Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett, Minister of Health, said that World Health Day 2021, which was observed on April 07 stressed the importance of building a more equitable and healthier world as highlighted in this year’s theme: “Building a Fairer and Healthier World for everyone.”
Minister Byron-Nisbett was at the time delivering remarks at a ceremony on April 07 at the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport when St. Kitts and Nevis received 21, 600 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility.
“Today, in particular, and more than before, we must foster an all of society approach campaign to build a fairer, healthier world. The theme, therefore, embraces a stronger clarion call for urgent action to eliminate health inequalities and mobilizes action to attain better health for all,” said Minister Byron-Nisbett.
The minister touched on health inequalities, noting that they are unfair but avoidable and actions need to be taken to reduce them.
“According to the WHO [World Health Organization], health inequalities are unjust, unfair, and widens the equity gaps preventing persons from reaching their full potential. These health inequalities are largely felt among those who are disadvantaged and who often experience discrimination resulting in illness, morbidity, and premature mortality,” said Minister Byron-Nisbett. “Reducing health inequities is an imperative because health is a fundamental human right. Everyone deserves to live a healthy life regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, disability, economic situation or employment.”
Minister Byron-Nisbett said this year’s observance occurred during an unprecedented period in many generations.
“This World Health Day comes at a very critical juncture in the history of humankind when the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected 0.13 billion people globally. The pandemic has, for the first time in our recent history, brought health to the fore as an important public policy matter,” she said. “In addition, the pandemic underscores the importance of public participation in any policy measure. At the same time, it also highlights the importance of continued vigilant preparedness and prudent increase in public spending to build and sustain the infrastructure that will ensure equitable healthcare to all as the pandemic should not allow for the more basic health problems to attract less attention and priority.”
World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 07 to recognize the widespread contributions of medical faculties and the success of the World Health Organization. According to information from the WHO’s website, from the inception of World Health Day at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and since taking effect in 1950, the celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization. Over the past 50 years, this has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change. The celebration is marked by activities that extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these important aspects of global health.