By: Lailuma Noori
April 7th is coincided with Hamal 19 as the World Health Day, which is marked globally each year. From its inception at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and since taking effect in 1950, the celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization.
Over the past 50 years, this has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal and childcare, and climate change. The celebration is marked by activities which extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these important aspects of global health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. It is part of the U.N. Sustainable Development Group.
The WHO Constitution, which establishes the agency’s governing structure and principles, states its main objective as ensuring “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.” It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with six semi-autonomous regional offices and 150 field offices worldwide.
The WHO was established in 7 April 1948, which is commemorated as World Health Day. The first meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the agency’s governing body, took place on 24 July 1948.
Currently, there are numerous countries in the world that have considerably developed in health sector, but unfortunately there are still millions of people with no access to healthcare at all.
Afghanistan seriously needs health services since the country is facing with increasing poverty and insecurity. The average age of people in Afghanistan is 45 years and mortality rate of women, children and aged people in the country in the high level. The country does not have sufficient means and funds to create clinics in very remote areas of the country to address first needs of the people in terms of health services.
Lack of expert and experienced doctors in particular gynecologists and female doctors in remote areas is the main problem that has caused that the majority of people do not have access to health services and lose their lives as a result of minor health problem.
Although considerable developments have been seen since 2002 as access of people to health services has become easier, but the situation has not that much improved and in case of reduction in assistance of the international community, health sector cannot or won’t respond problems and needs of the people.
April 7, the World Health Day, is a good opportunity to assess health situation in Afghanistan. On this day, Afghan people should be informed about health issues, problems, mechanisms and programs being implemented by the ministry of public health in the country. Health officials should draw clear image of health-related circumstances in the country to the people.
Health problems do not only depend to lack of health possibilities. Low –quality and fake medicines, un-experienced doctors, short-comings in health education, corruption and nepotism cause that doctors are not able to deliver better health services to the people.
Depending on internal resources, effort for absorption foreign assistance and transparently spending aids in infrastructural affairs, counter corruption and nepotism, building capacity of doctors and expansion of health services to very remote villages are all needs that should be addressed by the government.
Access to health services is considered as the first rights; therefore, governments are obliged to provide better and necessary health services to the people at any circumstances. On the other hand, protection and safety of the people is also the main responsibilities of governments as delivering health services is a human responsibility.