Access to good health care is not available to everyone. This is the important theme for World Health Day 2021 which occurs on April 7th every year. This year, several reports and research showed the inequality in health care is more pronounced as the world was thrown into the throes of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) noted on its website, “All over the world, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have poorer housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities, experience greater gender inequality and have little or no access to safe environments, clean water, and air, food security and health services. This leads to unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness, and premature death. And it harms our societies and economies.” You can access the WHO initiative for World Health Day here: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2021
This theme is very close to my heart. As I have written and spoken about the inequalities in health care, I continue to be a proponent of educating medical professionals about the subtle stereotypical attitudes that prevail and continue to cultivate some of these inequities in both children and adults. My article on Cultural Competence And Ethnic Diversity In Healthcare which won the PRS GO Honorable Mention: Special Topic Paper Award, discussed these key issues. The article is available here – https://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6571328 I was also interviewed on the PRS Global Open Keynote podcast where I discuss the issues and practical solutions in more details. You can listen to it at this link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ethnic-diversity-in-plastic-surgery-oluwaseun-adetayo/id1449182291?i=1000479267655
This issue requires and deserves the attention of everyone in health care and world leaders. It is central to our work as mentors, leaders, managers, and patient advocates. It is part of our Hippocratic Oath and is an integral aspect that I work to actively cultivate with my practice, patients, and mentees. This year let’s take the theme of A fairer healthier world for everyone, beyond World Health Day. Let’s all do our part in making access to health care possible and be advocates for all children and adults in promoting prevention and cure.