WHO urges changes for human health and planet
Hanoi, April 8 (VNA) – The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Vietnam held an online seminar on April 7, calling for changes for the health of both humans and the planet. WHO Representative in Vietnam Kidong Park said the World Health Day on April 7, which marks the foundation of the WHO in 1948, aims to attract the world’s attention to global health. According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the world has suffered, and the life as well as livelihoods of people around the globe are being threatened. Besides, humans are also facing the biggest health challenge - climate change. The climate crisis has triggered frequent floods, downpours, droughts, and wildfires, along with waves of malnutrition and infectious diseases. Every year, 13 million people worldwide lose their lives to preventable environmental causes such as air and water pollution. On the occasion of the World Health Day 2022, themed “Our Planet, Our Health”, WHO appealed to Governments, organisations, businesses, and people to share responsibility and action to protect the planet and human health. Park stressed that Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. More than 70 percent of the population face natural disasters, and up to 300 people die each year as a result of the impacts of climate change. At the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021, the country committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This is a commitment for not only sustainable development in Vietnam but also better health for its people, Park noted, adding that WHO highly values this commitment and perceives that this is a people-centred approach to minimise climate change impacts. Addressing the event, WHO Regional Director of the Western Pacific Takeshi Kasai held that Vietnam’s commitment is showing the world how national and local actions can help resolve global issues. No one is immune to climate change, he went on, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic is a strict reminder that human health and the current healthcare system are highly fragile, and that changes are in urgent need and must start today. At the seminar, specialists from WHO, the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, and other ministries discussed measures for boosting actions to deal with climate change issues and their impacts on human health. On this occasion, WHO Vietnam launched the “Change for climate change” campaign, which emphasises that the Government, UN organisations, research institutes, non-governmental organisations, and individuals all play an important role by making changes for climate change, the planet, and human health./.