Every year, 7th April is observed as ‘World Health Day’. In 1948, World Health Organization (WHO) held the first World Health Assembly, at where the observance of a ‘World Health Day’ was finalized – however took effect in 1950. The objective of this celebration is aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for WHO. Over the past 50 years this has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change.
This year, WHO focused on a new campaign to build a fairer, healthier world. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted, some people are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others - entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age. That is precisely why the organization is calling on leaders to ensure that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health. At the same time, they urge leaders to monitor health inequities, and to ensure that all people are able to access quality health services when and where they need them.
COVID-19 in the Maldives pretty much also highlighted a similar situation where the geographical formation of the country has hindered equal and quality access to health services at all inhabited islands. However, stakeholders remain committed to improve and strengthen regional healthcare services. Accordingly, whilst speaking regarding the occasion today, the Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem expressed the administration’s place to develop 12 health centers in the islands to a ‘hospital’ level.