Thursday, April 2, 2015

World Health Day 2015 - April 7th

"Fruits and Vegetables" Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at
Since it was established in 1948, World Health Day has been celebrated every year in recognition of the founding of the World Health Organization. WHO is the leading global authority within the United Nations.  Each year WHO organizes international, regional and local events on April 7 that focus on a health challenge or theme intended to foster awareness to a current global health issue. In past years such topics as global polio eradication, maintaining healthy blood pressure, ageing and health and even the effects of climate change and road safety have been addressed. The theme in 2015 year is Food Safety, a relevant topic given the increasing globalization of our food supply and the need to reinforce food safety systems in and between all countries. This in addition to widespread concerns at home over unsafe food preparation and handling and the serious if not potentially fatal health problems that can result from carelessness or neglect.

It has been estimated that food containing harmful substances ranging from bacteria and viruses to parasites and chemical substances has been responsible for more than 200 diseases including diarrhoeal disease, reproductive and developmental problems, and various cancers. Contaminated food has contributed to the deaths of some 2 million people each year - children numbering among the highest in this disturbing statistic. Viral disease caused from the consumption of tainted food has been of a specific concern since the first Ebola cases were linked to contaminated bush meat.

A safe and nutritious food supply is essential for maintaining good health. Unfortunately, new food safety threats are constantly emerging, creating greater concerns to the general public as well as drawing greater attention from government agencies. These threats can be attributed to changes in food production, distribution and consumption, along with changes to the environment, new and emerging pathogens and antimicrobial resistance. Each pose a serious challenge to food safety.

WHO aids countries in the prevention, detection and in the responding to food disease outbreaks and, together with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, alerts nations to food safety emergencies.
WHO advocates that food safety is a shared responsibility. This year the mandate of World Health Day is to educate not only consumers but all along the food production chain from primary producers and manufacturers to vendors - along with health practitioners and those who work in various government offices - about the importance of food safety so that everyone can play a part in ensuring that the food that we and our families eat is pure and healthy. 

Each one of us needs to be concerned about our health and the health of our community. World Health Day 2015 is a perfect opportunity for you to get involved. Academy Massage encourages our friends and clients to help spread the word about the importance of global health on April 7 using #safefood. Or you can participate simply by taking those first steps to improve your physical well-being through a diet and/or exercise program that will help motivate you to keep healthy and active as the sunny days of summer fast approach.

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