World Health Day: Celebrating Health

Faryal Panhwar Apr 07 2015
world-health-day-celebrating-health

Each year on 7th April, World Health Day is rejoiced in celebration of global health awareness initially brought forth by the World Health Organization in 1948. It is basically the birthday of the organization.  Each year, a different health-related theme is set in celebration of the day to spread awareness and help achieve good health for all.

World Health Day Theme 2015

The theme set for World Health Day 2015 is “Food safety”. It is a topic of high relevance to people in general, including the government, for countries all over the world.  According to WHO statistics, two million deaths every year are related to unsafe food. Thus, raising awareness regarding food safety is integral to global health. Unsafe and unhygienic food containing microorganisms such as parasites and bacteria contribute to about 200 diseases. Lack of safe food is the cause for diseases as basic as diarrhea, to as life-threatening and complex as cancer.

Every passing day is posing a threat to food safety. Factors such as increase antimicrobial resistance, unpredictable environmental modifications, emerge of new pathogens etc. add to the challenge. Especially with increase in food travel and trade, there is a danger of this contamination spreading globally.

From Farm to Plate, Make Food Safe

With increase in globalization of food supplies, the need to enhance and better food safety systems is becoming more and more evident. Hence, the WHO has decided to promote awareness and take an initiative to boost food safety from farm to plate and all that is in between on World Health Day 7th April, 2015.

The guidelines provided by WHO to all countries aim towards prevention, detection and prompt and adequate response to food-borne outbreaks. In collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), WHO has alerted countries all over the world to meet with food-safety emergencies in line with the international information network.

Five Keys to Safer Food by WHO

To guarantee nourishment security is an imparted obligation, each one of those involved during food production from farmers to manufacturers are responsible for their fair share in maintaining food hygiene. Thus, it is safe to say that each group of workers in the food chain industry is of prime and equal importance in preserving food hygiene.
WHO has proposed a set of guidelines to be followed by the vendors and consumers in steps to conserve food safety. These include:

Key#1: Keep clean
Key#2: Separate raw food from cooked food
Key#3: Cook food meticulously
Key#4: Store and keep food at innocuous temperatures
Key#5: Use safe water and raw materials

World Health Day this year is all about alerting everyone around the world about the importance of safe food for health and prevention of diseases. Every person has a part to play on their own, whether it is someone working in the government sector, as a health practitioner or someone working in the farm business or somebody distributing food items. Each of these individuals must be aware of their performance in regards to food safety.

Overall Goal

The aim of the campaign is to:

• Incentivize governments to increase and improve food safety through public awareness campaigns and highlight their ongoing actions in this area
• Motivate and urge purchasers to guarantee the sustenance on their plate is safe (ask questions, check labels, follow hygiene tips)

Message for the consumers

1.    Keep yourself informed. Ask yourself how safe your food is.
2.    Handle, store and prepare your food vigilantly
3.    Spread awareness and teach others healthy practices in your community
4.    Make safe and wise choices for yourself and your family
5.    Enjoy eating food!

Faryal Panhwar

Faryal Panhwar:

Faryal is currently a second year M.B.B.S student at Ziauddin University. She is an active participate in the Model UN where her passion for debate has received her several delegate awards. Seeking to discover the writer in herself Faryal is now working as a freelance writer for HTV.