US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



#WorldHealthDay 2021: Building a Healthier, Fairer World for Everyone, Everywhere

Apr 7, 2021

"This is the second World Health Day to fall during the COVID-19 pandemic – the world’s worst peacetime health crisis in a century. It comes amidst gruelling and painful times for the world’s people who are dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, including those working in the health sector.

The cost of COVID-19 is so high that it demands we do things differently: that we commit to building a fairer and healthier world by taking health equity much more seriously than before – and meet head-on the social and economic factors that cause health inequities."

This #WorldHealthDay, we echo the call from the World Health Organization (WHO) to build back a healthier, fairer world. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many existing systemic inequalities in the US, and vulnerable communities continue to experience higher rates of infection/death, inequitable vaccine distribution, disqualification from federal aid and more. We echo the call for governments and relevant institutions to work hand in hand with affected communities and individuals to address the root causes of inequities and to implement solutions through: 

  1. Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments within and between countries.
  2. Post-COVID-19 recovery budgets and plans that protect and prioritize health and social sectors.
  3. Equitable services and infrastructure in all communities – both urban and rural.
  4. Stronger primary health care for everyone, everywhere.
  5. Better data collection processes and reporting to address health inequalities. 

Source: Health Equity and its determinants, World Health Organization (2021).

The full 2021 World Health Day report, "Health Equity and its determinants" is available to read here.