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HEALTH NEWS
 
WORLD HEALTH DAYS

World Cancer Day
4 February 2011
Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. WHO estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. Each year on 4 February, WHO supports International Union Against Cancer to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer. Preventing cancer and raising quality of life for cancer patients are recurring themes.

World Water Day
22 March 2011
The theme of this year's World Water Day is Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge UN-WATER and UN-HABITAT are coordinating this year's World Water Day activities globally.

World TB Day
24 March 2011
World TB Day raises awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease. One-third of the world's population is currently infected with TB. The Stop TB Partnership, a network of organizations and countries fighting TB, organizes the Day to highlight the scope of the disease and how to prevent and cure it.
The annual event on 24 March marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch detected the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. This was a first step towards diagnosing and curing tuberculosis. WHO is working to cut TB prevalence rates and deaths by half by 2015.

World Health Day
7 April 2011
World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April to mark the founding of WHO. Each year, the Organization selects a key global health issue and organizes international, regional and local events on the Day and throughout the year to highlight the selected area.
World Health Day 2011 will focus on antimicrobial resistance and its global spread. Antimicrobial resistance threatens the continued effectiveness of many medicines used today to treat the sick, while at the same time it risks jeopardizing important advances being made against major infectious killers.
To underline this, the WHO public awareness campaign will include a special focus on the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics. WHO will call on governments and stakeholders to implement the policies and practices needed to prevent and counter the emergence of highly resistant superbugs, and to also provide appropriate care to those seriously affected by these microbes.

World Malaria Day
25 April 2011
Approximately half of the world's population is at risk of malaria, particularly those living in lower-income countries. It infects more than 500 million people per year and kills more than 1 million. The burden of malaria is heaviest in sub-Saharan Africa but the disease also afflicts Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and even parts of Europe.
World Malaria Day - which was instituted by the World Health Assembly at its 60th session in May 2007 - is a day for recognizing the global effort to provide effective control of malaria. It is an opportunity:
• for countries in the affected regions to learn from each other's experiences and support each other's efforts; • for new donors to join a global partnership against malaria; • for research and academic institutions to flag their scientific advances to both experts and general public; and • for international partners, companies and foundations to showcase their efforts and reflect on how to scale up what has worked.

World No Tobacco Day
31 May 2011
On 31st May each year WHO celebrates World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce consumption. Tobacco use is the second cause of death globally (after hypertension) and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide.
The World Health Assembly created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and its lethal effects. It provides an opportunity to highlight specific tobacco control messages and to promote adherence to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Tobacco use is the number one preventable epidemic that the health community faces.

World Blood Donor Day
14 June 2011
WHO chose 14 June as the day to recognize the millions of people who save lives and improve the health of others by donating blood. The Day highlights the need to regularly give blood to prevent shortages in hospitals and clinics, particularly in developing countries where quantities are very limited. Out of the 80 countries with low blood donation rates (fewer than 10 donations per thousand people), 79 are developing nations.
The annual event focuses on motivating more people to become blood donors. It demonstrates how health systems and policy-makers work to make blood transfusions safe and accessible to people worldwide.

World Breastfeeding Week
1–7 August 2011
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration made by WHO and UNICEF policy-makers in August 1990 to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old, and continued breastfeeding with the addition of nutritious complementary foods for up to two years or beyond.

World Humanitarian Day
19 August 2011
Natural disasters, conflicts and other emergencies threaten the lives and health of millions of people every year. In the middle of such crises, thousands of dedicated humanitarian workers strive to care for those who have been affected and support local authorities to deliver assistance. On World Humanitarian Day, WHO and other international bodies are highlighting the roles performed by humanitarian workers, and remembering aid workers who have been killed or injured while performing their vital roles.
World Humanitarian Day offers the chance: • for the public to learn more about the humanitarian community, what aid workers do and the challenges they face; • for nongovernmental and international bodies and UN agencies, to demonstrate their humanitarian activities; • to pay respect to those who have died or been injured in the course of their humanitarian work.

World Suicide Prevention Day
10 September 2011
World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September promotes worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides. On average, almost 3000 people commit suicide daily. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives.
The sponsoring International Association for Suicide Prevention, the co-sponsor WHO and other partners advocate for the prevention of suicidal behaviour, provision of adequate treatment and follow-up care for people who attempted suicide, as well as responsible reporting of suicides in the media.
At the global level, awareness needs to be raised that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death. Governments need to develop policy frameworks for national suicide prevention strategies. At the local level, policy statements and research outcomes need to be translated into prevention programmes and activities in communities.

World Heart Day
26 September 2011
Cardiovascular diseases are the world’s largest killers, claiming 17.1 million lives a year. Risk factors for heart disease and stroke include raised blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, smoking, inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables, overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.
In partnership with WHO, the World Heart Federation organizes awareness events in more than 100 countries - including health checks, organized walks, runs and fitness sessions, public talks, stage shows, scientific forums, exhibitions, concerts, carnivals and sports tournaments.

World Rabies Day
28 September 2011
World Rabies Day highlights the impact of human and animal rabies and promotes how to prevent and stop the disease by combating it in animals. Sponsors - the Alliance for Rabies Control and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - report that 55 000 people die every year from rabies, an average of one death every 10 minutes.
There are safe and effective vaccines available for people who have been bitten by an animal that might have the disease, but usage in developing countries is low due to the high cost.

World Mental Health Day
10 October 2011
World Mental Health Day raises public awareness about mental health issues. The Day promotes more open discussion of mental disorders, and investments in prevention and treatment services. The treatment gap for mental, neurological and substance use disorders is formidable especially in poor resource countries.
Physical and mental health are intertwined. There is a real need to deal with mental health problems of people with chronic physical illnesses and physical care of mental health consumers through a continued and integrated care.

World Sight Day
13 October 2011
World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness, visual impairment and rehabilitation of the visually impaired held on the second Thursday in October. World Sight Day is observed around the world by all partners involved in preventing visual impairment or restoring sight. It is also the main advocacy event for the prevention of blindness and for "Vision 2020: The Right to Sight", a global effort to prevent blindness created by WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

World Diabetes Day
14 November 2011
World Diabetes Day raises global awareness of diabetes - its escalating rates around the world and how to prevent the illness in most cases. Started by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and WHO, the Day is celebrated on 14 November to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.
WHO estimates that more than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030 without intervention. Almost 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day
16 November 2011
World COPD Day is a global effort to expand understanding of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and advocate for better care for patients. Currently 210 million people have the illness, according to 2007 WHO estimates. WHO predicts that COPD will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030. Key risk factors for COPD are tobacco smoking, indoor and outdoor air pollution, and exposure to occupational dusts and chemicals.
Organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), the Day is marked by activities implemented by health care professionals and patient groups throughout the world.

World AIDS Day
1 December 2011
World AIDS Day on 1 December draws together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. The Day is one of the most visible opportunities for public and private partners to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in high prevalence countries and around the world.
There are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, according to 2008 figures released by WHO. An estimated 2.7 million were newly infected with the virus and 2 million died of AIDS the same year. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily affected by HIV. In 2008, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 67% of HIV infections worldwide, 68% of new HIV infections among adults and 91% of new HIV infections among children. The region also accounted for 72% of the world’s AIDS-related deaths in 2008.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities
3 December 2011
Around 10% of the world’s population, or 650 million people, live with disabilities. People are often unaware of the great number of persons living with disabilities around the world and the challenges they face. WHO's mission is to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities through national, regional and global efforts and to raise awareness about the magnitude and consequences.
The day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the inclusion of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life.

Human Rights Day
10 December 2011
On 10 December 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has become a universal standard for the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide. This year on 10 December, the international community celebrates Human Rights Day to mark the 62nd anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration.

 

 
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