WHO: Over Half of Global Population Lacks Full Access to Essential Health Services


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that more than half of the global population, over 4.5 billion individuals, lack full access to essential health services.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director-General, shared this information during an online media conference addressing critical global health issues.

Dr Ghebreyesus highlighted the significant challenges faced by two billion people who struggle with financial difficulties due to out-of-pocket health expenses. He pointed out that outbreaks, disasters, conflict, and climate change further compound these challenges, leading to fatalities, disabilities, hunger, and psychological distress.

He emphasized the need to realize the right to health by enacting and enforcing laws to ensure universal access to health services without financial burdens. Despite 140 countries including the right to health in their constitutions, achieving this fundamental right remains a challenge globally.

Dr Ghebreyesus stressed the importance of addressing the root causes of illness and mortality, such as access to safe drinking water, clean air, adequate nutrition, quality housing, and favorable working and environmental conditions. He also highlighted the need to combat discrimination, which is crucial for health equity.

As World Health Day approaches on April 7, commemorating the 76th anniversary of WHO’s constitution, this year’s theme, “My health, my right,” underscores the principle that health is a universal entitlement, not a privilege.

Dr Ghebreyesus urged people worldwide to assert their right to health, echoing the WHO constitution’s assertion that the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental right for all individuals, regardless of their circumstances.


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