The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore the inequality and disparity that was hiding underneath the economic progress and technological advancements of most countries in the world. The theme for WHO’s 2021 World Health Day is inspired by this disparity. While some people lived healthier, safe lives with secured livelihoods and easy access to health services, the other end of the spectrum struggled to meet ends meet and were far from access or awareness about the ongoing pandemic.
While the pandemic is still far from over, the respite that 2021 brought was the vaccines. However, the vaccine rollouts saw most developed and economically strong countries booking doses to vaccinate their population, whereas the poorer nations failed to secure theirs. Though WHO, through its initiative COVAX is making their efforts to procure vaccines to ensure vaccines reach all the countries in the world.
The theme for World Health Day 2021 resonates with the underlying requirement of the moment– we are not safe until everyone else is. There are a large number of challenges that the vaccine roll-out is facing. But, with effective global partnerships, the health infrastructures of tomorrow can definitely be strengthened.