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World Health Day

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World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7th. It was first established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948 to raise awareness about global health issues and to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO. Each year, World Health Day focuses on a specific health theme or topic of global importance. The theme for 2024 is My health, my right. The aim is to mobilise action to address the health challenges faced by people around the world. Themes in the past have included mental health, universal health coverage, and the importance of nurses and midwives. World Health Day serves as an opportunity for individuals, communities, and organizations to come together to promote healthier living and advocate for better access to healthcare for all. Palliative care is a critical component of healthcare that aims to improve the quality of life of patients facing serious illnesses and their families. It focuses on relieving pain and other symptoms, as well as providing psychosocial and spiritual support throughout the illness trajectory. Palliative care can be provided alongside curative treatments and is not limited to end-of-life care. There is a clear connection between World Health Day and palliative care, as both share the common goal of promoting health and well-being. Recognising the importance of palliative care on World Health Day can help raise awareness about the need for comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals with serious illnesses. It can also serve as an opportunity to advocate for improved access to palliative care services globally, ensuring that all patients receive the support they need to live as fully and comfortably as possible, regardless of their diagnosis or prognosis. By highlighting the role of palliative care on World Health Day, we can also address misconceptions about this form of care and emphasise its significance in improving patient outcomes and enhancing the overall healthcare system’s effectiveness. Additionally, it provides a platform for healthcare professionals, policymakers, advocates, and the general public to come together to discuss challenges, share best practices, and work towards ensuring that palliative care is integrated into healthcare systems worldwide. Ultimately, integrating palliative care into the broader conversation on global health helps advance the goal of achieving universal health coverage and promoting health equity for all.

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