Ever since its inception in 1948, the World Health Organisation has stood at the forefront of global health care and mitigation of health issues. The Constitution of WHO came into force on 7th April 1948 and henceforth, the day has been celebrated as World Health Day. World Health Organisation is a specialized agency that works under the United Nations with its prime objective being international public health. WHO is a part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Group and functions at different levels. On one level, it works for universal health and conducts activities to improve the general health of people and make essential services accessible to all. At the level of emergencies, WHO prepares for emergencies by identifying and managing risks and it provides all the necessary tools at the face of outbreaks to contain it. Also WHO works in intersectoral management of health services and eradication of high impact communicable diseases.
The tagline for World Health Day this year is – “Support nurses and midwives”. The year 2020 is the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. By bringing the world’s attention to nurses and other health care professionals, WHO aims to strengthen the nursing and midwifery workforce. Nurses are the backbone of health care systems and without them, managing the crisis situations would have been impossible. They have not only dedicated their lives but have always put their own lives at risk for serving humanity. In light of the recent Covid-19 outbreak, it is all the more significant that we celebrate our nurses and the work they offer to our health care systems.
The focus of this year’s celebrations is to highlight the current status of the nursing and midwifery workforce and discuss ways to strengthen the same. The aim is to ensure that everyone around the world gets proper healthcare and that includes general health, maternal and child health, infectious diseases support, mental health, emergency health care support, etc. And in order to ensure these to the public, efforts will have to be made to create a better and conducive atmosphere for healthcare professionals.
By celebrating a day for health, WHO promotes awareness, disseminates the right information and advocates safer practices in health care. Along with numerous other governmental and non-governmental organizations, WHO conducts activities across the world, most notably in regions like Africa where health infrastructure is still very poor, WHO constantly intervenes and keeps things under control. Along with World Health Day, there are eight official global health campaigns marked by WHO- World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World AIDS Day, World Blood Donor Day, and World Hepatitis Day to create awareness among the general public and thereby avoid health disasters. For the most reliable health information, we can use WHO’s official website as well as official social media handles. In a time like this, the significance of WHO and World Health Day is far more than usual.
To quote WHO- “Global public health days are an opportunity to raise awareness and understanding about critical health issues and mobilize support for action. WHO campaigns provide an opportunity for WHO to convene and focus world-wide attention on a health issue of high importance and to coordinate the efforts of multiple agencies and organizational levels to support specific goals from policy-makers to families and communities.” – www.who.int