World Health Day – 7 April

The increased importance that is being placed on healthy and safe food has inspired the 2015 World Health Day theme. Food Safety is the focal point of this year’s World Health observation. New data on the dangers of foodborne illnesses underscore the threat of unsafe foods on a global level, emphasising the need for cooperation across borders and across the entire food supply chain. Highlighting challenges and opportunities associated with food safety by WHO, headed by the slogan, “From farm to plate, make food safe.”



What is the Purpose of World Health Day


World Health Day is an observation that aims to educate the masses about food production and the importance of food safety. It is also a day that is dedicated to the WHO’s efforts to promote the improvement of food safety from farm to plate. As the supply of food becomes more and more globalised, the need for strong food safety systems between countries is becoming increasingly important.


The WHO aims to assist countries in preventing and detecting as well as treating foodborne disease outbreaks through an international codex of food standards, guidelines and codes of practice that covers most main foods and processes. Working with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Health Organisation alerts countries in the case of food safety emergencies.


The WHO has set out five keys to offer practical guidance to vendors and consumers to improve food safety. When preparing food the following is important to consider:


  • Keep Clean
  • Separate raw and cooked food
  • Cook food thoroughly
  • Keep food at safe temperatures
  • Use safe water and raw materials


The main objective of World Health Day 2015 is to use it as a platform to inform employees in different government sectors, farmers, manufacturers, retailers, health practitioners and consumers about the importance of food safety. Educating the producers as well as users to ensure confidence that the food on our plates is safe to eat.



The History of World Health Day


The first World Health Day was observed in 1949 on 22 July, the day that 61 nations had signed the charter of the World Health Organisation in New York in 1946, and was only moved to 7 April later on. The initial effort of the observance was not as much to raise awareness of specific health issues but more to encourage public interest in and support of the goals of the organisation.


Every year World Health Day observes a specific problem that has been decided as an issue that deserves special attention. With the increase of foodborne diseases around the world, the theme for 2015 World Health Day is Food Safety. Unsafe food is linked to an estimated 2 million deaths annually. Food that contains harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances is responsible for more than 200 diseases.




How Can You Become Involved in World Health Day

The first step in becoming involved in World Health Day is make sure you understand what food safety issues are prominent in your community and what needs to be done to change them. To get your community involved, find effective platforms from which you can distribute information, organise informative and fun events to raise awareness about food safety. Another extremely effective way to get involved is to fire up those social media sites. Engage in online discussions through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other platforms using the #safefood hashtag and share your images and stories related to safe food experiences.


There are so many ways to get involved and educate yourself and those around you. The WHO has compiled a campaign kit to assist anyone looking to participate. Containing everything from information, to event and campaign ideas as well as visuals it is the essential guide to becoming involved in World Health Day activities, see the campaign kit at the link below:




Written by: Ryette Dempsey


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