Celebrating World Health Day 2023
Updated: Apr 7
April 7th is World Health Day, which allows us to continue spreading the message of health and wellness across all communities.
World Health Day: What to Know
World Health Day is an annual celebration organized by the World Health Organization (WHO). Each year, the WHO selects and incorporates a theme to spotlight a pressing global health concern.
Health for All
2023’s World Health Day theme is Health for All, which focuses on access, care, and quality of life for all communities, including the world’s most vulnerable populations.
This year’s observance is particularly special because it coincides with WHO’s 75th Anniversary and represents a significant milestone in the fight for public safety and health equity.
Understanding Health Equity
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health equity is achieved when “everyone has a fair and just opportunity to achieve their highest level of health.” Given the fact that there’s currently a 30-year gap in life expectancy between Japan and Lesotho, we have our work cut out for us.
Health equity would require a full and sustained societal effort addressing barriers to public health at all levels—including economic policy, legislation, income and wealth gaps, physical environment, education, and more.
And while maintaining a healthy lifestyle can't guarantee immunity from all diseases, a goal of health equity challenges us to confront preventable health disparities or the differences in healthcare access and opportunity that people from marginalized communities often experience.
Emerging Public Health Trends
In some ways, our healthcare systems took several steps forward in recent years, immediately followed by several steps backward. On the one hand, we’ve collectively made massive technological strides in diagnosis and patient care for all ages. At the same time, however, healthcare systems are still grappling with COVID and severe healthcare worker shortages.
The World Economic Forum identified the following eight global health trends that will shape our efforts to improve access and care:
Sky-Rocketing Healthcare Spending
It’s estimated that global healthcare spending has reached $12 trillion, which rose about 40% between 2018 and 2022.
Digital Health and AI
We all saw how the pandemic paved the way for the accelerated digitalization of healthcare. We can expect to see more of the same in 2023 and beyond.
The World Economic Forum tells us to keep an eye on the growth of home health and other options outside of hospital-based care.
Healthcare Worker Shortages
Safety issues, mental health crises, and burnout plagued our healthcare workers during the pandemic, and the problems didn’t end there. Worldwide healthcare systems are still reeling from the mass exodus that followed.
Mental Health Concerns
Communities continue their post-lockdown struggles with mental health, but the demand for mental health support far outpaces current public spending and resources.
Prices, tensions, and supply chain issues soar against a backdrop of food scarcity, mental health needs, and environmental concerns.
What Can We Do?
The outlook may look gloomy initially, but we also know that WHO, CDC, and numerous other coalitions are working daily to address health equity and worldwide quality of life. When individuals work to spread awareness and support the efforts that lead to positive change, we’re doing our part.
Learn more about how to get involved in improving health equity and access here.