World Health Day is on the 7th of April each year. This day marks the anniversary of the World Health Organization which was founded in 1948.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is the leading global health authority within the United Nations System. The work of WHO is varied and can mostly be summarized through their 6 point agenda.
Promote Development - poverty is linked to poor health; by promoting development poverty falls and the overall health of a given population improves.
Fosters Health Security - WHO takes steps to increase health security by reducing health risks from outbreaks of new, existing & mutating diseases.
Strengthens Health Systems - in poorer countries many health systems are inadequate. WHO strengthens these systems through various means which may include the provision of funding, access to drugs and relevant technology, data collection systems and trained staff.
Harnesses information, research and evidence - WHO uses evidence as a sound basis for setting health priorities, strategies and measuring results. In consultation with leading health experts, WHO provides authoritative health information.
Enhances Partnerships - WHO works closely with many health organizations around the world. WHO aims to improve or enhance the work of these organizations by encouraging them to use their evidence based practices and follow their technical guidelines when implementing their health programs.
Improves Performance - WHO also strives to improve the performance of its own organization. In order to improve the performance or effectiveness of an organization there needs to be clear results which can be measured and compared. WHO improves performance by implementing results based management, which provide clear results and goals which can be measured on a regional, country or international level.
WHO use the anniversary of their founding day not only as an opportunity to celebrate the organization and its work but also as an opportunity to highlight a current global health priority.
For each World Health Day, WHO designates a health challenge or theme. Previous years themes have included:
Road Safety (2005)
Shape The Future Of Life (2003)
Protecting Health From Climate Change (2008)
International Health Security (2007)
Anti microbacterial Resistance: No Action Today No Cure Tomorrow (2011)
The theme for 2012 World Health Day is 'Aging and Health'. As with other years themes, this theme is set in accordance to what WHO regards as current health issues within the world. The worlds population is aging; people are living longer.
WHO provides a toolkit to event organizers which includes the materials such as:
aging and health information
advice on how to engage with the media and use social networks to promote the day
a list of technical and communication support contacts
clearly defined messages and calls to action
information on how to plan and run events and campaigns
The slogan for 2012 World Health Day is: 'Good Health Adds Life To Years'. This slogan helps reflect the WHO message that when people improve their health they enjoy fuller lives without the burden of health complications such as pain or disability, remain productive for longer and continue to contribute more to society.
A key message of this day is that older people in good health are a valuable resource and should be valued.