World Health Day: Four Books to Celebrate and Raise Awareness

April 7th is World Health Day, a day celebrated to raise awareness of the most recent concerns of the World Health Organization. As this past year has been a whirlwind of events, emotions, and hard comings, it should come as no surprise that this year’s theme is “Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone,” focusing on economic, social, and gender disparities amplified by COVID-19. This is especially prevalent in the Western Pacific that includes Australia, China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. To educate yourself even more, please check out the World Health Organization.



Here are four great books to pick up to help further your understanding of health inequalities and to better your overall health.


1. Just Medicine: A Cure of Racial Inequality in American Health Care by Dayna Bowen Matthew



Just Medicine centers around the health disparities and their effects on people of color, mostly leading to fatalities that could have been avoided. These inequalities are, as author Dayna Bowne Matthew finds, caused by the same health practitioners that we have come to trust. Matthew uses a mix of medical, sociology, and psychological research to further explore her background in civil rights and law. Those interested in the medical field will find great interest in this book, as well as any person who wants to help build effective doctor-patient relationships.


2. The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot



The Health Gap opens with the startling face that location make a huge difference in life span – your life span could difference by twenty years depending on what neighborhood you live in. The cause? Social inequality, or how the higher social class you’re in, the better healthcare you’ll receive and reflect. Marmot gives the tools and resources that are accessible by anyone to improve their health, making the blunt of injust a little easier to bear.


3. Black Man in a White Coat (A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine) by Damon Tweedy


In Black Man In a White Coat, author Dr. Damon Tweedy recounts his experience working in the medical field, at first thinking his race would have nothing to do with his progression. As he experiences more, he realizes the true connection between race and its dynamic influence on patients. He even experiences this firsthand as he is diagnosed with a chronic health disease common with black patients. Tweedy uses anecdotes to illustrate social, economic, and cultural factors in communities of color and seeks to improve treatment and give care to all patients.



4. And the People Stayed Home by Kitty O’Meara


Although we have come a long way since COVID’s arrival last year, we still have a long journey ahead of us to normalcy. And the People Stayed Home is a perfect reminder of the humanity we have during these tumultuous times, and how communities can allow for healing. Made with children in mind, this book weaves Kitty O’Meara’s beautiful prose with soft imagery, allowing the easygoing tone of optimism and relief.


If you’re looking for book recommendations for mental health, check here for five great books to lift you up.