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Weekly Current Affairs: April week-2 - World Health Day

Published: 13th Apr, 2020

The World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7 to spread the awareness around maintaining good health and a balanced lifestyle.


The World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7 to spread the awareness around maintaining good health and a balanced lifestyle.


  • April 7 of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day.
  • From its inception at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and since taking effect in 1950, the celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization.
  • Over the past 50 years this has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change.
  • The celebration is marked by activities which extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these important aspects of global health.
  • World Health Day comes this year at a time when the entire globe is struggling to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.
  • Over 1 million people have been infected by the deadly contagion while more than 60,000 have lost their lives to Covid-19 infection. 

    World Health Organization:

    • On April 7, 1948, the United Nations established WHO by constitution, putting it in charge of classifying diseases. 
    • WHO acts as the branch of the United Nations responsible for global public health.
    • The organization’s team, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, has worked to advance health through the last 70-plus years. 
    • As a part of its foundation, WHO created a definition of healththat hasn’t needed to be altered since:

    “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” 

    • Some highlights of WHO’s long list of impactson the world include:
      • Smallpox was eradicated in 1979 after WHO’s 12-year vaccination campaign.
      • WHO developed a treatment plan for tuberculosis in 1995 that has saved more than 37 million lives.
      • The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was adopted in 2005, which prompted countries to establish smoke-free public spaces and print pictorial warnings on cigarette packages. 
      • In 2014, WHO sponsored thousands of health care workers to research and treat the Ebola virus. West Africa was officially Ebola free by 2016.
      • The WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

    The Theme:

    • This year’s World Health Day theme couldn’t be more apt as it is dedicated to honour the indefatigable work of nurses and midwives across the globe.
    • In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands and millions of nurses are leaving behind their comfort and safety to fight the Covid-19 crisisand help those infected or suspected of coronavirus.
    • On this day, the World Health Organization calls for people to extend their gratitude and support nurses and midwives across the world.
    • The WHO has named this year the ‘International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife’. 
    • WHO also pledges to make a “series of recommendationsto strengthen” the nursing and midwifery workforce.
    • The year 2020 has also been designated by the World Health Assembly as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.


    What role is the WHO playing in the coronavirus pandemic?

    • The World Health Organization has taken on a central role in the fight to stem the spread of the coronavirus by coordinating the international response.
    • With the current pandemic, that means orchestrating research cooperation and the development of tests, medical treatments and vaccines.
    • Recently, it initiated an international clinical study with the aim of testing existing medicines against the virus.
    • The declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is the most powerful weapon in the WHO's arsenal.
      • It allows the WHO to allocate additional funds and resources and to articulate the concrete steps its experts think should be taken by member states — such as quarantine measures or travel restrictions.
    • An emergency committee made up of health experts, virologists and other scientists constantly adjusts the organization's response as the situation evolves.
    • WHO recommendations are not binding; nevertheless, most countries follow them.



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