This year, WHO World Health Day are concentrating on bringing urgent attention to keeping humans and the planet healthy. They seek to “foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being”. The theme is ‘Our Planet, Our Health’.
WHO estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world are caused by avoidable environmental causes right now. This includes the single biggest crisis right now; the climate crisis.
According to WHO, over 90% of people breathe unhealthy air as a result of political, social and commercial decisions. As such, WHO put forward the immense task of trying to focus on cleaner air and emphasise our health and well wellbeing as a reason to tackle climate change.
WHO lists actions everyone can take, from governments to corporations and individuals. Here is what they advise:
WHO advise governments to tax polluters and incentivize carbon reduction. WHO also say taxing highly processed foods and beverages and implementing policies to reduce food wastage would be useful in tackling climate change.
Next, WHO World Health Day also urge corporations to take responsibility and play their part in protecting our planet. WHO encourage corporations to support teleworking and remote working when possible. Another thing businesses could do is to reduce, or better yet, remove highly processed and packaged foods from the workplace. Most importantly, corporations should reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their activities.
In regard to health and climate change, WHO ask health professionals and health facilities to actively promote protection of the planet by decarbonizing health facilities and supporting the use of environmentally friendly products that are easily reusable or recycled. Lastly, WHO ask health workers and facilities to advocate for health to be at the centre of climate change policies.
Finally, WHO World Health Day propose that individuals take a stand and demand climate change to protect your health and our planet!
This week, we hope you will take an active and active approach to climate change by making the switch to renewable energy, supporting local producers when buying fresh groceries and avoiding the consumption of tobacco and highly processed food and drinks.