On World Health Day, 7 April 2021, the WHO invites citizens to join a new campaign to build a fairer, healthier world. The theme for this year’s World Health Day is “Our Planet, Our Health”. Amid the ongoing pandemic and pollution growing on the planet, diseases like cancer, asthma, and heart diseases are increasing rapidly. World Health Organization aims to focus global attention on the urgent actions needed to “keep humans and the planet healthy.”

Image: WHO

“As COVID-19 has highlighted, some people are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others – entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age.

All over the world, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have poorer housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities, experience greater gender inequality, and have little or no access to safe environments, clean water, and air, food security and health services. This leads to unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness, and premature death. And it harms our societies and economies.

This is not only unfair: it is preventable. That’s why we are calling on leaders to ensure that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health.  At the same time, we urge leaders to monitor health inequities and to ensure that all people are able to access quality health services when and where they need them. 

COVID-19 has hit all countries hard, but its impact has been harshest on those communities which were already vulnerable, who are more exposed to the disease, less likely to have access to quality health care services, and more likely to experience adverse consequences as a result of measures implemented to contain the pandemic”, states the WHO.

April 7 is celebrated and observed as World Health Day. The day is celebrated annually in accordance with the World Health Organization’s aim to discuss health-related issues and to draw attention to specific health issues concerning people across the world. The first World Health Day was celebrated and observed in 1950, after 7 April was set aside as a designated date to celebrate the creation of the World Health Organization in 1948 in the First Health Assembly. The day thereby marks the anniversary of WHO after it was established in 1948.

In order to understand the history of World Health Day, it is important to look at the creation of the World Health Organization, which took place in 1945 at the United Nations Conference. A motion was passed to create a new and independent organization that is solely dedicated to discussing health topics. As many as 61 countries signed the agreement for the inception of the World Health Organization on April 7 in 1948.