More than 50 years ago, on this date, April 7, the World Health Organization (WHO) was founded to help all people attain the highest levels of health. Each year on this day, we mark the founding of the WHO and draw attention to a specific health topic of particular global importance.

The theme for World Health Day 2021 is “building a fairer, healthier world”, an especially vital topic given the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The theme for this year has two facets: ‘healthier’ – the right of every human being to be able to enjoy good health; and ‘fairer’ – equal opportunity without distinction of race, religion, color, gender, age, ethnicity, political belief, economic or social condition.

COVID-19 has made it more difficult to create a healthy and fairer society, as the pandemic has gravely affected many countries, but has most severely impacted countries and communities that were already vulnerable. These communities have limited access to reliable healthcare facilities and are more likely to suffer negative effects as a result of steps taken to control the pandemic. 

As we brave this pandemic, the theme for this year seems rightfully chosen. The gap in access to healthcare during this pandemic has widened by quite a lot – especially between the rich and the poor, but also across gender lines. In many cases, individuals with COVID-19 or other diseases are not being able to access healthcare, and have been deprived of basic treatment or health services. 

No one should be put in a situation where they have to choose between receiving health services or feeding their family members. This is a very difficult choice to make and many will have to make it if one of the family members becomes ill. Often the poorest members of our communities with little income to spare are the hardest hit as many individuals do not get proper healthcare, which puts them at a higher risk for health problems, or they are plunged further into poverty as a result of paying for healthcare services.

Access to healthcare should be a fundamental right for every individual. All people and communities deserve access to quality healthcare without suffering financial hardship. Work also needs to be done to raise awareness about personal health, as well as affordable and acceptable healthcare options, and pricing and quality. 

People from all backgrounds deserve the full spectrum of healthcare services needed throughout life, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care. This should be based on a strong primary healthcare system and care should be provided within the family. This means the key to better care should be at home as much as possible. 

At Praava, we leverage technology to make healthcare more accessible to patients all over Bangladesh. We are also doing the best we can to keep costs down for our patients to serve the wider community. We regularly benchmark our prices against similar high-quality healthcare institutes to make sure our prices remain affordable. It’s our motto to maintain high quality at an affordable price.

On this World Health Day, we all need to work together to build a fairer and healthier world and to finish the work that started more than 50 years ago. As the pandemic has shown, the need for proper healthcare is a basic human right and one that we should all fight for.

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