World Health Day 2021: Building a fairer, healthier world


Jade Poole from I write words

World Health Day 2021

Equal access to healthcare, in a post COVID19 world. What you can do to make a difference.

Access to quality healthcare is at the forefront of our minds this year, with 2021 being the year for “building a fairer, healthier world”. The theme, chosen by the World Health Organization (WHO), resonates deeply with what so much of the world has experienced and what so many people have been exposed to: inequality in healthcare.

The arrival (and lengthy stay) of COVID-19 has pushed the WHO to campaign for the protection of vulnerable communities, and we couldn’t think of anything more fitting. Whilst this year has brought victories and a newfound zest for life for some people, it has mostly been a window for glaring inequality and suffering around the world.

World Health Day

World Health Day is celebrated every year on the 7th of April. The first official meeting of the WHO took place on the 7th of April 1948 and has been acknowledged since 1950.

The sole purpose of World Health Day is to shine a light on relevant health issues that are affecting our world. The WHO wanted to create a day to observe global healthcare gaps and bring awareness to these discrepancies in medical care.

World Health Day themes from the last five years

2016: Halt the rise: beat diabetes

2017: Depression: Let's talk

2018: Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere

2019: Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere

2020: Support Nurses and Midwives

Healthcare inequality in South Africa

A huge disparity in the quality of healthcare in South Africa has been plain to see for years. With a massive gap in income and access to amenities, it is rare for most South Africans to have reliable healthcare options. A vast majority of the population wait for hours for basic healthcare that sometimes doesn’t come and have little access to healthcare workers. A very, very small percentage of the population can afford to pay for private medical care independently and this is where we see exceptional healthcare and facilities and most of the healthcare workers. The only other way for the average South African to access private medical care is through health insurance.

With 80% of the South African population uninsured, it may seem like something that nobody can afford and that only applies to the very rich. With such a huge economic gap, this isn’t unreasonable. The truth is, a lot of South Africans can’t afford health insurance. A lot of South Africans don’t have homes, food or identification. So yes health insurance is completely inaccessible to some but that’s where we come in: to at least try our best.

Exceptional healthcare for all

At Oneplan, we have spoken amongst ourselves often about how we can do better when it comes to creating a fairer, more accessible healthcare system. We want everybody to be able to access exceptional healthcare when and where they need it regardless of income, race, ethnicity or geographic location.

This is why we always do our best to bring affordable options with substantial annual limits that protect the hard-working people of South Africa, no matter where you come from or what your life looks like. 

What do we do?

We know that an insurance company can’t change the world, but we can change the lives of a lot of individual South Africans and that’s fine with us. We try and level the playing field by offering comprehensive, affordable insurance to allow as many people as possible access to excellent healthcare.

Our services try to help you avoid debt, poor health care and complicated processes. We give you the freedom to choose your doctor, freedom not many vulnerable communities have.

What can you do?

Observing World Health Day is more than being considerate about health on only one day. Caring about your health and the health of others is something to carry with you 365 days a year. That being said, here are some ways you can honour World Health Day 2021:

  1. Watch a seminar or talk about healthcare inequality. The more you know about a cause, the more you can do to make a difference.
  2. Put your money where your mouth is and make a donation to a reputable organisation that focuses on creating equality in the health sector.
  3. Take a moment to thank any healthcare workers that you know or come into contact with. They truly have been the backbone of our country during the pandemic.
  4. Look after yourself. Maybe the 7th of April is the day you make a year-long commitment to your health in honour of creating a fairer, healthier world.

Look after yourselves always.

Yours in comprehensive health insurance,


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