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World Health Day 2019: ‘Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere’ Research Team | Posted On Tuesday, April 02,2019, 06:03 PM

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World Health Day 2019: ‘Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere’



World health day is observed on April 7th of each year, sponsored by the World Health Organization, WHO and 193 member nations of the United Nations Organization or the UNO. World Health Day is a campaign observed globally. It was first observed in 1950. World health organization comes up with a theme each year for World health day.

World Health Day is not all about washing hands and eating nutritious food. It is a day observed globally by the Government and Non-Government health organizations with the focus on promoting healthy habits. Good habits increase life expectancy.

On the World health day, various activities such as support plans like conferences for health workers, helping local politicians come up with better health plans for the public, information displays for children and youth, public marches and demonstrations, free medial camps for the underprivileged and so on. Various awareness activities like organizing debates and essay writing competitions are held on the World health day. This day aims at a collective action which globally protects human life and well being.   

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World Health Day 2019: ‘Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere’

Small Creatures + Small Bites = a BIG THREAT

Vectors are small pathogens like mosquitoes, sandflies, bugs, ticks and freshwater snails that are capable of carrying diseases from person to person and place to place. They are mostly found in tropical areas and places where access to portable drinking-water and sanitation systems are a bit problematic.

Vectors put human life at risk by spreading diseases like malaria, which is the deadliest vector-borne disease, causing an estimated 6,60,000 deaths annually across the globe. Other vector-borne serious diseases are dengue fever, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis and chikungunya.

Dengue is the fastest growing vector-borne disease, which has increased by 30-fold over the last 5 decades. Dengue is now spreading to those countries where it was never seen. Today, the world being globalized for trade, international travel and environmental challenges like climate change and urbanization, has contributed considerably to increase the vector-borne diseases.

A particular species in Americas put 21 countries at risk of malaria. With the exception of Canada and mainland Chile, almost the entire population of 35 countries lives with mosquitoes that are capable of spreading diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.

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World Health Day Annual Themes

The World health organization has come up with a theme for the World health day each year, since 1995. The most effective health day theme so far is global polio eradication in 1995. The level of polio awareness rose considerably and many countries are now free from this dreadful disease. Other successful themes of the World health day are: emerging infectious disease in 1997, safe motherhood in 1998, move for health in 2002, international health security in 2007 and healthy heart beat, healthy blood pressure in 2013.

Themes of World health day:

> Theme of World Health Day 1950 was “Know your Health Services”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1951 was “Health for your Child and World’s Children”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1952 was “Healthy surroundings make Healthy people”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1953 was “Health is Wealth”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1954 was “The Nurse: Pioneer of Health”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1955 was “Clean water means better Health”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1956 was “Destroy disease carrying Insects”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1957 was “Food for All”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1958 was “Ten years of Health progress”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1959 was “Mental illness and Mental Health in the World of today”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1960 was “Malaria eradication – A world challenge”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1961 was “Accidents and their prevention”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1962 was “Preserve sight- prevent Blindness”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1963 was “Hunger= Disease of millions”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1964 was “No Truce for Tuberculosis”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1965 was “Smallpox – constant alert”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1966 was “Man and his Cities”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1967 was “Partners in Health”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1968 was “Health in the World of Tomorrow”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1969 was “Health, Labor and Productivity”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1970 was “Early detection of Cancer saves Life”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1971 was “A full life despite Diabetes”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1972 was “Your Heart is your Health”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1973 was “Health begins at Home”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1974 was “Better food for a healthier World”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1975 was “Smallpox: Point of no return”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1976 was “Foresight Prevents Blindness”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1977 was “Immunize and protect your Child”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1978 was “Down with High Blood pressure”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1979 was “A healthy Child: A sure future”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1980 was “Smoking or Health: Choice is yours”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1981 was “Health for all by year 2000 AD”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1982 was “Add life to years”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1983 was “Health for all by year 2000 AD: Countdown has begun”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1984 was “Children’s Health: Tomorrow’s Wealth”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1985 was “Healthy Youth- Our best Resource”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1986 was “Healthy living: Everyone a winner”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1987 was “Immunization: A chance for every Child”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1988 was “Health for All: All for Health”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1989 was “Let’s talk Health”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1990 was “Our Planet our Earth: Think Globally Act Locally”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1991 was “Should Disaster Strike, be prepared”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1992 was “Heart beat: A rhythm of Health”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1993 was “Handle life with care: Prevent violence and Negligence”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1994 was “Oral Health for a Healthy Life”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1995 was “Global Polio Eradication”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1996 was “Healthy Cities for better life”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1997 was “Emerging infectious diseases”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1998 was “Safe motherhood”.

> Theme of World Health Day 1999 was “Active aging makes the difference”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2000 was “Safe Blood starts with me”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2001 was “Mental Health: stop exclusion, dare to care”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2002 was “Move for health”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2003 was “Shape the future of life: healthy environment for children”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2004 was “Road safety”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2005 was “Make every mother and child count”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2006 was “Working together for health”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2007 was “International health security”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2008 was “Protecting health from the adverse effects of climate change”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2009 was “Save lives, make hospitals safe in emergencies”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2010 was “Urbanization and health: make cities healthier”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2011 was “Anti-microbial resistance: no action today, no cure tomorrow”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2012 was “Good health adds life to years”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2013 was “Healthy heart beat, Healthy blood pressure”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2014 was “Vector-borne diseases”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2015 was “Food safety” (with 5 keys; Key 1: Keep clean, Key 2: Separate raw and cooked food, Key 3: Cook food thoroughly, Key 4: Keep food at safe temperatures, Key 5: Use safe water and raw materials).

> Theme of World Health Day 2016 was “Diabetes: Scale up prevention, strengthen care, and enhance surveillance”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2017 was “Depression: Let’s talk”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2018 was “Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere”.

> Theme of World Health Day 2019 is “Universal health coverage".

What is Universal Health Coverage?

Under universal health coverage, UHC, all individuals and communities receive health services without financial difficulties. UHC covers the whole spectrum of essentials, quality healthcare, from health promotion to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

UHC offers health services that address the causes of deadly diseases and ensures that the quality of these services is good enough to improve the health of individuals availing this service.

Achieving UHC is one of the most important targets of the UNO when adopting sustainable development goals in 2015. Nations that progress towards achieving UHC would progress towards other health related targets and other goals. Good health enables children to learn and adults to earn in a better way; it helps people escape from the poverty and offers the basics for long term economic growth.

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Can UHC be Measured?

Yes progression of achieving UHC can be measured. Monitoring progress towards UHC must focus on 2 things mentioned below:

  • The percentage of population with access to all essential quality health services.
  • The percentage of population spending a large amount of income on health.

Along with the World Bank, WHO has come up with a framework which tracks the progress of UHC by monitoring both categories, with the consideration of both overall level and the extent of which UHC is equitable, providing service coverage and financial protection to all individuals within a population, like the poor or those living in the underdeveloped rural areas.

The World health organization utilizes 16 essential health services in 4 categories that indicate the level and equity of coverage in countries:

1) Reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health:

  • Family planning
  • Antenatal and delivery care
  • Full child immunization
  • Health-seeking behavior for pneumonia.

2) Infectious diseases:

  • Tuberculosis treatment
  • HIV antiretroviral treatment
  • Hepatitis treatment
  • Use of insecticide-treated bed nets for malaria prevention
  • Adequate sanitation

3) Non communicable diseases:

  • Prevention and treatment of high blood pressure
  • Prevention and treatment of high blood glucose
  • Cervical cancer screening
  • Tobacco (non-)smoking

4) Service capacity and access:

Each country is unique and focuses on different areas, or develops own ways of measuring progress towards achieving UHC.

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Key facts

  • At least over 50% of the world’s population still doesn’t have the benefit of essential healthcare services.
  • About 100 million individuals are still pushed into extreme poverty, as they have to pay for health care services.
  • Over 800 million people have spent at least 10% of their household income on paying for health care services.
  • All UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030, as a major part of the sustainable development goals.

WHO is aiming for the following outcomes with their theme in 2019:

  • Families living in places where diseases are transmitted through vectors must learn to protect them.
  • Travelers will be more aware on self protection when travelling to countries where vector-borne diseases pose a major threat.
  • Ministries of health put in place measures to improve the protection of their respective countries where vector-borne diseases are common.
  • Authorities work with environmental and other related local authorities and in neighboring countries to improve integrated surveillance of vectors and to take measures in preventing proliferation.

World Health Day At Work

Earning a living must not affect your health. There are various things you must do to ensure you stay healthy and happy at work.

The following are a few measures that you can take:

  • Stay germ free: Wash your hands often. Try to keep a sanitizer at your workstation. Millions of germs are waiting to make you fall sick. Use a disinfectant to clean your mobile phone, keyboard and other frequently used devices. Try to avoid direct contact with colleagues who are sick.
  • Don’t skip breakfast: Research has proven that people who skip breakfast often fall ill.
  • Do physical exercise: If you take public transport, then try to get off at least one stop early and walk the rest. Climb stairs instead of the elevator. Don’t stick to your work desk even at the lunch / dinner hour, finish your meal and take a walk. 
  • Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is important and it energizes the body. Drinking less water has a lot of side effects.
  • Don’t skip lunch: Eating a healthy lunch is extremely important; skipping lunch would slow down the pace at which your brain processes data.
  • Plan ahead and keep healthy snacks handy: Dark chocolates, almonds, raisins and fresh fruits are not only delicious but also good for health. These foods increase the immunity level of your body.
  • Be aware of mental fatigue: Keep beautiful and personal objects at your workstation. These objects are a way of relaxing stressed nerves.
  • Don’t neglect stress:  Symptoms of stress are pounding heart, dry mouth, headaches, odd aches and pains.
  • Avoid overworked muscles and take regular breaks from work: Repetitive strain injury, RSI, is likely to occur if you spend long hours sitting at your work desk without a break.  Have a good sitting posture and consider using a speakerphone and a shoulder cradle.
  • Get up and move: Frequent short breaks are a must for the sake of your back. Be fidgety, take frequent short walks and visit a colleague who is sitting at some distance rather than contacting him or her by phone.

The way of staying healthy at work begins with self awareness. Know yourself, your limits, take more breaks and go on vacations. Do physical exercise both at work and home; it helps physical and mental health.

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Why World Health Day Is Celebrated?

World Health Day is observed with a focus on increasing life expectancy. It focuses on adding good health to lives of people around the World and creates awareness on healthier living habits.

Disease spreading vectors like mosquitoes, ticks, bugs, germs, flies, water snails and so on are also targeted by WHO. It aims at freeing the World from a wide range of illnesses caused by parasites and pathogens. It offers better prevention and cure for the vector-borne diseases that spread through vectors and travelers across the globe. World health organization offers support to health organizations across the globe, in making efforts for addressing the public health problems, to increase life expectancy.

The main objectives of why the World health day is being celebrated yearly are listed below:

> To create public awareness on various causes and prevention of high blood pressure.

> To offer detailed knowledge on prevention of various diseases and their complications on health.

> To support highly vulnerable people and to frequently check their blood pressure and make them follow medications as prescribed by the medical professionals.

> To increase self care among individuals.

> To support the World health authorities create healthy environment in all countries.

> To protect individuals living in the vulnerable areas.

> To educate travelers and inform them on how to stay protected from the vector-borne diseases when traveling around the World.

World Health Day is observed on just one day, but it is a day that must remind us on the importance of health as something that must be a part of all that we do.

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