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As a species, we are probably healthier than we have been in our entire existence. While there are plenty of issues that we still need to tackle, the truth is that life expectancy is increasing at its fastest rate and new innovations in medicine and treatment are being developed almost every day.

Of course, this depends on where you live. While we’re used to healthcare on demand in the UK, in many parts of the world, particularly in developing countries, this is still not a reality. The sad case is that half of the world lacks an adequate healthcare system. Most nurses that work in healthcare in the UK will tell you just how lucky we are!

What is World Health Day?

World Health Day takes place on the 7th April each year and is an observance of how far we have come and a celebration of the achievements we have made. It’s also a clarion call for what we could potentially do much better.

We’ve been celebrating World Health Day since 1950 and each year the opportunity is taken to highlight a specific area of healthcare that is important. In the past, these have included themes around the eradication of polio, the issue of health and climate change and, more recently, raising awareness about the rise of Type 2 diabetes as a global problem.

Last year’s theme was universal health coverage and finding ways to make this accessible across the globe. It’s something that many people in the UK take for granted.

World Health Day is sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and a range of events around the globe are usually planned for each celebration. These are generally related to the chosen theme and can be both large and small in scope. They are an opportunity for nurses and healthcare practitioners, in particular, to come together and not only celebrate the advances over the last few years but make a difference to the future of healthcare too.

How Will You Observe World Health Day?

This year’s World Health Day continues on its theme of improving global health. In 2018, WHO asked for governments around the world to make tangible progress towards a situation where no one has to choose between eating and buying medicine.

As a nurse or healthcare professional, there are several ways that you can get involved. Use the online hashtag #worldhealthday in your social media posts to promote the day, you may like to write a letter to your local MP to highlight this years’ theme to make sure they know about it, you might want to organise an event, volunteer for a worthy cause or simply donate something to a healthcare charity.

You can find information about this year’s world health day on the WHO website.

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