The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has revealed how unequal societies are, according to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres in a message on World Health Day.
“On this World Health Day, we highlight the inequalities and injustices of our health systems,” he said.
He explained that within countries, illness and death from COVID-19 has been higher among people and communities that contend with poverty, unfavourable living and working conditions, discrimination and social exclusion.
“Globally, the vast majority of vaccine doses administered have been in a few wealthy countries or those producing vaccines,” he said, adding, “Thanks to the COVAX initiative, more nations are now beginning to receive vaccine supplies, but most people in low- and middle-income countries still must watch and wait.”
Guterres confirmed that such inequities are immoral and dangerous for the world’s health, economies, and societies.
He said that as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, policies must be implemented and resources allocated so that all can enjoy the same health outcomes.
Guterres highlighted that one of the aspects of achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 means delivering universal health coverage so that everyone, everywhere, can thrive.
“On this World Health Day, let us commit to work together for a healthy, equitable world,” he concluded.
World Health Day is celebrated under World Health Organization (WHO) sponsorship on 7 April every year, and serves as a global health awareness day.