The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on European countries to concentrate more on health than they did before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
WHO Europe said on Thursday at the launch of its new European Health Report 2021, that countries faced huge challenges to tackle health inequalities and meet the health-related goals included in the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
It said there was an opportunity to take necessary decisions that will shape the future of the region.
After almost two years of the pandemic, there is now a clear choice of direction, said Hans Kluge, WHO’s Regional Director.
“Governments could decide to give the health sector a higher priority than ever before and focus on long-neglected issues such as mental health.
“Or they could let the opportunity pass, putting the health and well-being of citizens at risk, the choice is obvious,” Kluge said.
The European Health Report is published every three years by WHO Europe.
More than 300 pages, the Copenhagen-based organisation looks at the progress that the 53 countries in the WHO Europe region have made towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The report also provides insights into the impact of the pandemic on public health.
The 193 UN member states adopted the goals in 2015.
They represent a kind of roadmap for combating the major problems of humanity by 2030, including poverty, hunger, diseases and the climate crisis. (NAN)