World Health Day

‘Working together for health’ is this year’s slogan for World Health Day (today).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) quite rightly asks that we take time just for one day in the year to think about what ‘Health’ actually means. So today, 7 April 2006, is World Health Day.
This year’s strapline is ‘working together for health’. Reduction in child mortality, improvements in maternal health and combatting HIV / AIDS, malaria and other diseases are amongst the Millennium Development Goals ** which all Member States are signed up to meet by the year 2015.
[** The other five goals are eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, universal primary education, promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, environmental sustainability and a global parnership for development.]
A time to reflect?
But here we are in Britain, one of the half-dozen most wealthy countries in the world, and even we don’t get it right on all counts. There is plenty to worry about in the health of our nation; but it cannot be said, as of some other countries, that anyone ‘has’ to starve or die of cold, lack of clean water or because of any of the other horrendous experiences of people in other parts of the world. In the U.K. we have choices, and we have resources, which really do mean this never has to happen.
I say this neither (I hope) to make inappropriate comparisons – poverty in health or anything else in the U.K. is relative; poverty elsewhere is grimly absolute – nor to offer bland pronouncements about what we ‘ought’ to do to reduce such awful suffering in other areas of the globe.
What I seek to understand more clearly is how we can think in a more joined-up way.
Only connect…
We in Britain, like those in other first world countries, mostly know that how we treat our bodies and what we do to promote sustainability are critical both for ourselves and to what happens to people elsewhere, as well as people here. We know too that responsibility for this lies with us personally and as parents, as well as with ‘the government’, or ‘them’.
There’s a message here. It’s at base very simple. The fundamental question is, how do we deliver action?
If World Health Day does nothing else, perhaps it encourages us to reflect how, across the globe, we are all interconnected and interdependent. The ‘links’ are there, on the internet and, even more importantly, in our hearts and minds.

Posted on April 7, 2006, in Arts, Culture And Heritage, Education, Health And Welfare, Events And Notable Dates, Knowledge Ecology And Economy, Politics, Policies And Process. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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