This April, the World Health Organisation (WHO) celebrates its 65th anniversary. Each year the anniversary is marked with World Health Day, on 7th April this year, bringing attention to public health issues around the globe.
There has been an impressive improvement in global health over the past number of decades. Advancements have been made in combating the spread of HIV, improving access to sanitation and clean drinking-water, as well as in reducing the mortality rates of women during childbirth and young children.
Even with these advancements, however, it remains a fact that poor people bear the highest burden of sickness and ill-health and have the least access to health services. We believe good health is a fundamental human right and investing in health is essential to reduce poverty. To this end, strengthening the health systems of our partner countries is a core element of our work.
As part of this work, Irish Aid has partnered with the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) on several projects aimed at improving health services internationally. While we are a small country, Ireland is held in high regard for the quality of our aid and, with the help of HSE medical expertise, has been influential in several global initiatives. These include efforts to relieve the chronic shortage of healthcare workers worldwide; research new and improved vaccines; and fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria.
The theme of this year’s World Health Day is high blood pressure and cardio vascular disease. These are major health problems in both the developed and developing worlds and are responsible for more than 17 million deaths worldwide each year. By improving the quality and availability of medical care in our partner countries, Irish Aid is working towards controlling the spread of cardiovascular disease, alongside our other health priorities.
We believe that poor health and poverty go hand in hand. For more information on what steps Irish Aid is taking check out our Health page.