World Health Day April 7, 2021 Building a fairer, healthier world Message from WHO Eritrea Representative DR. Martins Ovberedjo

The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as

This year ‘s commemoration is key message is to call for urgent action to eliminate health inequalities and promoting health equity to “Build a fairer and healthier world”.

Inclusiveness and health equity are central to our global commitments to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. The joint action on SDGs- “leave no one behind “ such as addressing the root causes of exclusion and poverty, achieving gender equality, granting food and nutrition security, ensuring access to quality and equitable education and lifelong learning, universal health coverage, as well as fighting climate change - contributes to achieving health equity globally, nationally and locally.

The WHO Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019−2023 13 (GPW13) mission and goals are aligned with the agenda 2030. The three strategic priorities the triple billion goal by ensures healthy lives & promoting well-being for all ages – no matter who they are and where they live so can access essential, quality health services without facing financial hardship and with equity and serving the vulnerable are its mission goals .

The COVID-19 has shown us that no one is safe until everyone is safe, so it is time to build a fairer, healthier world for everyone, everywhere. In this difficulty and challenging COVID-19 pandemic era, it is high time to protect better one billion more people from any health emergencies which is among the three strategic priorities of general work plan 2030.

So, it is of utmost importance to ensure access of COVID-19 vaccines to every everyone and everywhere. To continue advocacy towards policy makers, partners, and the community on the importance of COVID-19 vaccines in prevention and control of the pandemic along the other public health measures, testing and treatments is needed.

To achieve this, it is important to raise awareness and catalyse public advocacy to address health inequalities and make efforts to address health equity. Engaging policy makers in building capacity to address health equity especially during this era of COVID-19 pandemic through advocacy and knowledge exchange throughout the year 2021.

The Eritrean government in recent years has recorded tremendous achievement in building a fairer health system, where heath facilities are acceded by the population free of charge. This achievement therefore should spur us in our endeavour to build a fairer, heathier Eritrean heath system and to give support to those who need it most. During this Covid-19 pandemic, this call for action could not be more imperative.

As commending the decisive leadership, great organization and coordination, and pragmatic planning with effective implementation of the Whole of Government Approach through engaging communities, Eritrean Youth and Students and Eritrean Women’s Union as well as Elders and Religious Leaders the state of Eritrea’s self-reliance policy and using its own resources to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Decisive leadership was also reflected in the fact that strong, aggressive action was taken very early on in Eritrea, based on a clear understanding of the threat posed to the country by COVID-19. From the outset, timely regular updates, engage and provide the public with frequent clear, consistent, and trusted communication and public health information from the start. These ensured that the population is able to understand the magnitude of the problem and the rationale behind various preventive measures, clear communication dispels rumours and false or misleading information, and reduces unnecessary public anxiety, fear, or panic.

The most important dimension of the strategy taken by the GOE was the equity dimension and free access to get all aspects of COVID 19 management in rural and urban, male or female, rich and poor without any discrimination and provision of essential health services were free of charge with the goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) without facing financial hardship.

Therefore, to support the achieved progress need to deepening Government, WHO and other UN Agencies partnership to promote health equity so that people of Eritrea can access essential, quality health services without facing financial hardship.

Written by
Mr. Yohanes Tesfay
Communications Officer
yohanes tesfay
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