News Sandy's Comments

World Health Day 2024 – 7th April

Around the world, the right to health of millions is increasingly coming under threat.

Diseases and disasters loom large as causes of death and disability.

Conflicts are devastating lives, causing death, pain, hunger and psychological distress.

The burning of fossil fuels is simultaneously driving the climate crisis and taking away our right to breathe clean air, with indoor and outdoor air pollution claiming a life every 5 seconds.

The WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All has found that at least 140 countries recognize health as a human right in their constitution. Yet countries are not passing and putting into practice laws to ensure their populations are entitled to access health services. This underpins the fact that at least 4.5 billion people — more than half of the world’s population — were not fully covered by essential health services in 2021.

To address these types of challenges, the theme for World Health Day 2024 is ‘My health, my right’.

This year’s theme was chosen to champion the right of everyone, everywhere to have access to quality health services, education, and information, as well as safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.

The United Nations’ human rights chief, Volker Turk, has raised alarm over the impending health and hunger crises in Gaza following prolonged Israeli military activities. He warned of the imminent risk of extensive infectious disease outbreaks and severe hunger, conditions worsened by the conflict.
The crisis is intensified by the destruction of key infrastructure. Every bakery in Gaza has shut down following Israeli air strikes, cutting off a vital food source for the already distressed populace. This critical situation underscores the deepening hardships and challenges faced by the people of Gaza in the wake of the conflict.
Food and safe water have become incredibly scarce and diseases are rife, compromising women and children’s nutrition and immunity and resulting in a surge of acute malnutrition. The situation is especially serious in the north, which has been cut off from humanitarian aid for weeks, where one in six children under the age of two is acutely malnourished.
“The Gaza Strip is poised to witness an explosion in preventable child deaths which would compound the already unbearable level of child deaths in Gaza,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director for Humanitarian Action and Supply Operations, Ted Chaiban. “We’ve been warning for weeks that the Gaza Strip is on the brink of a nutrition crisis. If the conflict doesn’t end now, children’s nutrition will continue to plummet, leading to preventable deaths or health issues which will affect the children of Gaza for the rest of their lives and have potential intergenerational consequences.”

Prayer service for World Health Day

A prayer for World Health Day