health is one of the most important ingredients for a happy
and productive life. And yet, many people do not have access
to health care and live in conditions that spread disease. Nearly
11 million children die before they reach their 5th birthday
and each year half a million women die in pregnancy or childbirth.
Most of these deaths can be prevented!
Health Day, on April 7, is an opportunity to highlight the progress
that has been made to create a safer, healthier world and the
steps that still need to be taken. This day commemorates the
creation on April 7, 1948 of the World Health Organization (WHO),
the United Nations' specialized agency for health.
Health Day is a good time to debate the issue of 'universal
health care.' In 1948, one of the declarations in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights stated that all people should have
access to the medical care they need to lead healthy lives.
Today, the United States is the only major industrialized country
that does not provide health care for all of its citizens.
Health Day is also a time to remind governments about their
commitment to focus on health issues in the Millennium Development
Goals, which all of the World's leaders agreed to at the United
Nations in the year 2000. All nations have pledged to specific
goals in reducing child mortality, improving maternal health
and fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases by the year
2015. Some progress been made, but much more needs to be done.
World Health Day thousands of global activities take place to
re-ignite interest from the public, organizations, media and
governments to focus attention on sustainable activities throughout
the year to create a healthier world for all, and to remind
us that 'good health' is more than just the absence of disease
- it is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.
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