Celebrating World Health Day 2015, April 7

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7th-april-world-health-day-best-image-collectionIn 1948, there was a call for the creation of a “World Health Day” to mark the founding of the World Health Organization. And since 1950, World Health Day has been celebrated annually on 7 April. Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of concern for WHO

World Health Day gives all of us a worldwide opportunity to focus on key public health issues that affect the international community.

It is celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO). In 1948, the World Health Organization held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate 7 April of each year, with effect from 1950, as the World Health Day.

The World Health Day is held to mark WHO’s founding, and is seen as an opportunity by the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year. The WHO organizes international, regional and local events on the Day related to a particular theme. Resources provided continue beyond 7 April, that is, the designated day for celebrating the World Health Day.

World Health Day is acknowledged by various governments and non-governmental organizations with interests in public health isssues, who also organize activities and highlight their support in media reports.

The WHO’s constitution states that its objective “is the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health.”

In 1986, the WHO said that health is “a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defence against transnational threats.

WHO is reforming to be better equipped to address the increasingly complex challenges of health in the 21st century. From persisting problems to new and emerging public health threats, WHO needs the capability and flexibility to respond to this evolving environment.

Reform has three aims: programmatic reform to improve people’s health; governance reform to increase coherence in global health and managerial reform in pursuit of organizational excellence.

Why Reform?

Three fundamental challenges drive the need for reform. First, WHO has found itself overcommitted and overextended. It was in need of selective and strategically focused priorities, which can best reflect the Organization’s comparative advantage and that can guide WHO’s response over the coming years. Secondly, WHO’s role in global health governance and relation to other actors in international health needs to be defined with greater clarity. Thirdly, when faced with new challenges and a rapidly changing environment, it is important for WHO to be able to respond with sufficient speed and agility.

By establishing clear priorities, combined with adopting better governance and management practices, WHO can better serve the global health community. Ultimately, reform enables WHO to more effectively fulfil its constitutional mandate as the “directing and coordinating authority on international health work”.

The reform process has three objectives:

  • Improved health outcomes, with WHO meeting the expectations of its Member States and partners in addressing agreed global health priorities, focused on the actions and areas where the
  • Organization has a unique function or comparative advantage, and financed in a way that facilitates this focus.
  • Greater coherence in global health, with WHO playing a leading role in enabling the many different actors to play an active and effective role in contributing to the health of all peoples.
  • An Organization that pursues excellence, one that is effective, efficient, responsive, objective, transparent and accountable.

whd2015-310x200The theme for World Health Day this year of 2015 will be ‘Food Safety‘.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the importance of food safety. And, here are the World Health Organization’s ‘Five keys to safer food’, keep clean, separate raw and cooked food, cook food thoroughly, keep food at safe temperatures and use safe water and raw materials.

WHO: How safe is your food? World Health Day 2015 – pdf

It’s very important that we know how important food safety is. Did you know that food that contains harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites and chemical substances is responsible for over 200 diseases, from diarrhoea to cancers. So, we all need to be aware of the threats to food safety, the diseases they can cause and how to protect ourselves so World Health Day will focus on these points.

Unsafe food and water is linked to the deaths of over 2 million people annually – including 700 000 children in WHO’s South-East Asia Region.

Food safety is critical for public health as foodborne diseases affect people’s health and well-being and the need to strengthen food safety systems in and between all countries is becoming more and more evident. That is why the World Health Organization is promoting efforts to make food safe food, from farm to plate on World Health Day, 7 April 2015.

Globally, 2.2 million people die every year from diarrhoea caused by contaminated food and water while unsafe food often begins a pattern of disease that can impact generations. Keeping the food on our plate safe requires that everyone from the farmer, the policy maker, the cook and the consumer are better informed to make safer choices. READ MORE

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