National Public Health Week looks at health as a human right

April 7, 2022

National Public Health Week looks at health as a human right

MOBILE, Ala. — During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the country to observe National Public Health Week (NPHW). This week is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health.

The Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) joins APHA in celebrating the 27th NPHW on April 4-10. This year’s theme, “Public Health is Where You Are,” celebrates what we know is true — the places where we are, physically, mentally, and societally affect our health and our lives. Each day during the week has a theme that focuses on the intersections of our lives that affect our health and well-being.

The Mobile County Health Department’s Health Equity Office (HEO) recognizes today’s theme of “World Health Day: Health is a Human Right” as a part of National Public Health Week.

We know that the social determinants of health impact the health of every community. Where you are born can influence your access to healthcare along with other lifestyle and disease prospects. If a healthcare system is unequal and fragmented, then people receive different care depending on if they can afford it. We must work with our community to assure all have equitable access to health as a basic human right.

To highlight the importance of health as a human right, HEO Outreach Educator Sequayah Chaney features Pebbles King, the Director of the Bureau of Community and Nutrition Services at MCHD. Ms. King and her team work to ensure that everyone has access to health promotion and education in their daily work through Community Prevention Programs; Health Equity Office; Overdose Program; Vital Records; Fetal and Infant Mortality Review; Women, Infants and Children (WIC); and Nutrition Services.

Ms. King shared that all individuals have a right to health, among many other freedoms and entitlements. She said, “In the Bureau of Community and Nutrition Services, our focus is to promote healthy development throughout Mobile County. Our service throughout the county takes us into various places that need us to help strengthen and support awareness of community health barriers.”

Racism, stigma, and discrimination are setbacks to our health by creating conditions that unfairly disadvantage certain communities while unfairly advancing others. To even the playing field, we must find ways to engage communities in speaking out against discrimination and taking action to address inequalities. Through active engagement, we can help our health systems become more efficient, leading to better health outcomes for all.

Ms. King shared that, to move forward in achieving our goal, we must, “…continue broadening education and training within community networks to empower citizens on how their health impacts them holistically and not just physically.”
This media product was supported by funds made available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, under 1 NH75OT000104-01-00. The content of this media product is that of the authors and does not necessarily stand for the official position of or endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.