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What is World Health Day?
The World Health Day is a global celebration by people from all over the world and is held each year on 7th April. The day is sponsored by the World Health Organization which held its first assembly in Geneva in the year 1948 and it was then that the World Health day was founded. It was first celebrated in 1950 and has been celebrated since. Each year, WHO carries out a variety of events that rotate around a specific theme. Some of the themes that have been used before are;
- 2003- Shape of the future life
- 2005- Road Safety
- 2007- International Health Security
- 2008- Protecting Health From Climate Change
The annual event is used to raise public awareness towards issues concerning health and safety. The theme is chosen to guide activities for the whole year. A good example is the Polio Eradication Theme which was in 1995, most countries are now free from polio due to the concerted efforts that were led by WHO.
WHO target global health issues from where programs are derived from and organized by WHO and other health organizations such as schools, NGOs and even governments. This day is celebrated to remember the establishment of WHO which is under the United Nations. WHO has played a significant role in combating diseases such as smallpox, TB, chickenpox and leprosy especially in developing countries.
Duties and responsibilities of WHO
- Promote development- poor health is mainly attributed to poverty, therefore, uplifting the economic status of a population leads to improved health.
- Strengthen Health Systems- In poor countries, the health systems are usually weak or lacking, WHO provides medicines, relevant technology and infrastructure to improve them.
- Reduce health risk- WHO is entrusted to reduce or avoid the outbreak of new or existing diseases.
- Promote research and gather information- WHO requires accurate data to set health regulations and therefore consults with world leading authorities and institutions to come up with technical guidelines.
- Enhance partnerships- by working with various governments and health organizations, information is easily shared and WHO can disseminate technical guidelines that are supposed to be used in building health systems
- Improve Performance- WHO is a large organizations with set goals and therefore it needs to constantly evaluate itself to ensure that it improves it performance by implementing results based management.
How World Health Day is celebrated
World Health Day is celebrated worldwide by governments and NGOs who organize activities that relate to public health issues so as to create awareness. Organizations that participate in this activities highlight their efforts through media reports such as press releases. Health authorities make their pledges in support of health issues in the domain. Other activities that are carried on include; debates on related topics, exhibitions, essay writing competitions and award ceremonies aimed at recognizing efforts of individuals and institutions in tackling health issues.
Why World Health Day is celebrated?
WHO focuses on increasing the life expectancy by promoting good health practices and some of the objectives of why the day is celebrated yearly are;
- To increase awareness on the causes and prevention of various diseases
- To provide detailed knowledge to the masses and relevant institutions on ways of preventing various diseases
- To encourage the vulnerable group of people to speak out and be heard by relevant authorities.
- To promote self-care among the people
- To encourage world health authorities to make their own effort in promoting the agendas of World Health day
- To protect families and other vulnerable people who are prone to diseases