Health for peace, peace for health

2022.05.27 06:30

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This is the theme of the World Health Organization (DSA) in Geneva today. Explains the argument of the World Health Organization (WHO). While peace is a prerequisite for health, the opposite is also true, and health is a prerequisite for peace. You cannot prevent discrimination, exclusion and marginalization unless you do what is necessary for the health of society as a whole, especially the disadvantaged. Ensuring equality in health strengthens confidence and peace in society.

In May of each year, the DSA meets with the official representatives of 194 member countries, the highest decision-making body of the WHO, as well as representatives of relevant organizations, such as the World Medical Association. Preparations for a new global epidemic in the aftermath of COVID-19, the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on Ukraine’s health infrastructure, and the peace initiative for the World Health Organization initiated by the WHO are important agendas this year.

Terrible together

Re-elected to the WHO presidency at the meeting. Tedros Adhanam Ghebreissas summarizes the state of world health in the following words: “We are facing a terrible combination of disease, drought, famine and war, fueled by climate change, inequality and geopolitical competition.”

It does not speak of its background based on man-made interest, profit, and dominance, but it does illustrate the picture well.

Covid-19, Ebola, monkeypox, hepatitis of unknown origin, war in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, the terrible situation they have described as “complex humanitarian crisis” … even health facilities are attacked. According to the WHO, 373 health facilities in 14 countries have been attacked this year and 131 health workers have been injured. Even such shameless violations of international law have become commonplace.

War is the worst. It breaks down the institutions on which society depends, death, injury, disability and immigration do not end. Health facilities and urban infrastructure are damaged, children die of preventable diseases, women are victims of sexual violence and cannot give birth safely. Psychological damage, on the other hand, persists year after year or never disappears. The nuclear threat is not on the agenda.

War, hunger and disease are brothers. In many battles, more people died of disease than those who died on the front lines. There are many examples. It is no coincidence that the world’s greatest epidemic occurred in 1918 during World War I. So the insecure areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan are the biggest obstacles to eradicating polio from the world today. Now epidemics, wars, hunger and famine are intertwined.

The epidemic is not over

In his speech at the meeting, the WHO President explained with statistics that restrictions were lifted in many places, but the epidemic was not over. He told the WHO that more than 6 million deaths had been reported worldwide due to COVID-19, but according to his own estimates, it was about 15 million. He said the number of cases was increasing in about 70 countries in all the regions and with it the number of tests was declining. He reports that the virus has surprised us at every opportunity, caused repeated storms and the next one has yet to be predicted. “We are reducing our guards in a way that puts ourselves in danger,” he said.

We are closing our eyes to the evolution of the virus by reducing the number of tests and sequence reviews. One billion people are unvaccinated, especially in poor countries. The original goals were not achieved. All healthcare professionals who have a major underlying disease must be vaccinated by people over the age of 60 and 70 percent of the general population. The WHO president said the state of uncertainty about the course of the epidemic was serious, should be taken into account and caution should be maintained.

The “terrible state of coexistence” in the world, as defined by the WHO, will not end until exploitation, war, natural disasters and inequality end. For health, countries need to work together and resolve conflicts and conflicts. Is it possible? Why not, we know that another world is possible, and we must want the best and fight to avoid the worst.

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