World Health Day 2017 – What to know
The World Health Day is a global health awareness day which is celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO). It all began in 1948 where the WHO held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate the 7th April of each year 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 organize international, regional and local events on the Day related to a particular theme.
The World Health Organization is an agency of the United Nations that focuses on the public health of the world at large. The WHO has a constitution that countries involved in the United Nations had an opportunity to sign, and unanimously did, agreeing to the tenets laid out within to promote the general health of the globe.
World Health Day is actually one of eight official global health campaigns marked by WHO, along with World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World AIDS Day, World Blood Donor Day, and World Hepatitis Day.
This Year’s Theme
This year’s World Health Day aims to mobilize action on depression. This condition affects people of all ages, from all walks of life and crucially in all countries so it is truly a worldwide epidemic.
Depression is a common mental illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that people normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for 14 days or longer. People with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability for many to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, which is now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds across the globe. Yet, depression can be prevented and treated.
A better understanding of depression – which can be prevented and treated – will help reduce the stigma associated with the illness, and lead to more people seeking help. There unfortunately is a stigma attached to depression and that is one of the sole reasons as to why people suffer in silence and why many sadly never recover from this disease.
The World Health Organization has been involved in mobilizing many health efforts the world over. One of their early cases was to drive the movement to eradicate smallpox in 1958. In 1979, the WHO declared that smallpox had in fact been eradicated, making it the first disease in history to be eliminated by the dedicated efforts of humans.
You First, Community Second
Everyone should be concerned about the health of themselves and their community, and as such it’s a good time to turn your attention to this year’s theme.
By checking in at their website at http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/
you can find out what the current theme is, and find all sorts of plans and activities that will help you raise awareness about this important issue.
Everyone can take a hand in improving the overall health of the world, just by starting with yourself, your family, and your community. So this year, why not take some time to spread the word about how you and your neighbours can improve the world’s health, on World Health Day one step at a time.
Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.
According to the latest estimates from the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. Lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.
The new estimates have been released in the lead-up to World Health Day on 7 April, which is the high point in the WHO’s year-long campaign “Depression: let’s talk”. The overall goal of the campaign is that more people with depression, everywhere in the world, both seek and get help.
Said WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan: “These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves.”