Many days in a year are dedicated to important events and awareness creation and in the field of health alone there are so many important days one often gets overwhelmed. Yes, in this era of information overload it is necessary that we get the right dose of credible information from a reliable source. I consider World Health Day on April 7th the mother of all “health days” as it often picks a broad area to create awareness yet manages to make it relevant to all.
This year the theme “Our planet, our health” sums it all up. One does not need to look far to realise or even feel the impact of “our planet” on our wellbeing. On the back of a devastating pandemic, the crippling effects of climate change and the agony and economic hardship of a war in Europe so soon after the atrocities of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya among several others.
Wouldn’t we all prefer a world with clean air, water and food available to all? Why cant economies focus on health and wellbeing since that is the foundation of all we strive for? No matter how hard we try to develop, if health and well-being is placed on the backburner then we will end up using all the money to manage increasing costs of healthcare or maybe better referred to as “sick care”.
WHO estimates that over 13 million deaths each year worldwide are caused by avoidable environmental factors. Read the numbers again and let it sink in. We need to realise that Climate Change is the biggest health threat facing humanity and we have to take concrete steps to curb this instead of playing politics. Are we leaving the world in a state that future generations will forever blame us?
Climate Change is being driven by our political, social and commercial decisions and making the health crisis worse each passing day. Majority of us breathe unhealthy air that is a result of the burning of fossil fuels and it doesn’t look like this is ending any time soon. A heating world creates many challenges such as mosquitoes spreading farther and faster than ever before and that comes with increased morbidity and mortality. Extreme weather destroys lands, water is scarce and unclean when available and people are forced to migrate just as is happening in the Russia-Ukraine war. The living conditions in many of such instances is appalling. We are polluting our world dangerously. Look around you and you are likely to fins plastics. Many of these end up at the bottom of oceans causing a shift in produce from the sea. Then we feel tired or stressed as we love to refer to it, we are always in a hurry and unhealthy foods and beverages come to our “rescue” and we willingly pay for obesity, cancer and heart diseases. That is only the tip of the iceberg.
COVID-19 has also shown us the impact of mental health in our wellbeing. It has also made it clear how the world is closely inter-related and one challenge in a small corner can quickly have an impact on everyone. Well, if we did not understand the COVID-19 lesson then the current war is repeating it for our “benefit”. We also found out that finance plays a role in health and wellness as richer countries managed vaccines and the poor ones struggled but once again nature reminded us that the money alone won’t heal our world. We need to share, we need each other to survive and create a healthier safer world.
On World Health Day, what can we do to help save our dying world, a world that is on its knees. What can we as individuals do to rescue our world, what are our leaders doing? We need commitment from governments and not mere talk shops.
The change starts with you and I.
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, ENSURE HYGIENE, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Health Essentials Ltd/ Mobissel
*Dr. Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy, fitness nutrition and corrective exercise.
Thought for the week – “Don’t lose out on laughter, the benefits match Exercise, Meditation & Sex all rolled into one.”