World Health Day 2021: The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other related organizations.
From its inception at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and since taking effect in 1950, the celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization.
World Health Day 2021: Theme and Significance
Over the past 50 years, World Health Day has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change. The celebration is marked by activities that extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these important aspects of global health.
In recent years, countries in the Western Pacific have experienced rapid economic growth, migration, and urbanization. This created opportunities for better lives for many but left others behind. The COVID-19 pandemic has undercut recent health gains, pushed more people into poverty and food insecurity, and amplified gender, social and health inequities. That’s why the theme for this year’s World Health Day is ‘Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone.’
This World Health Day, WHO is calling for action to eliminate health inequities, as part of a year-long global campaign to bring people together to build a fairer, healthier world. The campaign highlights WHO’s a constitutional principle that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”
Facts and Figures on this World Health Day
- For the first time in 20 years, global poverty levels are predicted to rise and hinder the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals
- Up to 60% of people living in some countries of the Region lack coverage with essential health services
- More than 1 billion people living in informal settlements or slums are facing increased challenges in preventing infection and transmission of the coronavirus
- The Asia-Pacific region as a whole account for nearly 82.5 million or 32% of the world’s international migrants
- 5.9 million children in the Asia-Pacific Region are at risk of not returning back to school due to the disruption to education and the economic impact of the pandemic
- 52% of the Asia-Pacific population remains unconnected to the internet