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World Health Day 2024

World Health Organization World Health Day 2024 banner: "my health, my right"

Around the world, millions are facing a stark reality: their fundamental right to health is under threat.

Diseases, disasters, conflict, and environmental pollution are creating a global health crisis. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in 2021, at least half the world's population lacked access to essential health services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that social determinants of health, like the conditions where you live, work, and grow up, affect how healthy you are. World Health Day is a day to call on leaders to make sure everyone has a place to live and work that allows them to be healthy.

At Mildmay, we stand firmly behind the right to health for all. In the UK, we provide vital care to people living with complex illnesses. But our reach extends far beyond our walls.

Through our overseas programmes, we work to improve clinical outcomes and work with ordinary people in remote regions to become community health volunteers. These volunteers provide basic healthcare and social support to people living with HIV, ensuring they receive the care they need, regardless of location.

To address these types of challenges, the theme for World Health Day 2024 is 'My health, my right’.

This year’s theme was chosen to champion the right of everyone, everywhere, to have access to quality health services, education, and information, as well as safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.

Know your health rights. You have the right to:

  • Safe and quality care without any discrimination

  • privacy and confidentiality of your health information

  • information about your treatment and to informed consent

  • bodily autonomy and integrity.

  • Make decisions about your own health. 

  • Protect your right to health as a basic human right.

  • Everyone should have access to the health services they need when and where they need them without facing financial hardship. So, if you cannot access healthcare, that’s not right. Here are some ways to take action:

  • Advocate – appeal to political leaders, join health communities demanding action and participate in petitions and discussions.

  • Organise your community – e.g., at work or church – to agree on what needs to change and how. 

  • Promote the right to health as an intrinsic pillar of our broader human rights.

  • Respecting our right to health means respecting our rights to access safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working conditions, and freedom from violence and discrimination. 

  • Champion health as a priority.

  • Get involved with health decision-making. Examples of how to participate include town hall meetings and citizen assemblies, focus groups and consultations, health councils, steering groups, and review boards.


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