September 20, 2019

The Editor speaks: HEALTH

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Colin Wilson

I make no apologies for publishing many articles this week concerning health.

You see, this Sunday April 7th is World Health Day.

Yesterday (3) we published our Minister of Health, Dwayne Seymour’s, World Health Day Message.

The Minister started off saying, “World Health Day is a time for decision-makers, educators, advocates, and, indeed, the whole community to consider how we can improve health outcomes around the world and in our local communities.

“The 2019 international focus on universal health coverage continues from last year, with particular attention to ensuring access to quality primary healthcare. The World Health Organisation (WHO) argues that health is a human right and that everyone should have access to the information and services they need to take care of their own health and the health of their families.

“This concept is the foundation for universal health coverage. It aims to ensure that individuals, their families and the community benefit as much as possible from healthcare that facilitates promotion and prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. Moreover it calls for such services to be available as close as possible to where individuals live and work.”

For the whole Message go to: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/message-by-cayman-islands-minister-of-health-hon-dwayne-seymour-to-mark-world-health-day-sunday-7-april-2019/

In an article written by Rosy Edwards and published on the Metro UK website she says in the UK, “We’ve endured Dress Up Your Pet Day and tittered through National Tea Day.”

Yes we have similar silly events here in the Cayman Islands and the problem with there ever increasing number, they tend to overshadow the awareness days that matter. World Health Day is one that really does matter.

M/s Edwards asks the question Why does World Health Day matter?

She answers it herself with these stats from 2017/18:

According to WHO statistics, 15,000 children under five die every day. Diabetes was listed among the 10 leading causes of death and disability worldwide, despite being eminently treatable in developed nations.

World Health Day helps disseminate these shocking statistics and highlight the severity of the problem. On a macro level, universal health coverage (UHO) is a crucial component for countries trying to combat wider-health issues and achieve their developmental goals.

It ensures countries are protected from illness outbreaks and epidemics; it increases health and life expectancy across the population, and it reduces poverty and hunger, creates jobs, drives economic growth and promotes gender equality.

On April 7, we have a chance to remind world leaders that UHC will benefit their country overall.

Ending ‘catastrophic expenditure’

It’s not simply that healthcare infrastructures do not exist: 100million people are being pushed into extreme poverty as a result of paying for healthcare they simply can’t afford.

More than 800million people are forced to spend a minimum of 10 per cent of their income on extortionate healthcare for themselves or their relatives.

The problem is not limited to developing nations either; increasing numbers of people in wealthier countries across Europe, Latin America and Asia are incurring what the WHO terms ‘catastrophic expenditures’

World Health Day in numbers

Half the world lacks access to proper healthcare.

Roughly 44% of WHO member states report having less than 1 doctor per 1,000 people.

About 1.3million global deaths in 2015 were attributed to hepatitis, which is treatable in most developed nations.

About 1billion more people will access healthcare resources by 2023.

SOURCE: https://metro.co.uk/2018/04/07/what-is-world-health-day-and-why-is-it-important-7420533/

I leave you with my own question.

Is there a more important day for awareness than WORLD HEALTH DAY?

Whatever you answer, I urge you to remember it, this Sunday, April 7th.

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