World Health Day is celebrated every year on 7 April under the leadership of World Health Organisation (WHO) to create global health awareness. First celebrated in the year 1950, this day also marks the establishment of WHO. A particular health-related theme is chosen every year and varieties of programs related to it are organised on international and national levels. The celebration focuses on increasing the life expectancy of people by promoting healthier living habits.
The day is one of the eight official global health campaigns marked by WHO, which include World Tuberculosis Day on 24 March, World Immunization Week in April, World Malaria Day on 25 April, World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, World Blood Donor Day on 14 June, World Hepatitis Day on 28 July and World AIDS Day on 1 December.
The 2017 theme was Depression: Let’s Talk, which aimed to reach out to help people battling with the disorder. According to WHO’s latest estimates, between 2005-2015, there has been an 18 per cent increase in people dealing with depression, that is approximately 300 million people.
2018 theme: ‘Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere’
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) refers to the providing of essential healthcare services to a person while ensuring that the use of these does not expose the user to financial distress. The basic objective is that every person who needs these services should get them and not only those who can pay them. This is required to alleviate the financial costs associated with healthcare while making individual access to these services easier.
According to a report in WHO, at least half of the world’s population do not have full coverage of basic health services. Moreover, around 100 million people are still being pushed into poverty because they have to pay for health care. “UHC is firmly based on the WHO constitution of 1948 declaring health a fundamental human right and on the Health for All agenda set by the Alma Ata declaration in 1978. UHC cuts across all of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and brings the hope of better health and protection for the world’s poorest.”