World Health Day

World Health Day Quick Facts - EU

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2024 Date7 April 2024
2025 Date7 April 2025

World Health Day

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World Health Day History

World Health Day is dedicated to raising awareness for the commitment of promoting health. Coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO), it allows various sectors worldwide to collaborate in addressing global health issues. It inspires policy makers, community leaders, and citizens alike to highlight the importance of health issues in their context and advocate for appropriate measures. Themes vary annually, mirroring the pressing health issues of the time, and are chosen for their applicability in all continents, ensuring that the Observance is globally relevant.

The WHO conceived the idea of the World Health Day in 1948, but the first celebration didn't take place until 1950. Since then, it has played a significant role in raising awareness and providing a platform for dialogue on health issues in the European Union (EU). The European Union, hosts many events for World Health Day, focusing on the selected theme. The EU utilises World Health Day to evaluate its health policies, identify weaknesses, and learn from its best-practices, encouraging cooperation between member states.

In the European Union, awareness campaigns in various forms, such as educational sessions, seminars, and online campaigns, mark World Health Day. Authorities share important health information related to the year's theme and inform the public of the actions they can take. These efforts often involve various stakeholders, from government agencies and NGOs to healthcare providers and citizens. World Health Day occurs every year on April 7.

Facts about World Health Day

  • The theme for World Health Day in 2024 was My health, my right. The theme in 2022 was Our Planet, Our Health.
  • According to the World Health Organization, 58% of deaths in children under age five are caused by infectious diseases with pneumonia being the highest cause of those deaths.
  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the EU, after cardiovascular diseases. In 2018, there were an estimated 1.4 million deaths from cancer in the EU.
  • Life expectancy in the EU is one of the highest in the world, with an average of 81.3 years in 2019, according to Eurostat, varying from 74.4 in Bulgaria to 83.7 in Spain.

Top things to do in the EU for World Health Day

  • Get your blood pressure checked! High blood pressure is a silent killer known to massively increase the risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Play sports or exercise. Exercise raises the heart rate, burns calories, releases endorphins, and helps with leading a healthier lifestyle.
  • Visit health and science museums: Explore the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Spain, the German Museum of Medical History in Germany, or The Health Museum in Netherlands.
  • Read a book to learn more about Health in European Union:
    Health Systems Governance in Europe: The Role of European Union Law and Policy - by Elias Mossialos, Govin Permanand, Rita Baeten, and Tamara K. Hervey
    Everything in Its Place: Social Order and Land Use in America - by Constance Perin.

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