World Health Day is celebrated globally on the 7th of April each year to emphasize the need of leading a healthy and stable life.
It marks the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948. It was the time when WHO felt the need to bring out issues concerned with health and well being.
It took steps to call out some professional medical practitioners to create surveys on the state of health of people. It is the assembly that constitutes of health ministers of its 194 member states. This assembly sets the world’s highest health policies. The world health assembly decided to dedicate a day to global health and started an initiative called World Health Day. It is celebrated each year since 1950.
This day has especially been dedicated to spread awareness about the importance of good health in our life. Its importance is emphasized by way of various activities held on this day.
World Health Day Activities
Here are some insights of activities performed globally on different platforms on World Health Day:
Activities in schools/colleges
Knowing the fact that youths are the most important element in our society and are the only ones who could forge stronger and healthier generations, various activities are organised in schools, colleges, and other educational institutions in different parts of the World to involve them in different activities on World Health Day.
The aim of these activities is to inform students about the importance of health in life. Rather than indulging in to phones and computers students should participate in outdoor games to enhance their mental abilities.
Social media/ mass media activities
Newspapers are read by masses and they are the efficacious medium to deliver any message or values to the readers. Several stories are published in newspapers and magazines, which basically involve interviews of nutritionists and health practitioners emphasising the importance of health in one’s life and also suggesting measures to lead the same in a better way.
Meanwhile, internet too, has helped a lot in running campaigns across the world. Now that everyone has access to internet and people are more hooked to social media, various pages on health issues are being made to initiate active participation of people in improving health scenario. World Health Day activities are organised online and with the trend of hash tags everyone wants to be a part of them.
Activities at NGOs
NGOs also organise health camps on World Health Day to help underprivileged people from the hinterlands. Many health experts are invited to volunteer and make such activities productive. These camps are mostly organised for those who are needy, and not aware about the ways to keep their health intact.
Activities at Hospitals
Hospitals are the places where we see every other poster depicting some message on health. Consequently, hospitals also run special campaigns on this day. They do give provision of free checkups or organise free vaccination for children. These activities are done to ensure that everyone gets their check up done on time and should be aware about their health. Its motive is to bring up more health conscious minds to monitor their state of well being after regular intervals of time.
Organising such activities, globally, is indeed a commendable approach by WHO and other local health bodies to inform people about the importance of health.
Themes of World Health Day
Every year a new theme is set to call attention to the specific concerns of health. Here are some themes that were laid down to emphasize major issues of health:
Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere (2019 & 2018)
Healthcare should be accessible in a timely way to every patient who needs it, not only to those who can pay and regardless of gender, age, employment and residence status. Every patient deserves equitable access to health and social care. Disparities and barriers related to health and care should be eliminated. This theme was set in 2018 and continued in 2019 as well to curb such inequalities and to ensure that health care reached to every person. This theme trended with #HealthForAll.
Depression: Let’s Talk (2017)
Depression has become very common these days and is increasing rapidly especially in teenagers. Depression is a product of resentments, regrets and failures. This theme led people open up about their life and asked them to talk about their depression and shortcomings. Many depression patients and their folks got benefited by the events and activities organised on this day.
Food Safety (2015)
As we are indulged more into the culture of eating at restaurants and road side stalls since years, we are becoming more prone to Food Poisoning. There are numerous cases of food borne diseases across the world. Moreover, debased pulses, cereals and other food items have also led to illnesses of different kinds. Ergo, to overcome such health issues, this theme aimed at spreading awareness about what to eat, and what to avoid.
Protecting Health from the Adverse Effect of Climate Change (2008)
Climate change is adversely affecting human life and is causing various harmful diseases. The increased rate of global warming has led to the depletion of ozone layer which protects earth from harmful UV rays. With urbanization and industrialization, green house gases are being emitted into the atmosphere and are responsible for harsh climatic conditions.
Human activities have raised global warming causing serious health issues. This theme laid stress on the awareness of people towards the adverse effect of climate change and asked them to participate in reducing global warming for living a healthy life.
Road Safety (2004)
Road accidents are a major concern these days. They take away numerous of lives owing to the heedless actions of commuters. Most of the times, reckless driving causes pathetic and dangerous accidents. This theme was set to ensure road safety and spread awareness about the importance of obeying traffic rules, wearing helmets and putting on seat belt while commuting. The incautious driving of someone might cost the life of other person.
Emerging Infectious Diseases (1997)
Infectious diseases are spreading at an alarming rate worldwide. Many new kinds of them are borne each year. Sometimes these diseases become epidemics and create dismay all around. This theme aimed at spreading awareness about such issues and to inform people about the ways and measures to prevent these emerging infectious diseases.
Healthy Cities for Better Life (1996)
This theme was chosen to spread the importance of cleanliness in the surroundings. It laid stress on the need to keep cities clean in order to have a healthy and better lifestyle.
The Need for World Health Day
Today we all are concern about our health and lifestyle but if we go several years back there was no such awareness and people had to suffer terribly from chronic illnesses and diseases without even knowing the cause of it.
This was the time when World Health Organization took a step forward and considered these problems on a very serious note. WHO believed that nothing is more important than an individual’s health and his life. The need for World Health Day was felt owing to the increasing number of diseases and illnesses around the world. Every year, now and then, a new disease spring up and creates panic among people.
To curb such epidemics, World Health Day aims at highlighting serious issues of health and set specific theme every year. Considering these themes, various activities and programs are organised on this day across the world to ensure that health care reaches to every human being.
It is being done to bring out the happy and disease-free lives of humankind. On the other hand, the major concern that WHO had, was to help the needy and poor. Due to the low financial status and poverty half of the population is debarred from proper health care. Hence, special provisions are granted to the poor on this day which include free check-ups and medications to cure diseases.
People nowadays are so engrossed in their work that they have neglected the importance of prioritising health. World Health Day is celebrated to highlight the value of health in our life. We would not be able to fulfil other aspects of our life effectively if we are not healthy. We have to give up sedentary lifestyle and should start working more on physical activities such as yoga, playing outdoor games, jogging, cycling, meditation etc.
The main purpose of celebrating World Health Day is to ensure global health by sensitising its need among the masses. That being the case, various activities are held on this day to bring out the active participation from people so that they would also realise the significance of a healthy lifestyle.