‘All over the world, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have poorer housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities’
The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on business and government leaders across the globe to help build ‘a fairer, healthier world’.
The organization noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the difficulties that some face and continue to face in life, while others are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services – 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,” said the WHO.
“This is not only unfair: it is preventable.”
To address this, the WHO is calling on leaders to do the following:
- Work hand in hand with affected communities and individuals to address the root causes of inequities and to implement solutions – within and beyond the health sector – to address them.
- Ensure collection and use of timely and reliable health data - disaggregated by gender, age, income, education, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant to the national context.
- Adopt a whole-of-government approach to tackling the root causes of inequities and increase investment in primary health care.
- Strengthen national and international mechanisms and build community trust and participation into their delivery and uptake to ensure access for all globally, as well as assuring an equitable supply of vaccines, tests and treatments.
In May 2020, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) established the AFN COVID-19 (C-19) National Task Force to help the AFN Executive Committee and First Nations receive accurate information, analysis and recommendations for action during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” the organization said. “WHO is committed to ensuring that everyone, everywhere, can realize the right to good health.”
The announcement came just before World Health Day on April 7. On that day, WHO will be inviting individuals to join a new campaign to build ‘a fairer, healthier world’.