Healthy life, necessity, universal right and collective duty

Shortly after its founding, the UN decided to create an agency dedicated to the study and advancement of global health, the World Health Organization (WHO). Since 1950, every April 7 has been commemorated as World Health Day, aimed at the universal struggle for the improvement of the health of the entire population. The third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of the 17 that make up the 2030 Agenda recalls the need to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages. The WHO itself defines health not merely as the absence of disease, but as the state of somatic, psychological and social well-being of the individual and the community. La pandemia y la guerra, aunque sean los problems más acuciantes en el momento actualo, no nos pueden hacer olvidar que la salud es un derecho humano fundamental, aunque la realidad ponga en evidencia que es una utopia inalcanzable en muchos lugares y para gran parte de humanity.

In practice, access to a healthy life for the entire population requires the achievement of objectives that seem unattainable in the short term, because they depend on profound transformations in the social structure itself, such as the evolution living conditions, but it is in our hands, in countries like ours and as far as everyone’s possibilities allow us, to try to change our way of life by tackling everything that allows not only to prolong existence but to enjoy it more, without ever forgetting that, in the long term, it is impossible to enjoy good individual health without good collective health.

Health is a universal right that involves the fight against disease by preventing and curing disease. To be complete, it must include rehabilitation, which allows social reintegration after illness. Universal health coverage should be an aspiration of any society and should cover mental health, a fundamental component of the individual’s needs. Public health care must address this often overlooked need. It must also guarantee access to the latest health technologies and the medicines needed to deal with illness, but above all and in the first place, it must ensure that when a person feels ill, when he needs assistance , she has nearby, in a minimum of time, a health professional with whom to consult, with the ability to approach the solution of the problem. All this generates a high economic investment, which must be managed responsibly, but with the certainty that it is a necessary expense that has a direct impact on the well-being of the population. A modern society that boasts of an excellent health service must constantly improve primary care, facilitating the use of resources for all its inhabitants.

But, in addition, it must be remembered that health is also a collective duty of the whole of society, which begins with the health education of the youngest. An education that allows her to know from an early age what are these practices and circumstances that put her in danger and which, in a more or less distant future, will shorten her life or make her more unhappy and, on the contrary, what are those which contribute to improving individual and collective health.

According to the WHO, each year more than 13 million deaths worldwide are due to preventable environmental causes. This is why the motto chosen to commemorate this April 7 is “Our planet, our health”, which highlights the close union between individual health, collective health and environmental health, and invokes the need to link the future of society to that of the environment that surrounds us and the obligation to protect ourselves, to protect the environment.

For this reason, Fundación por la Justicia, in defense of human rights, subscribes to the principles of the Ottawa Charter, drawn up in 1986 at the World Conference on Health Promotion. It includes peace, education, decent housing, adequate food, sufficient income, a stable ecosystem, social justice and equity, as prerequisites for a population to aspire to a healthy life. Governments must act with this in mind, knowing that otherwise it is impossible to achieve constant levels of health and well-being.


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