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World Health Day 2009

Save lives: Make hospitals safe in emergencies


The focus of the World Health Day this year is on the safety of health facilities and the readiness of health workers to treat those affected by emergencies.  Ensuring that the health facilities are not impaired and its staff function at their maximum capacity in the aftermath of disasters such as floods, earthquakes, cyclones and even terror attacks and major accidents, can help minimize or prevent casualties.

The health centers and their staff are lifelines for the people affected by disasters. Events around the world in 2009 will highlight successes, advocate for safe health facility design and construction and build momentum for widespread emergency preparedness - to save lives and improve global health.

The World Health Day theme is in consonance with the focus of the biennial World Disaster Reduction Campaign (2008-2009) for “Safe Hospitals in emergencies: Reduce Risk, Protect Health Facilities, Save Lives.”


The goal of raising awareness on this issue is to effect changes that will ensure that health facilities and services are able to function in the aftermath of emergencies and disasters, protect lives of patients, serve the affected population and keep health workers safe. 


This would entail ensuring the structural resilience of health structures - large or small, urban or rural - with the existing technologies; keeping the equipment and supplies of these health facilities intact should an emergency happen; improving the preparedness and risk reduction capacity of health workers, and involving communities in this effort.  This can be achieved by health sector professionals collaborating with experts from other fields such as urban planners, architects and engineers. Preventive actions are cost-effective compared to the costs incurred in case of a disaster. 

World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7 as per the directive of the First World Health Assembly in 1948. Each year, a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of concern for WHO. World Health Day is a worldwide opportunity to focus on key public health issues that affect the international community and launches longer-term advocacy programmes that continue well beyond April 7.


*  Press Releases

*  Events

*      Hospital/Trauma Centre and Awareness in Public, AIIMS

*     Orientation Seminar & Curtain Raiser Programme on Disaster Management, Delhi University

*      Mass Awareness Event


*  Brief Report on World    Health Day Events


* Related links

*      South-East Asia Regional Office

*     WHO HQ, Geneva

* World Health Day Archives




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