Health and Covid-19. Inequality is not only unfair, it is also avoidable, says WHO

Access to health during the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the great inequalities that persist between the richest and the less fortunate.

“Our world is uneven. As Covid-19 has shown, some people can lead healthier lives and have better access to health services than others, entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age ”, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

This inequality motivated the international organization to dedicate World Health Day, which will be celebrated tomorrow, April 7, to the theme “Building a fairer and healthier world.”

The celebration is a campaign in which the entity highlights how, around the world, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have worse housing and education conditions and fewer job opportunities, experience greater inequality of gender and have little or no access to safe environments, clean water and air, food security and health services.

Explain that all this causes unnecessary suffering, preventable diseases and premature deaths. And it also hurts our societies and economies.

“This is not only unfair: it is avoidable. That is why we ask leaders to ensure that all people have living and working conditions that promote good health. At the same time, we urge leaders to monitor health inequalities and ensure that all people can access quality health services when and where they need them, ”the institution published in a statement.

The measures that, according to the WHO, must take world leaders, are the following:

Work together

Work closely with affected communities and individuals to address the root causes of inequalities and implement solutions – within and outside the health sector – to address them. The impact will be greater when governments and communities work together in a coordinated way.

Collect reliable data

Ensure the collection and use of timely and reliable health data, disaggregated by sex, age, income, education, immigration status, disability, geographic location, and other characteristics relevant to the national context. Only in this way is it possible to assess inequalities between population subgroups and take measures that have an impact.

Address inequalities

Take a whole-of-government approach to address the root causes of inequalities and increase investment in primary health care. This is essential to meet the current challenges of ensuring “Health for All” and to build the resilience of the future.

Act beyond borders

Act beyond national borders. For example, only when we can protect, test and treat the entire world’s population can we end the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to ensuring an equitable supply of vaccines, tests and treatments, we must strengthen national and international mechanisms and build community trust and participation in their supply and use in order to ensure access for all globally.

SPECIAL ACTIVITIES

Taller. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) invites the virtual panel “Building a more just, equitable and healthy world after COVID-19 in the Region of the Americas”. It is this Wednesday, April 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (Dominican time). It will be carried out via Zoom, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter with simultaneous interpretation in English, Spanish, Portuguese, sign language and subtitles.

Dedication. The year 2021 was designated as the International Year of Health and Welfare Workers “to recognize and thank the unwavering dedication of these workers to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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