World Health Day, or WHO Plans and Russia Winks


Man plans and God winks.

Philippe Martin/AdobeStock

Philippe Martin/AdobeStock


Once again, under the purview of the World Health Organization (WHO), today is the annual World Health Day. The theme is “Our Planet, Our Health.” Given our worsening climate, it was to advocate for “urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being.”

As an activist on climate instability now for 15 years, I have no quarrels with that planning. Yet, as the saying goes, “Man plans and God winks.” Or, maybe this year it really is: “WHO plans and Russia winks.”

Russia winked when they were on the border and said they would not invade Ukraine. Did they also wink at being accused of war crimes? Winked at the truth? Winked at Europe needing its oil? Winked at the morality of it all?

WHO was planned soon after World War II and created in July of 1946. Since 1950, there has been a different theme each year.

I am pretty sure that this year WHO was not imagining that Russia was going to invade Ukraine and that the war would still be going on. In its development, it reminds me of Hitler, the invasion of Russia, and the genocidal actions against European Jews.

In this current war, the health and mental health of Ukrainians and many Russians has been severely compromised. As dangerous as climate instability is to health in the long run, Russia is winking that the nuclear risk is potentially acute and even more destructive.

Just like the United States turned the tide in World War II, it needs to shine blinding light upon Russia and turn the tide of this war, but sooner rather than later.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues relate to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric TimesTM.

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