WHO is W.H.O.?

Sunday, April 7th is World Health Day, an annual campaign built to increase global awareness of universal health coverage with a particular focus on what services should be available. The event Is organized by the World Health Organization, and signals a major date in their calendar. But exactly who is WHO, and what are their aims for the World Health Day 2019?

Here’s all you need to know about the global agency of international public health and this year’s event, which also marks the 70th anniversary of the organization’s formation in 1948.

Who is WHO?

Formed on April 7th, 1948, having signed its initial constitution between 61 countries in 1946, WHO is an agency that is linked to the United Nations and has its HQ in Geneva, Switzerland. Its remit is to promote the human right of good health to everyone across the globe.

WHO is currently headed by Director General Tedros Adhanom, and is responsible for conducting the annual World Health Survey and World Health Report, as well as celebrating World Health Day itself. Their findings and advice are instrumental to continued developments.

The organization has played a key role in eradicating smallpox and the continued fight against TB, HIV, and various other diseases. They also concern themselves with matters relating to nutrition and occupational health across the globe.

What Are WHO’s Main Principles?

The World Health Organization believes that health is a human right and strives to turn universal coverage into a reality. With over half of the global population unable to access the health services they require, and additional 100,000 being forced into poverty through paid health support, WHO fights to improve education and facilities to allow people to gain adequate health services for their families.

World Health Day is an annual celebration to further underline those intentions. WHO places a significant emphasis on primary health care, which is defined as the first level of contact with the health system where patients receive their health care. Primary care screening for health problems, vaccines, family planning, rehab, and treatments for various conditions. With a  focus on cost-efficiency and stability, this is one of the primary functions of the system,

Moreover, WHO is dedicated to building a global network of health care providers that understand the traditions, cultures and practices of their communities, with a particular focus on preparation for outbreaks and emergencies. Through skilled health workers, people-centric care, and continued investment into primary health care, the goal is to – one day – achieve universal coverage.

World Health Day 2019: What You Need To Know

World Health Day is the annual celebration of the work that WHO completes, and is built to further increase the public awareness of world health issues. This ultimately focuses around the idea of helping people gain a deeper appreciation of the need for global health coverage, including what services should be available, along with information on past progress and the journey ahead.

WHO strives to celebrate the great work conducted by health care worker across the planet, and encourages their participation throughout the campaign. Their input is used to help the decision-makers incorporate ideas regarding the primary health care requirements of people in different parts of the world. Moreover, health care givers are provided with visual material and paraphernalia to gain further exposure and help the people at all levels gain a deeper understanding of the campaign as a whole.

The campaign also aims to give health care decision-makers, governors, and ministers a chance to plug gaps in relation to the health care in their individual countries and territories. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the progress that has been made in recent times on the back of the ongoing campaign.

World Health Day also coincides with the release of the annual World Health Report, which includes key data on pressing issues such as newborn and child health, noncommunicable diseases, mental health and environmental risks. The information relates to individual regions as well as the planet as a whole.

The Theme for 2019

Since 1995, World Health Day has carried a specific theme. They have been as follows:

  • 1995: Global Polio Eradication
  • 1996: Healthy Cities for better life
  • 1997: Emerging infectious diseases
  • 1998: Safe motherhood
  • 1999: Active aging makes the difference
  • 2000: Safe Blood starts with me
  • 2001: Mental Health: stop exclusion, dare to care
  • 2002: Move for health
  • 2003: Shape the future of life: healthy environments for children
  • 2004: Road safety
  • 2005: Make every mother and child count
  • 2006: Working together for health
  • 2007: International health security
  • 2008: Protecting health from the adverse effects of climate change
  • 2009: Save lives, Make hospitals safe in emergencies
  • 2010: Urbanization and health: make cities healthier
  • 2011: Antimicrobial resistance: no action today, no cure tomorrow
  • 2012: Good health adds life to years
  • 2013: Healthy heart beat, Healthy blood pressure
  • 2014: Vector-borne diseases: small bite, big threat
  • 2015: Food safety
  • 2016: Halt the rise: beat diabetes
  • 2017: Depression: Let’s talk
  • 2018: Universal Health Coverage


In 2019, the theme of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) continues due to (as mentioned above) the World Health Organization’s decision to make this a priority. People deserve health support irrespective of geographic location or financial status, World Health Day 2019 looks to push towards this goal once more.

What Can You Do To Support The Cause

At a global public level, World Health Day is primarily concerned with increasing universal awareness and education. Therefore, the best thing you can do this April 7th is play an active role. Whether it’s paying greater attention to the visual materials produced by WHO, wearing badges and paraphernalia, or sharing social media posts doesn’t matter.  Anything you do to further support the cause is a step in the right direction.

Let’s hope that one day, the celebrations will be solely about the success of eradicating those global health issues rather than also promoting further development. That’s the dream.