World Health Day 2024: Ensuring Health for All


Team Udayavani, Apr 7, 2024, 11:15 AM IST

Every year on April 7, the world celebrates World Health Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about health issues and advocating for better health outcomes for everyone, everywhere. This day marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948 and serves as an opportunity to draw attention to pressing global health concerns.

This Year’s Theme: ‘My Health, My Right’

The theme for World Health Day 2024 is ‘My health, my right’. This theme underscores the importance of ensuring that every individual has the right to access quality health services, education, and information.

It emphasizes the fundamental human right to health and calls for action to address the various challenges that hinder people from enjoying this right fully.

Global Health Challenges

Across the globe, millions of people face threats to their health, ranging from diseases and disasters to conflicts and environmental pollution.

Despite the recognition of health as a human right in numerous constitutions worldwide, many countries still struggle to pass and implement laws that guarantee access to essential health services for their populations.

Shockingly, more than half of the world’s population lacks full coverage by essential health services, as reported in 2021 by the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All.

Health Challenges in India

In India, the world’s most populous nation, with an estimated population of 1.428 billion, the healthcare sector is rapidly expanding due to increased awareness and focus on preventive healthcare and wellness. However, several common health issues continue to afflict the Indian population. These include cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), diabetes, respiratory diseases, cancer, and mental health disorders.

Common Diseases Afflicting Indians

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs)

Cardiovascular diseases, encompassing a range of conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels, stand as a leading cause of mortality in India. Risk factors for CVDs include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, tobacco use, and unhealthy dietary habits.

Diabetes

Diabetes, characterized by elevated blood sugar levels, is another prevalent health concern in India. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes pose significant risks, including complications such as kidney damage, nerve damage, and cardiovascular diseases.

Respiratory Diseases

Respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and lung cancer, are exacerbated by air pollution, smoking, and indoor air quality. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the impact of respiratory infections on public health.

Cancer

Cancer, affecting one in nine individuals in India during their lifetime, presents a multifaceted challenge. Genetic predisposition, lifestyle choices, environmental factors, and lack of early screening contribute to the rising incidence of cancer across the country.

Mental Health Disorders

Mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, are also prevalent, with societal factors exacerbating the challenges of access to mental healthcare.

 

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