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World Health Day | Article by Begum Momtaz Laskar

World Health Day

        World Health Day is celebrated on 7th of April every year. It was celebrated for the first time in the year 1950. We celebrate World Health Day to raise awareness about overall health and well-being of people across the world. This day  has been chosen to commemorate the anniversary of World Health Organization because it was formed on 7th April, 1948. The major aim of the World Health Day is to spread the awareness among the positive benefits of good health among the general masses.

            But why do we need to observe such a global event? ‘Health is Wealth’ is a common phrase we all had  learnt in our primary class.  We have memorized the phrase but very few of us  have actually understood its deeper meaning. It simply means when a person lives a spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally  healthy life, he becomes the richest person in the world. Gautam Buddha once said ‘Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship’. According to Mahatma Gandhi, it is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. Good health eventually brings happiness. Dalai Lama once said ‘happiness is the highest form of health’. Thus, health is the greatest gift, the greatest wealth and the best relationship between our mind and our body. Buddha also said that the secret of health for both mind and body is to live the present moment wisely and earnestly. Hence, the body is precious and the vehicle for awakening. But every human being is the author of his own good or bad health.

        Therefore, the importance of health is paramount. Good health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being. For a healthy life, a person needs to have a balanced diet and regular exercise. Still, many people often take health for granted.  According to World Health Organization, health is central to human happiness and well-being. It also makes an important contribution to economic progress, as healthy populations live longer, are more productive, and save more.
        But each year there is a specific theme for World Health Day. In the last year, World Health Organization (WHO) chose the year 2020 as the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’ because of the contribution of all nurses and midwives in putting their own health at risk serving the community from the the frontline even during  COVID-19 pandemic. The invaluable role they have played is testimony of their sacrifice, courage and commitment to a healthier and safer world. WHO wanted to highlight the significant roles which they play in making the world a better place, dedicating 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

        Similarly, the theme for 2021 World Health Day is ‘Building a fairer, healthier world’. For  this year, WHO noted COVID-19 has highlighted the fact that some people are able to live 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. All over the world, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have poorer housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities, experience greater gender inequality, and have  little or no access to safe environments, clean water and air, food security and health services. This leads to unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness, and premature death which in turn harm our  societies and economies as stated by WHO. This is not fair and we can prevent this injustice. That is why, World Health Organization is calling world leaders to ensure that every individual of their country is living and working under conditions that are conducive to good health and economic prosperity.

          However, maintenance of good health under the prevailing COVID-19 situation is one of the biggest challenges. In India, with 12 million confirmed  cases, the country now has the third greatest number of infections, behind only the United States and Brazil. As on of 5th April 2021, more than 1.6 lakh people have lost their lives in COVID-19 pandemic. With limited resources and lesser number of doctors, nurses and other medical staff, India is still fighting the pandemic to save the life of the general people. That’s why; the world has hailed India’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic inspite of  lacking in sufficient number of health workers. Moreover, India will likely be the largest vaccine producer and supplier of vaccines against COVID-19 which is a matter of pride. If India’s vaccine industry is successful, then it will ensure that these vaccines will be available not only to those who can pay for them but also to the poor in India and other countries.


Begum Momtaz Laskar 

Assistant Teacher Bhandari Char LP School, 

Hajo Block, Kamrup
Ph: 9101862805

Illustration: Tandra Dey

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