World Health Day is celebrated on 7th April every year, to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO (World Health Organisation) in 1948. This year’s theme is “Our Planet, Our Health”.
Are we able to reimagine a world where clean air, water and food are available to all? Where economies are focused on health and well-being? Where cities are liveable and people have control over their health and the health of the planet?
WHO estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes. This includes the climate crisis which is the single biggest health threat facing humanity. Our political, social and commercial decisions are driving the climate and health crisis.
Over 90% of people breathe unhealthy air resulting from burning of fossil fuels. A heating world is seeing mosquitos spread diseases farther and faster than ever before. Extreme weather events, land degradation and water scarcity are displacing people and affecting their health. Pollution and plastics are found at the bottom of our deepest oceans, the highest mountains, and have made their way into our food chain. Systems that produce highly processed, unhealthy foods and beverages are driving a wave of obesity, increasing cancer and heart disease while generating a third of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The purpose of World Health Day this year is to draw attention to these issues and to spur action from individuals, policy-makers and healthcare workers to ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, can have access to healthcare, health information and health services.
At Next Phase we are passionate about placing people first, helping life science professionals to move into influential positions in which they can really make a difference to patients’ lives. We urge our followers to learn more about the initiatives of World Health Day and think of any ways in which we can all, together and as individuals, do our bit.