As we move on into the month of March, the events of 2021 are still fresh in our memories with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic still taking place around the world. That said, it is still important for us to look back on the events of the past year to not only learn from our mistakes but to celebrate our triumphs. Here are 4 of the key events from the health care sector that took place in 2021.
The Persistence of Covid-19 emergencies
This article would not be complete without addressing the elephant in the room. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, humanitarian crises were emerging all over the globe and ravaging less fortunate communities.
COVID-19 put Yemen’s health system to the test, despite already being burdened by fighting and other disease epidemics, with barely half of the country’s healthcare institutions estimated to be operational. Millions of people have benefited from The World Health Organization’s support of basic health services and therapeutic feeding centers for children suffering from acute malnutrition. The World Health Organization sought to create oxygen production stations, improve health-care worker capacity, provide medical and protective equipment, and expand laboratory and testing capacity in response to the virus.
Further north, Syria’s needs are bigger than ever after more than a decade of strife. The World Health Organization responded by delivering medical supplies and collaborating with partners to give mental health assistance.
Sadly, this was only the tip of the ice berg when it came to countries suffering from Covid-19.
The challenges and triumphs of women in the world
As terrible as the outbreak of the Covid-19 Virus was, it could have been much worse in many places around the world. Part of the reason many societies and health groups managed to brave through 2021 was in no small part due to the efforts of women in our society and in healthcare. The World Health Organization’s Year of Health and Care Workers campaign has emphasized the need of safeguarding health and care workers as well as investing in their working surroundings and education; the WHO Academy is a significant investment in the latter.
Women were also instrumental in achieving scientific discoveries. The World Health Organization is dedicated to breaking down obstacles to women’s engagement in science so that more women can contribute to pushing the limits of knowledge and protecting public health. The World Health Organization signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Women in Global Health network and made various pledges to women’s empowerment and equality at the Generation Equality Forum, as part of our commitment to empowering women as decision-makers and leaders.
Malaria Vaccinations in Sub-Saharan Africa
In non-covid related news, The World Health Organization marked a major milestone in the fight against the Malaria with the recommendation of the usage of the Malaria Vaccine for children who are prone to Malaria.
The advice was based on the outcomes of a vaccination trial program that has reached over 800,000 children in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi since 2019.
The vaccine has re-energized the fight against malaria, which has disproportionately high number of cases in the African region. Eighty percent of these deaths were caused by children under the age of five. Even before the epidemic, there were indicators that growth was slowing after years of incredible breakthroughs.
Lower rates of Tobacco usage
2021 was great year for the fight against the rampant usage of tobacco which causes problems like lung cancer.
When it came to the prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, a large number of people are opting to quit smoking. Between 2000 and 2020, the number of individuals who use tobacco fell by 69 million, from roughly a third of the world’s population to less than a quarter.
Only 32 nations were on pace to reduce tobacco usage by 30% between 2010 and 2025 two years ago. Currently, 60 nations are finally well on their way to meet the reduction objective.