World Health Organization (WHO) marks its 75th anniversary on 7 April 2023.
On this day in 1948, the United Nations fulfilled its ambition to create a global health body in a bid to make the world safer and to serve those most in need. Every year since, the date has been observed as World Health Day.
In the African region, the noteworthy milestone of WHO’s 75th anniversary provides an opportunity to celebrate the many public health successes that have significantly improved quality of life over the years. It also serves as a poignant moment to redouble commitment to tackling the current and future health challenges confronting the region and steering it towards a brighter tomorrow.
But for all the hard-won gains that have been made over the past 75 years, more than 100 health emergencies still occur in the African Region annually, including outbreaks of cholera, yellow fever, meningitis, measles and Ebola. These emergencies still pose a significant threat to the health, well-being and development of African countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also cast a long shadow, exacerbating inequality and causing widespread disruptions to essential services such as routine immunizations. This has hampered the drive to eliminate diseases including polio and meningitis from the region once and for all, as well as stalling progress towards universal health coverage.
As many countries simultaneously confront the intersecting crises of climate change, conflict and rising food insecurity, the need to bolster resilience and capacity to respond to health emergencies has never been more urgent.
WHO is entirely committed to helping countries tackle the health challenges of today ̶and tomorrow. Seventy-five years since the Organization’s creation, our work remains as important as ever.
Source : WHO