What is the Importance of World Health Day?

4 minutes read.

A Bit of Background to the World Health organisation.

Around December 1945, officials of Brazil and China proposed a creation of an international health organisation that is independent of any governmental powers. In July 1946, the constitution of the World Health Organisation was approved. 61 countries in 1948, signed an agreement for the NGO (non-governmental organisation) and the WHO came into being on the 7th of April. One of its more famous successes was the worldwide eradication of smallpox by 1979.

The Importance of World Health DAy.

There has been a World Health Day since 1950 “to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the WHO.” (WHO.INT). This theme is selected by the current Director-General based on suggestions from the member governments and staff. For example, 2022’s theme was, “Our Planet Our Health.”

This Year’s World Health Day Theme.

This year it is “Health For All.” What can we do to keep ourselves healthy?

You Can Help Yourself by:-

Exercising regularly. I can’t emphasise enough why it’s vital that we move our bodies. It can:-

  1. Help to improve your brain performance.
  2. Boost your immune system.
  3. Burn fat.
  4. Reduce inflammation in your body.
  5. Help to improve your sleep.
  6. Improve your mood and reduce anxiety.
women having exercise using dumbbells
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Healthy Eating. There are many studies that show that eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy, for example, can help you to live longer by protecting your heart, helping to prevent diseases, helping you to build strong bones and reducing your risk of experiencing strokes.

Even some fats are essential for your health but avoid or reduce eating foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar.

Attending free health checks that are available. In the UK, everyone over 40 is offered a free health check every 5 years. Women are encouraged to attend cervical screenings every 3 years and breast cancer screenings, every 3 years, from the ages of 50 to 74. Also, bowel cancer screenings are available to everyone aged from 60-74.

Stopping smoking. It is linked to at least 15 different cancers.

Drinking alcohol moderately. If you drink alcohol, then limit yourself to 14 units a week, spread over at least 3 days. This is around 6, 175ml glasses of wine or 6 pints of 4% beer. Bear in mind, there is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol to drink.

How You Could Help Others:-

Raise money for health charities like for example, if you live in the UK, Cancer Research, British Heart Foundation and MIND.

Volunteer with local health organisations or participate in health awareness campaigns. I’ve recently joined Our Future Health (UK) which is a programme where volunteers can help researchers to find ways to prevent, detect and treat diseases earlier, by donating a blood sample and filling in health questionnaires.

Donate blood. This action literally saves lives.

Attend first aid training. A lot of workplaces ensure that some members of their staff are first aiders. A few years ago, a member of staff at my work, saved someone from drowning by pulling the victim out of the pool and performing CPR on them.

We all know about first aid training, but what about mental health first aid training? This year, a bill has been brought into the UK parliament which proposes to make mental health first aid a requirement for employers. This would mean that a designated person would be trained to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health in their co-workers and support them.

Learn about the different health issues around the world. E.g. I’m shocked to learn that an estimate of 4 million people will die of vaccine-preventable diseases this year. This is more than 28 times the amount of those who died in 2019. Therefore, endemic countries need funding to improve the quality of treatments, invest in research and expand the reach of immunisation.

Spread the word. Use hashtags like #WorldHealthDay and #HealthForAll on your socials.

Have you heard of World Health Day? What health initiatives are your governments taking? Feel free to drop me a comment in the box below.

Thank you for reading.

Rachel x

Sources: who.int, nationaltoday.com, twinkl.co.uk, drlogy.com, daysoftheyear.com, cancerresearchuk.org, bills.parliament.uk, globalcitizen.org

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