World Health Day: WHO Themes for World Health Day 2019-2023

World Health Day: WHO Themes for World Health Day 2019-2023 By Josephine Justin - April 05, 2023
WHO Themes for World Health Day 2019 to 2023

WHO Themes for World Health Day 2019-2023

World Health Day is annually celebrated on the 7th of April marking the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. Each year, the WHO selects a distinct theme, aimed at raising awareness about a specific health issue that affects people around the world. In this article, we will explore the World Health Day themes of the last 5 years, from 2019 to 2023.


The theme for World Health Day in 2019 was “Universal Health Coverage (UHC)”. With a singular goal to ensure that everyone, regardless of their income or social status, has access to quality health services when they need them, WHO aimed at helping those that face financial hardship. The WHO emphasized that UHC is not just about providing health care services, but also about addressing the social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health outcomes.

The WHO highlighted the importance of political will and leadership to achieve UHC, as well as the need for strong health systems and a well-trained workforce. The theme was a repeat from the previous year and was deemed especially important, as UHC is one of the key targets of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.


The theme for World Health Day in 2020 was “Support Nurses and Midwives”. The WHO chose this theme to highlight the critical role that nurses and midwives play in providing health care services around the world. Nurses and midwives make up the largest proportion of the health workforce, and they provide care in a wide range of settings, from hospitals and clinics to schools and communities.

The WHO called for increased investment in nursing and midwifery education, as well as better working conditions and stronger regulatory frameworks to support these essential workers. The theme was particularly relevant in 2020, as the world was faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, which put a spotlight on the critical role of nurses and midwives in responding to public health emergencies.


The theme for World Health Day in 2021 was “Building a Fairer, Healthier World”. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the deep inequities that exist in our societies, with marginalized and disadvantaged communities bearing a disproportionate burden of the disease. The WHO called for action to address the root causes of health inequities, including poverty, discrimination, and unequal access to health services.

The WHO emphasized the importance of investing in and developing the public and primary health care sectors, as well as addressing the social and economic determinants of health. The theme for World Health Day 2021 called for a collective effort to create a fairer and more just world, where everyone has the opportunity to live a safe and healthy life.


The theme for World Health Day 2022 "Our Planet, Our Health," highlights the crucial relationship between the environment and human health. The theme emphasizes the importance of protecting and preserving the natural environment for the benefit of present and future generations. The WHO recognizes that the health of our planet and the health of our communities are interconnected and that protecting the environment is essential for promoting long-term human health. 

The theme also calls for collective action at the individual, community, and global levels to address environmental challenges, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving natural resources, protecting biodiversity and promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns. The WHO's call to action provides an opportunity for individuals, communities, and governments to work together to build a healthier, more sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants.


The theme for this year - World Health Day 2023, is “Health for All”. This theme builds on the UHC theme from 2018 & 2019, emphasizing the need for universal access to quality health services irrespective of external factors. The WHO will use this theme to call for increased investment in health systems, as well as addressing the social, economic, and environmental factors that impact health outcomes.

This year’s World Health Day also marks the 75th anniversary of the World Health Organization. The 75th anniversary is a milestone and serves as an opportunity to reflect on WHO’s public health achievements that have raised the quality of life over the past seven decades. Additionally, it is a chance to inspire action globally to address the health challenges of today and of the future generations to come.


The themes serve as reminders for us to step up and pay attention to the world around us. The health of the present as well as future generations is in the hand of each of us and we all have a specific part to play.

By Josephine Justin - April 05, 2023

Leave a comment