Liberias World Health Day Commemoration Activities Unveiled: "My Health, My Right" in perspective

Liberias World Health Day Commemoration Activities Unveiled: "My Health, My Right" in perspective

Monrovia - Climaxing the year-long celebration marking 75 years of the World Health Organization's (WHO) existence, World Health Day on April 7th this year serves as the conclusion of this significant milestone. While last year's observance celebrated WHO's achievements on the journey to achieving Health For All, this year's commemoration takes on a broader perspective by highlighting health as a fundamental human right under the theme "My Health, My Right."

In a media briefing held at the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Clement Peter, the WHO Representative for Liberia, unveiled a comprehensive series of activities lined up in preparation for the upcoming commemoration of World Health Day 2024, slated for April 8th. The scheduled events  organized by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with WHO are geared towards advocating for health equity and access to essential healthcare services across Liberia. Dr. Peter emphasized the significance of empowering individuals to assert their right to health, stressing that health is not merely the absence of disease but an absolute right for every individual, to be accessed whenever and wherever needed. He reiterated the core principles of inclusivity and advocacy for health rights, which lie at the heart of this year's commemoration.

Aligned with the theme, a series of activities have been planned to resonate with the principles of health equity and inclusivity. One of the events is a vaccination drive for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) at a school in Monrovia. This is in recognition of the global burden of cervical cancer among women. Liberia has committed to a global strategy to combat this disease. Dr. Peter emphasized the importance of HPV vaccination for adolescent girls, aiming for 90% coverage by 2030. "There is a global strategy Liberia is party to in order to defeat cervical cancer by 2030, which is to ensure 90% of eligible adolescent girls receive the HPV vaccine; 70% of women access treatment for cervical cancer and 90% of women access screening services for cervical cancer. The young girls need information on where to get the vaccines, they need information on the importance of the vaccine, they need information on our solidarity to get rid of cervical cancer in Liberia. As such, this event is a demonstration of Liberia's commitment to protect young girls and provide them with essential information about the vaccine and cervical cancer prevention," said Dr. Peter.

Dr. Peter also disclosed two blood donation drives to be organized, one at the Ministry of Health and another at the United Nations compound, to promote voluntary blood donation and the availability of blood when needed. The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with WHO, is intensifying efforts to strengthen the blood program in Liberia. He also referenced the unfortunate Totota tanker explosion last year, which highlighted the critical need for blood and oxygen in emergencies to save lives.

As a symbol of inclusivity and solidarity with the disabled community, wheelchairs will be donated to demonstrate that disability does not equate to inability. This initiative underscores the importance of inclusivity in healthcare and highlights the collective contribution of all members of society towards a healthier Liberia.

In closing, Dr. Peter emphasized that these activities serve to underscore the fundamental right to health enshrined in legal instruments such as the WHO's constitution, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Liberia's constitution. He called upon all stakeholders to prioritize health at the center of development efforts, ensuring better health and well-being for all Liberians. The commemoration of World Health Day 2024 promises to be a meaningful, uniting communities in advocacy for health rights and reaffirming the commitment to leave no one behind in the journey towards universal health coverage.

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