SA reaffirms its supports for healthy recovery from COVID-19.
As the global community commemorates World Health Day today, the Department of Health has affirmed it supports a healthy recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As a result, the department calls for safe disposal of any COVID-19 related personal protective equipment like facemasks and continued practice of hand hygiene for personal benefit beyond the lifting of the State of Disaster as announced by the President, "said the department.
The department said the pandemic has revealed weaknesses in all areas of society and underlined the urgency of creating sustainable societies committed to achieving equitable health now and for future generations without breaching ecological limits.
World Health Day is celebrated annually on 7 April to raise awareness on the overall health and well-being of people across the country in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The day is celebrated under the sponsorship and technical support of the World Health Organization, as well as other related organizations.
The 2022 campaign is commemorated under the theme of "Our Planet, Our Health" which calls for global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focussed on well-being.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes. These include the climate crisis, which is the single biggest health threat facing humanity.
"The burden of environmental risks in South Africa is equivalent to 3.7% of the total of our disease burden, with unsafe water, sanitation, hygiene and poor ambient and indoor air quality as the main contributors to the joint burden. Sadly, the joint attributable burden is especially higher in children under the age of five, accounting for 10% of total deaths in this age group.
"Air pollution, contaminated water, inadequate sanitation including solid waste management, risks related to certain hazardous chemicals and negative impacts of climate change are the most pressing environmental public health threats," the department said.
As the world continues with implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), health has a central place in SDG 3, which focusses on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.
The 2030 agenda recognises health and wellbeing as central to sustainable development, as a precondition, an outcome, and as an indicator of a sustainable society.
World Health Day is one of the eight official World Health Organisation health awareness events, some of them being World Tuberculosis Day, World Malaria Day and World AIDs Day that are commemorated globally each year.