World Health Day - 7th April 2008
Today, 7 April is observed the world over as World Health day and this year is the 60th anniversary of WHO or the World health Organization. Every year this day is observed as World health day, and organized around a predetermined theme to raise awareness of key global public health challenges.
For instance the theme in 2005 was “Healthy mothers and children”; the health of the mothers and children of any society is a reflection upon the health of that society. This theme was meant to attract worldwide attention to the issues of malnutrition and poor healthcare access faced by mothers and children around the world. The theme for World Health Day 2007 was international health security. The aim was to urge governments, organizations and businesses to "invest in health, build a safer future". The theme for this year is "Protecting health from climate change". This theme was chosen because of the risks that global warming and climate change are posing to personal health.
While World Health Day may not have that much relevance in the developed nations, it has a lot more relevance in the poorer nations, where people struggle to get the most basic health care, including healthcare professionals and medicines. The activities that the WHO undertakes on this day having high-level global debates with a view to improving cross-border cooperation and removing political hindrance to such cooperation. This year World Health Day will consist of a press briefing in Geneva by the WHO Director-General. The global event will be supported by other activities and events in regions, countries and communities around the world.
There are some interesting initiatives planned for different part of the world for today. This one really brought a smile to my lips: Mumbai in India will observe today as “No Honking” day. Anyone who has actually been to Mumbai will understand the requirement for such a curious observance. Other agencies have planned walks to highlight the benefits of walking to health. Such group walks organized can increase awareness that walking reduces the risk of heart disease, increases circulation, aids weight loss and generally improves all round fitness levels. Numerous studies have shown that just a 30 minute daily walk is enough to make a significant improvement in health!
Health care agencies can take this opportunity to strengthen existing public health approaches to control disease and protect health, anticipate effects and detect them early and inform the public.
What we as individuals can do to mark world health day is to become aware of what it is about our lifestyles that is harming the environment and we can then endeavor to protect our children’s futures by creating a healthier environment by making appropriate changes. So let us all take the opportunity this World Health Day, to make a difference to the environment and consequently our health. Have a hale and hearty World Health Day everyone!