April 7 is World Health Day and is a worldwide opportunity to focus on key public health issues. The day has been celebrated annually since 1950 with a different theme reflecting a priority area of current concern to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The 2022 World Health Day theme centres on this link between the health of our planet and the health of humans, animals, plants – all living creatures. In line with the One Health approach, which emphasises the correlation of animal, human and environmental health, this year’s WHO campaign will promote messages and activities that showcase how individual choices and social behaviours impact our environment.
The World Health Organisation will focus global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being. WHO estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes, including the climate crisis which is the single biggest health threat facing humanity.
With rising temperatures, floods and extreme rainfall are all ways in which climate change is impacting the lives of millions of people all over the world. At the same time, other human-caused health threats like air pollution, ecosystem degradation, and the production and consumption of tobacco are exacerbating the damage to our planet. These are themes that will be explored alongside the initiatives implemented in cities across the Region.
WHO is calling on everyone to:
“Reimagine a world where clean air, water and food are available to all, where economies are focused on planetary and human health and well-being, and where healthy, people-centred cities, villages and communities create conditions for people to lead better lives.”