What is World Health Day?
World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on the 7th of April. It is sponsored by the World Health Organization. World Health Day is meant to celebrate the WHO’s founding, and is also seen as an opportunity to garner international attention to an appropriate subject of major importance to global health each year. The WHO organizes global, regional, and local events related to a particular theme for the Day. World Health Day is recognized by various governments and non-governmental organizations with interests in public health issues, who also organize activities and highlight their support in media reports, such as the Global Health Council. World Health Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by WHO. These also include World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Hepatitis Day, and World AIDS Day.
What is the World Health Organization?
The World Health Organization (WHO) is an agency of the United Nations that specializes in international public health. It was established on April 7, 1948, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Its predecessor, the Health Organization, was an agency of the League of Nations. Since its creation, it has played a leading role in the eradication of smallpox. The current priorities of the World Health Organization include communicable diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, Ebola, malaria, and tuberculosis. Other campaigns of the WHO focus on subjects such as sexual and reproductive health, nutrition and healthy eating, occupational health, and substance abuse. The WHO is responsible for the World Health Report, a leading international publication on health, and the worldwide World Health Survey. The current head of the WHO is Margaret Chan.
This Year’s Theme for World Health Day: Beat Diabetes
The WHO is focusing 2016’s World Health Day on diabetes- a largely preventable and treatable non-communicable disease. The WHO chose diabetes this year because cases are rapidly increasing in many countries, most dramatically in low and middle-income countries. Diabetes can be controlled and managed to prevent complications through diagnosis, self-management education, and affordable treatment. The WHO estimates about 350 million people in the world have diabetes, with the disease being the direct cause of some 1.5 million deaths. The goals of WHD 2016 are: (1) scale up prevention, (2) strengthen care, (3) enhance surveillance.
Prior World Health Day Themes
2015: food safety
2014: small bite, big threat
2013: healthy blood pressure
2012: ageing and health
2011: anti-microbial resistance
2010: urbanization and health
2009: save lives. Make hospitals safe in emergencies
2008: protecting health from the adverse effects of climate change
2007: invest in health, build a safer future
2006: working together for health