There are many opportunities to educate and raise awareness about global health issues
Health is a global concern and impacts economies the world over, so it is important that we support specific days that raise awareness and educate about particular health conditions.
Health issues can impact each of us personally, or perhaps we may know someone living with certain health issues.
Global significance of world health days
World health days are an important opportunity for individuals, organizations, governments and health authorities worldwide to reinforce commitment to support people living with mild or chronic health conditions.
Dedicating an entire day to a particular health issue helps raise greater awareness about the causes, symptoms, effects and potential treatments available.
Raising awareness about health issues may also help prevent people from developing certain health issues. For example, disseminating resources about certain health risks can support people's knowledge and understanding about issues impacting health.
Health days can also decrease misinformation which that can harm suffers. Sadly, some health conditions are steeped in decades of discrimination and this can marginalize and victimize people impacted by the condition. For example, World AIDS Day not only focuses on education about positive health practices and treatments, but the day also addresses fighting of prejudice.
Suffering from bad health can be isolating, particularly when those around may appear more healthy. World health days, however, can unite people worldwide and can create a community of support for those learning to live with certain ailments. Such days can also reassure people that they are not alone in dealing with their condition.
Calendar of international health days
Here is a list of some of the major international health-related days and opportunities that occur annually around the world.
- February 4 - World Cancer Day
- February 15 - International Childhood Cancer Day
- March - World Endometriosis Awareness Month
- March 3 - World Hearing Day
- March 4 - World Obesity Day
- March 21 - World Down Syndrome Day
- April 2 - World Autism Awareness Day
- April 7 - World Health Day
- April 25 - World Malaria Day
- May 28 - International Day of Action for Women's Health
- May 31 - World No Tobacco Day
- June - World Continence Week
- June 14 - World Blood Donor Day
- July 22 - World Brain Day
- September 21 - World Alzheimer's Day
- September 25 - World Lung Day
- September 29 - World Heart Day
- October 8 - World Sight Day
- October 10 - World Mental Health Day
- October 18 - World Menopause Day
- October 20 - World Osteoporosis Day
- October 24 - World Polio Day
- October 29 - World Psoriasis Day
- October 29 - World Stroke Day
- November 12 - World Pneumonia Day
- November 14 - World Diabetes Day
- December 1 - World AIDS Day
- December 12 - Universal Health Coverage Day
Which days are important to you?
It's likely that some of the above days may be significant to either you or a loved one so consider how you might mark the day.
Are you celebrating progress or recovery? Might you be showing solidarity for someone who is ill? Could you help raise awareness or share your own knowledge and experience with others?
The more people are aware of these days, the more we can help address important health conditions and the people they impact so spread the word.