World Health Day is an initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is celebrated annually by the world over on 7 April. This date marks the anniversary of the founding of the WHO back in 1948, which means that the organisation has been with us for 74 years!
The point of World Health Day, other than to commemorate the founding of the WHO, is to bring attention to a specific health topic of global concern each year. In 2020, the WHO paid homage to the nurses and midwives at the very frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic by devoting World Health Day to “Supporting nurses and midwives”. During the turbulent first few waves of the pandemic, the WHO set a significant precedent of acknowledging and celebrating the work of nurses and midwives without whom, they say, “there would be no response” to the pandemic at all.
The theme for World Health Day 2022 is “Our planet, our health”. This year, the WHO is urging healthcare workers, citizens, and policymakers to reimagine and remake a world where economies are centred around health and wellbeing. The theme this year highlights the intersections between ongoing climate crises and human health. The WHO has put the focus on the urgent action required to keep humans and the planet healthy, and nurses are an integral part of these efforts!