World Health Day - 7 April

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Every year, World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948. Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of concern for WHO.

World Health Day is a global campaign, inviting everyone – from global leaders to the public in all countries – to focus on a single health challenge with global impact. Focusing on new and emerging health issues, World Health Day provides an opportunity to start collective action to protect people's health and well-being.


World Health Day 2017 - Depression: Let's talk

World Health Day 2017 - Depression: Let's talk

World Health Day this year on 7 April aims to make people more aware of depression and the fact that it can be prevented and treated.

Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks. It can happen to anybody.


World Health Day 2016

WHO is focusing the next World Health Day, on 7 April 2016, on diabetes.

In 2012, diabetes was the direct cause of some 1.5 million deaths, with more than 80% of those occurring in low- and middle-income countries. WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030.

In the African Region, the rate of diabetes is growing and this represents a big challenge to governments, health services, communities and individuals.


World Health Day 2015

whd-cover-2015Unsafe food is linked to the deaths of an estimated 2 million people annually – mostly children. Food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.

New threats to food safety are constantly emerging. Changes in food production, distribution and consumption; changes to the environment; new and emerging pathogens; antimicrobial resistance - all pose challenges to national food safety systems. Increases in travel and trade enhance the likelihood that contamination can spread internationally.

The focus for World Health Day 2015 is food safety.


World Health Day 2014

dengue mosquitoThe topic for 2014 was vector-borne diseases. Vectors are organisms that transmit pathogens and parasites from one infected person (or animal) to another. Vector-borne diseases are illnesses caused by these pathogens and parasites in human populations. They are most commonly found in tropical areas and places where access to safe drinking-water and sanitation systems is problematic.


World Health Day 2013

The theme for 2013 was high blood pressure. Though it affects more than one in three adults worldwide, it remains largely hidden. Many people do not know they have high blood pressure because it does not always cause symptoms. As a result, it leads to more than nine million deaths every year, including about half of all deaths due to heart disease and stroke.

World Health Day 2012

The topic of World Health Day in 2012 was Ageing and health with the theme "Good health adds life to years". The focus was on how good health throughout life can help older men and women lead full and productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities. Ageing concerns each and every one of us – whether young or old, male or female, rich or poor – no matter where we live.


World Health Day 2011

whd_amr_20110218-tnAntimicrobial resistance: no action today no cure tomorrowWe live in an era of medical breakthroughs with new wonder drugs available to treat conditions that a few decades ago, or even a few years ago in the case of HIV/AIDS, would have proved fatal. For World Health Day 2011, WHO launched a worldwide campaign to safeguard these medicines for future generations.



Previous World Health Days