We urgently need to see health differently. If we want to make the world healthier, we need to look at the whole picture of what makes millions of people miss out on basic healthcare. We need to ask difficult questions. We need to confront the big issues.
Because missing out on health isn’t inevitable. Neither is poverty. They are caused by discrimination, by racism, by companies, by governments. These are decisions made by people in power – and that means we can change them. By seeing health differently, and its links to poverty, we can build a healthier future.
At Health Poverty Action, we work alongside ignored communities worldwide who refuse to accept the injustices that deny people a healthy life. In Guatemala, we stand with local midwives to fight the discrimination that stops Indigenous women from giving birth in health centres. In the UK, we highlight how the legacy of colonialism has caused the devastating global health and inequality we see today.
We don’t pick the easiest road, we pick the one that will make the biggest difference to people’s lives. That’s why our local team in Myanmar will trek for six weeks through the freezing mountains to run health training courses. It’s why we join forces with communities in remote Somaliland villages, supporting people to demand better transport links to health facilities. Our approach partners us with some of the most remote and marginalised communities around the world.
And it’s why we confront policy issues that are complex and sometimes controversial, like the fact that the ‘war on drugs’ has only made inequality – and health – worse. Taking on these barriers to health doesn’t make our job easy. But, just like the communities we work with around the world, we won’t accept the status quo if it takes away someone’s chances of living a healthy life.
At Health Poverty Action we see health differently. We do what’s needed, not what’s easiest, to stop health being denied.