World Health Day 2009 Focuses on Hospitals and Emergency Care

Thursday, April 16, 2009 by: Melanie Grimes
Tags: World Health Day, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) World Health Day is a program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) to focus attention on the health needs of people worldwide. This year's theme focuses on the safety of healthcare facilities and readiness of emergency care workers around the world. The motto for this year is "Save lives. Make hospitals safe in emergencies". Always celebrated on April 7th, this year's opening ceremony took place in Beijing China. Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, gave the opening remarks, entitled, "Keeping hospitals safe in emergencies protects people's health."

The first World Health Day was celebrated in 1948 when the First World Health Assembly marked the founding of its organization. Last year's event was focused on protecting people from climate change, and previous topics have included international health security, mental health, and mother and child health.

WHO is the coordination authority of the United Nations that directs health initiatives around the world. They set standards and provide support to various nations. Member countries of the United Nations form the membership of WHO. Other countries can become members by application. There are currently 193 Member States, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

Earlier this month, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan appointed the film star, Jet Li as WHO Goodwill Ambassador. Mr. Li attended the opening ceremonies of World Health Day in Beijing. A Chinese martial arts expert, Mr. Li represented China in over 45 martial arts tournaments around the world before beginning his acting career. Mr. Li has been active in philanthropy since the 2004 South Asian tsunami. He has set up programs for emergency aid in China.

WHO has a six point agenda for changing public health.

1.Promoting development. This includes helping impoverished countries to gain access to health care and preventing and treating chronic and tropical disease around the world.

2.Fostering health security. This agenda item deals with outbreaks of infectious disease, diseases caused by urbanization or environmental factors, food production and the use of antibiotics.

3.Strengthening health systems. This includes providing staff, financing and systems for technology and essential drugs.

4.Harnessing research, information and evidence. WHO sets standards and communicates about research results around the globe.

5.Enhancing partnerships. WHO aids organizations worldwide to collaborate and communicate, from UN agencies to international donors and organizations.

6.Improving performance. WHO aids in reforms for its own efficiency as well as the activities it monitors.

Regional Committees of the WHO have set up events in their different regions to fulfill the organization's agenda and to celebrate World Health Day. The goals for this year's activities focus on training health care workers, designing and building safe hospitals, and ensuring that hospital staff and supplies are secure. More information can be found at their website:

About the author

Melanie Grimes is a writer, award-winning screenwriter, medical journal editor, and adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. She also teaches homeopathy at the Seattle School of Homeopathy and the American Homeopathic Medical College.
A trained homeopath, she is the editor of the homeopathic journal, Simillimum, and has edited alternative and integrative medical journals for 15 years. She has taught creative writing, founded the first Birkenstock store in the USA and authored medical textbooks.
Her ebook on Natural Remedies for the Flu is available at:
Follow her blog at

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