World Health Day 2021
Updated: May 24, 2021
COVID-19 has unfairly impacted some people more harshly than others, exacerbating existing inequities in health and welfare within and between countries. Illness and death from COVID-19 have been higher among groups who face discrimination, poverty, social exclusion, and adverse daily living and working conditions.
For this year’s #WorldHealthDay, the global community is calling for action to eliminate health inequities. Our planet has been through a lot since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The world was not fair to all prior to the pandemic and it continues to not be fair for everyone. The places where we live, work and play may make it harder for some to reach their full health potential, while others thrive. While millions of people are returning to normalcy, others have been stuck and unable to live a life they once remembered. Health inequities have the potential to widen rather than narrow equity gaps.
Health inequities can be reduced with strategies that place greater attention to improving health equity among the most vulnerable and marginalized groups. These groups, who are more exposed to the disease, are less likely to have access to quality health care services which leads to negative and detrimental effects on each individual’s health as well as preventing their communities from thriving.
On #WorldHealthDay and the rest of the year 2021 I am committed to building a fairer, healthier world for marginalized, vulnerable groups, specifically refugees and asylum seekers in the United States.
I am grateful for the opportunity to work with clinicians and researchers on advancing access to healthcare in refugee communities in California, especially in San Diego, one of the largest resettlement cities for refugees in the United States. One way that we are reducing health inequities is by meeting with the refugee communities and listening to their concerns about the lack of access to healthcare and also listening to how COVID-19 and other diseases have impacted their lives.
I want to give a heartfelt thank you to the healthcare workers, frontline workers all around the world on #WorldHealthDay and especially to those in the city of San Diego. It’s been a challenging year to say the least but inspiring at the same time.
Protecting public health also means protecting refugees #HealthForAll.