WHO Sounds Alarm on Rising Threat of Diseases, Disasters

WHO

In a stark warning issued on Sunday to mark the 2024 World Health Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised concerns over the growing specter of diseases and disasters, emphasizing their potential to inflict death and disability on a global scale.

The annual World Health Day, observed on April 7, serves as a platform to spotlight critical health issues demanding urgent attention.

This year, the WHO has chosen the theme ‘My health, my right’ to advocate for universal access to quality health services, education, and essential resources such as clean water, sanitation, and nutrition.

Highlighting the multifaceted challenges facing global health, the WHO underscored the detrimental impact of conflicts, environmental degradation, and the climate crisis.

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According to the organization, the burning of fossil fuels is exacerbating air pollution, claiming a life every five seconds and undermining the fundamental right to breathe clean air.

Despite the recognition of health as a human right by at least 140 countries, the WHO lamented the failure of many nations to enact laws ensuring equitable access to healthcare services.

Shockingly, over half of the world’s population, approximately 4.5 billion people, remained deprived of essential health services in 2021.

The WHO’s call to action extends beyond individual rights to encompass systemic reforms and policy interventions. Urging governments to implement measures to address these pressing challenges, the organization advocated for the taxation of harmful substances like tobacco, sugar, and alcohol, as well as the elimination of trans fats.

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Moreover, the WHO emphasized the imperative of transitioning towards clean energy sources and investing in sustainable infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Proposals included subsidizing renewable energy alternatives and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.

In addition to environmental initiatives, the WHO stressed the importance of strengthening healthcare systems, enhancing worker protections, and promoting social inclusion.

Investments in primary healthcare, alongside efforts to combat corruption and foster community engagement, were highlighted as essential components of a comprehensive health agenda.

As the world grapples with a complex array of health threats, the WHO’s message serves as a clarion call for collective action and solidarity.

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Emphasizing the centrality of health rights in shaping equitable and resilient societies, the organization urged stakeholders to prioritize investments in health and uphold the principles of transparency, accountability, and inclusivity in health governance.