World Health Day 2022: The health of all peoples is fundamental to the attainment of peace and security

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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Prioritize equitable health to build well-being societies for a healthier, fairer, and greener world: WHO

This year on World Health Day (7 April) the WHO is putting the spotlight on the direct link between climate change, environmental degradation and our health and calling for urgent action to protect our health & the planet.

South-East Asia has the highest number of deaths from climate change.

Climate change is expected to cause an additional 250,000 deaths every year between 2030 and 2050 globally.

Every year 13 million lives are lost due to avoidable environmental causes.

Air pollution is killing 7 million people of which 2.4 million deaths occur in the SE Asia Region every year.

Rising temperatures also drive the spread of infectious diseases including dengue, causing trauma, heat strokes and in case of extreme heat, organ failure and death.

WHO has also listed 5 priority areas for action.

With climate change emerging as the single biggest threat facing humanity and nearly 13 million lives lost every year due to avoidable environmental causes, the WHO is calling for prioritizing equitable health and accelerating steps to protect ecological systems and health to build well-being societies.

“Climate change is putting the health, well-being, and sustainable development of billions of people across the region and the world at risk. It imperils decades of progress in reducing disease-related morbidity and mortality. We must act now to keep humans and our planet healthy,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region.

The theme of World Health Day 2022: Our planet, our health- Healthier Tomorrow.

Climate change is expected to cause an additional 250 000 deaths annually between 2030 and 2050. WHO is urging governments and people to take measures to protect ‘Our planet, our health,’ the theme of World Health Day 2022.

The WHO South-East Asia Region, home to more than 2 billion people is highly vulnerable to climate change and has the highest estimated number of deaths due to climate change.

Intense rainfall, frequent floods, forest fires and droughts triggered by climate change are already impacting health and livelihood and causing huge sufferings, mental health issues, deaths and displacement, globally and in the Region.

Rising temperatures are also leading to outbreaks of infectious disease, heat strokes, trauma and even death from extreme heat. Crop failure linked to climate change is driving malnutrition and undernutrition.

The same pollutants poisoning our air are also impacting our health. Over 90 per cent of people globally breathe polluted air resulting in 7 million deaths every year including 2.4 million deaths in the SE Asia Region.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the inequitable and unsustainable nature of existing political, social, and commercial decisions.

“We have a once-in-a-century opportunity to drive transformative, lasting change. “

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