World Health Day: Spreading Global Health Awareness

Child Holding a Glass of Clean Water

We celebrate World Health Day every year on April 7th to promote health and honor the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). The day was instated at the inaugural World Health Assembly in 1948 and brings worldwide attention to global health each year. World Health Day has since become a day to motivate action and tackle the health challenges of today and tomorrow.

The Global Health Crisis

Over the years, the WHO has addressed numerous health-related issues, ranging from food safety to mental health. However, in recent years there has been a strong focus on the climate crisis affecting human health. In addition to all of the direct effects of climate change on the environment, it also extends even further, causing a plethora of negative effects on our health. Breathing fossil fuels, extreme weather events, water scarcity and more all have a grave impact on human health and are a direct result of the climate crisis. WHO estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes. This means that the climate crisis is also the health crisis.

How FINCA Is Addressing Global Health—On World Health Day and Everyday

FINCA invests in social enterprises around the world that directly address the topic of health and healthcare. Penda Health is just one example of a FINCA partner working to directly improve individual health in Kenya. As a primary healthcare provider, Penda offers a wide range of affordable outpatient services within low-income, densely populated urban communities. They are making healthcare accessible to those who otherwise would not have access to quality care.

A Penda Health employee hands a customer their prescription

In addition to directly addressing health and healthcare, FINCA also partners with social enterprises that indirectly impact human health. For example, FINCA partners with companies like Amped Innovation and BioLite, that produce solar and clean energy products for off-grid households worldwide. Transitioning to clean energy can improve air quality within households, preventing the estimated 3.2 million deaths every year due to household air pollution. Similarly, FINCA partners with enterprises like Sanivation and Jibu, that focus on expanding access to clean water and sanitation services. With nearly 1 million preventable deaths every year due to drinking water and sanitation, the issue of water accessibility is also very strongly related to health. And these examples are just the beginning when discussing how all of FINCA’s work directly and indirectly affects health.

Why Is World Health Day Important?

World Health Day plays a crucial role in bringing important health-related issues to the forefront of global dialogue. Over the years, the dedicated day has spotlighted pressing issues like mental health, maternal and child care, climate change, and so much more.

FINCA continues to work towards supporting individuals and enterprises that both directly and indirectly address the global health crisis. Only by recognizing the interconnectedness of health with other major global issues will we begin to move the needle in effectively addressing each of them.

Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published on April 7, 2023. We have since updated it for accuracy of facts and content and republished April 5, 2024.