April 7 of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day. The COVID-19 pandemic has undercut recent health gains, pushed more people into poverty and food insecurity, and amplified gender, social and health inequities. During this year’s World Health Day, WHO is calling for action to eliminate inequalities in public health provision, as part of a year-long global campaign to bring people together to build a fairer, healthier world. The campaign highlights WHO’s a constitutional principle that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition”.
To mark the 2021 World Health Day, the European Union Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff and the Palestinian Minister of Health Dr. Mai al-Kaila visited today the Hugo Chavez Hospital to express their gratitude and appreciation to the hardworking doctors and nurses, who have been on the frontline, working tirelessly to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Hugo Chavez hospital is located in the village of Turmus’aya, near Ramallah. It was the first in Palestine to admit Covid-19 patients and so far, the hospital has treated thousands of patients from all over the West Bank. The Hugo Chavez hospital also hosted the first vaccination center where medical staff could be inoculated.
“I want to thank our White Heroes – the Palestinian medical staff – today and every day for their remarkable efforts in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Our White Heroes are contributing to saving lives in this ruthless battle. The European Union is standing by your side, and we are proud of our strong support to Palestinians during this pandemic.
The European Union continues to support the Palestinian health sector and in particular the ongoing vaccination campaign, notably through the COVAX facility. It is our shared responsibility to ensure that as many as possible get vaccinated so that COVID-19 can finally be overcome and that life can go back to normal,” said the European Union Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff during the ceremony.
Under the Team Europe approach, the EU and its Member States provided significant and timely support to the Palestinian people, their institutions, and economy throughout the past year, being among the first to offer substantial financial and technical assistance to the health sector and private business. Furthermore, the European Union is the most important donor of the global COVAX facility that has already started its vaccination campaign in Palestine.