Health for All

World Health Day

World Health Day (WHD), held every year on 7 April, marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948 and each year focuses on a specific public health concern. In addition to focusing on the journey to achieving Health For All, which is this year’s theme, WHO will observe its 75th anniversary under the theme 75 years of improving public health.

In 1948, countries of the world came together and founded WHO to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being.  WHO’s 75th anniversary year is an opportunity to look back at public health successes that have improved quality of life during the last seven decades. It is also an opportunity to motivate action to tackle the health challenges of today and tomorrow.

History of World Health Day

The history of World Health Day is directly linked to the formation of the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization is an agency of the United Nations that focuses on the public health of the world at large. The WHO has a constitution that countries involved in the United Nations had an opportunity to sign, and unanimously did, agreeing to the tenets laid out within to promote the general health of the globe.

Established in 1950, World Health Day is an important event that includes a theme each year that is meant to draw attention to a current health issue in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has 194 member states who are tasked with putting together regional, local, and international events on this day related to the particular health theme. Local governments also tend to jump on this band-wagon of promoting health issues. After all, global health means everyone on the planet!

The World Health Organization has been involved in mobilizing many health efforts all over the world for the past 70 years by describing what medicines are essential for public health and which diseases to give a particular focus to.

One important success of the WHO was the movement to eradicate smallpox. It started in 1958, initiated by pressure from Viktor Zhdanov, the Deputy Minister of Health for the then USSR. In just over 20 years, in 1979, the WHO declared that smallpox had in fact been eradicated, making it the first disease in history to be eliminated by the dedicated efforts of humans working together from all over the globe.

Through the efforts of this organization, the world has seen the eradication of smallpox, and its focus then turned to communicable diseases, with a particular focus on tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. The World Health Organization has also played an important role in the experience of the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus.

Each year, World Health Day focuses on a particular theme. Themes throughout the years have varied, but they always cover important issues of the day, including everything from the Global Polio Eradication and staying active while aging, to road safety. All of these issues have been deemed to be important enough to global health that they merited an occasion of their very own on this date.

World Health Day

How to Celebrate World Health Day

Celebrating and observing World Health Day can be done by individuals, families, schools, churches and other community organizations. It’s a great time to connect with others over important themes. Try out some of these ideas to get started with celebrating and enjoying the day:

Care for Your Family’s Health

On this day many people may choose to take some extra steps to care for their own personal health and the health of their families. This is a great time to consider getting a gym membership (and going!), starting a plan for healthier eating, or beginning to take multivitamins. It’s always a good time to take steps toward being healthier personally.

Get Involved with World Health Day Events

Everyone can take a hand in improving the overall health of the world, just by starting with themselves, their family, and their community. Even better than just making it personal is making it all about the surrounding community!

This is the ideal time to get involved with the local events related to World Health Day. Or if it is difficult to find something that is already organized, many people might take the initiative and organize a WHD even themselves. Perform a search to see what types of events have been created by organizations or hospitals in the local community, then volunteer to help or attend. Blood banks are often taking volunteers to help out with their efforts, and the ability to have healthy, fresh blood on hand is central to saving many lives.

Share World Health Day with Others

Spreading the news of health and threats to the same can be an excellent way to celebrate this day. Use this time to get connected and inform others of the important issue of global health. Whether making a campaign to raise awareness at the office or at school, printing posters, inviting others to a lecture or gathering, or simply telling a friend, this is a great time to use that sphere of influence for good.

Learn About the Current World Health Day Theme

Everyone needs to be concerned about the health of themselves and their community and, as such, it’s a good time for everyone to turn their attention to this year’s theme. By checking in at the World Health Day website, it’s possible to find out what the current theme is, as well as accessing all sorts of plans, resources and activities that will help raise awareness about this important issue. Make it a family, school or community tradition to keep up with it every year, and play a big part in helping to promote global health all around!

Organize World Health Day Fundraisers

Celebrating World Health Day is very important, and it can be used to organize fund-raisers to support local free clinics and other public health sources. Get some friends, family members or coworkers on board and host a charity event. Join a walk or run to raise awareness and funds, or simply make a personal donation to a worthy cause that helps promote the health of the people of the world.

Learn More About Local Health

Another opportunity for celebrating World Health Day is also to take the task at home, by getting to know the local environment and property, and eliminating all possible sources of standing water. Standing water is a breeding ground for insects such as mosquitos, who spread disease by consuming the blood of its hosts, and moving from victim to victim, spreading it as it goes. So this year, take some time to spread the word about how neighbors and the local community can contribute to the improvement of the world’s health, on World Health Day!

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