April 7: World Health Day

Every year World Health Day (WHD) is being observed on 7 April to disseminate knowledge and awareness about human health.

The day focuses on increasing life expectancy by adding good health to the lives of people and promoting healthier living habits across the globe. 2016 theme: Beat Diabetes.


World Health Organisation (WHO) is marking its annual World Health Day (7 April), to celebrate Organization’s founding in 1948 on this day in the first World Health Assembly.

Since then the World Health Assembly decided to celebrate 7 April of each year with effect from 1950 as the World Health Day.

It is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by WHO along with World Tuberculosis Day, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Immunization Week, World Hepatitis Day, World AIDS Day and World Blood Donor Day.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic, progressive non-communicable disease (NCD) characterized by elevated levels of blood sugar (blood glucose).

It occurs when (i) the pancreas does not produce enough of the insulin hormone, which regulates blood sugar (ii) the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) the number of people living with diabetes has almost quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults over 35 years of age with most living in developing countries.

Factors driving this dramatic rise include overweight and obesity. It now affects nearly one in every eleven people around the world.

Measures to reduce diabetes risk factors

Expanding health-promoting environments like physical inactivity and unhealthy diets and strengthening national capacities to help people with diabetes receive the treatment and care.

Global commitments to reduce diabetes

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.4 calls for reducing premature death from NCDs, including diabetes by 30% by 2030. Governments have also committed to achieving 4 time-bound national commitments set out in the 2014 UN General Assembly “Outcome Document on Noncommunicable Diseases”.

They are also attaining the 9 global targets of WHO laid out in the “Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs” which include halting the rise in diabetes and obesity.

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