens can share opinions, stories, and expectations of the health system. Share past interactions with the health care system, and changes that need to be made.
WHO is also concentrating on using social media to emphasize World Health Day. They are using #HealthForAll on all social media posts that garner attention on World Health Day. The World Health Organization “…encourage(s) you to share our posts with your own networks, share your own materials and join conversations on issues related to the campaign.”
To learn more about World Health Day and the World Health Organization, please visit: http://www.afro.who.int/media-centre/events/world-health-day-2018-universal-health-coverage.