South Africa will join the rest of the global community tomorrow (Thursday 7 April) in commemorating World Health Day to raise awareness of the health and general well-being of people across the country amid the pandemic. of COVID-19.
The pandemic has exposed weaknesses in all areas of society and underscored the urgency of creating sustainable well-being societies committed to equitable health now and for future generations without crossing ecological boundaries.
World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated annually on April 7, under the sponsorship and technical support of the World Health Organization, as well as other related organizations.
The 2022 campaign will be commemorated under the theme “Our Planet, Our Health” which calls for global attention to the urgent actions needed to keep people and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create well-being societies. .
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 13 million deaths worldwide each year are due to preventable environmental causes. These include the climate crisis which is the greatest health threat facing humanity.
South Africa’s environmental risk burden is equivalent to 3.7% of our total disease burden, with unsafe water, sanitation, hygiene and poor ambient and indoor air quality being the major contributors at common expense. Unfortunately, the jointly attributable burden is particularly high in children under five (5) years of age, accounting for 10% of all deaths in this age group.
The Department of Health supports a healthy recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that puts the health of people and the planet at the center of actions and fosters a movement to create well-being societies.
Accordingly, the department calls for the safe disposal of any personal protective equipment related to Covid-19, such as face masks, and the continued practice of hand hygiene for personal use beyond the lifting of the state of disaster announced by President Ramaphosa, as part of the country’s campaign. transition from tighter lockdown restrictions intended to control the transmission of the covid-19 pandemic.
Air pollution, contaminated water, inadequate sanitation including solid waste management, risks from certain hazardous chemicals and the negative impacts of climate change are the most pressing environmental threats to public health .
As the world continues to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), health takes center stage in SDG 3 which aims to enable healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. The 2030 Agenda recognizes health and well-being as a central element of sustainable development, as a prerequisite, an outcome and as an indicator of a sustainable society.
World Health Day is one of the eight official health awareness events of the World Health Organization, some of them being World Tuberculosis Day, World Malaria Day and World of AIDS that are commemorated each year around the world.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Republic of South Africa, Department of Health.
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