As the global community celebrates World Health Day on April 7, the South Eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) reaffirms its solidarity with worldwide endeavours to ensure universal healthcare access.

World Health Day marks the establishment of the World Health Organization (WHO) and serves as a symbol to raise awareness about pressing health issues and mobilize action to tackle them.

This year’s focus is on advocating for the right to health as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of health services for everyone, everywhere.

Under the slogan of “My Health, My Right; Make the Right to Health a Reality for All,” SEEHN underscores its dedication to advancing health equity and upholding the fundamental right to health for individuals throughout the region. These words encapsulate the essence of our mission: ensuring that every person, regardless of their background or circumstances, has access to the highest standard of health care.

Today, amid multifaceted global challenges, from pandemics to environmental crises, realizing this fundamental right assumes even greater significance. We are confronted with the stark reality where health inequalities persist, where millions suffer needlessly due to lack of access to essential services. We must recognize our shared responsibility in addressing these disparities and strive towards creating a future where health is truly a universal human right.

Realizing the right to health requires concerted efforts across all sectors and levels of society. Investments in health must be viewed as investments in our collective well-being, and adequate funding must be allocated to expand primary healthcare services.

Healthcare workers play a crucial role in realizing the right to health, embodying principles of person-centred care and inclusivity. By dispelling myths and prejudices and addressing the specific needs of vulnerable populations, they serve as compassion and empathy in our healthcare systems.

Individuals also have a pivotal role in advocating for health as a priority, asserting their rights to access quality care and making informed choices that promote their well-being. By adopting healthier lifestyles and advocating for sustainable practices, we can build healthier communities and a brighter future for future generations.

On World Health Day, SEEHN calls upon governments, policymakers, healthcare professionals, civil society organizations, and individuals across the South Eastern Europe region to unite to advance the right to health and achieve universal health coverage. By prioritizing health equity, investing in robust health systems, and fostering collaboration, we can support a healthier, more resilient future for all.

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