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World Health Day: The Importance of Global Health

World Health Day: The Importance of Global Health


World Health Day began in 1948 when the World Health Organization (WHO) held their first World Health Assembly.

The World Health Assembly decided to celebrate 7th April of each year as WHD and in 1950 it became official. The day is to mark WHD as well as the WHO’s founding.

Various governments and non-governmental organisations recognise WHD. In particular those with interests in public health issues and those who organise activities and highlight their support publicly.

World Health Organisation Flag
World Health Organization Flag (Source: Flickr)


Over the past 60 years World Health Day has bought attention to important health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care and climate change.

The WHO organises international, regional and local events on the day; so as to serve as an opportunity to focus world wide attention on the issues of global health.

Universal Health Coverage

Each year World Health Day celebrates a different theme and this years 2019 theme focusses on Universal Health Coverage.

Universal health coverage is where quality health services are available to everyone; when and where they need them and without financial constraints.

A good example of this in the UK would be the National Health Service (NHS).

Primary Health Care

The foundation for universal health coverage is primary health care.

Primary health care is the first point of contact with a health system, such as your local doctors or clinic.

Doctor checking patients blood pressure
Doctor checking patients blood pressure (Source: Pixnio)

It covers the majority of your health needs throughout your life, including: screening for health problems, vaccines, information on how to prevent disease, family planning, treatment for long and short-term conditions, co-ordination with other levels of care, and rehabilitation.

The purpose of primary health care is to care for and also help people improve, or maintain their well-being; rather than just treating a single disease or condition.

A health system with strong primary health care can deliver better health outcomes, be more cost-efficient and also help improve the general quality of care.

For more information and how you can get involved head on over to the WHD campaign page.

World Health Day primary health care infographic
WHD Primary health care infographic (Source: WHO)

The World Health Day / Leydon Logo

Adapted for World Health Day the Leydon logo symbolises a heart rate monitor display.

World Health Day Leydon Logo
World Health Day Leydon Logo

“Health is a human right; everyone should have the information and services they need to take care of their own health and the health of their families.”


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