Across the globe, the fundamental right to health for millions is increasingly endangered. A multitude of factors such as diseases, disasters, and conflicts pose significant threats to life and well-being. Conflicts ravage communities, resulting in loss of life, suffering, food insecurity, and mental anguish. Moreover, the combustion of fossil fuels exacerbates the climate crisis while depriving individuals of the right to breathe clean air, contributing to indoor and outdoor air pollution that claims a life every 5 seconds.

The WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All has identified that at least 140 countries recognize health as a human right in their constitutions. However, many nations fail to enact and enforce laws ensuring their populations’ entitlement to healthcare access. This underscores the stark reality that in 2021, over 4.5 billion people, comprising more than half of the global population, lacked full coverage of essential health services.

In response to these formidable challenges, the theme for World Health Day 2024 is ‘My health, my right’. This year’s theme is aimed at advocating for the universal right of every individual, regardless of location, to access quality healthcare services, education, and information. It also emphasizes the necessity of safe drinking water, clean air, adequate nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.