World Health Day 2016
World Health Day 2016
World Health Day 2016 – the subject of this blog – takes place today (7 April) with a theme of ‘Beat Diabetes’.
It is one of eight global public health days/weeks organised annually by the World Health Organisation (WHO):
- World TB Day, 24 March
- World Health Day, 7 April
- World Immunization Week, last week of April
- World Malaria Day, 25 April
- World No Tobacco Day, 31 May
- World Blood Donor Day, 14 June
- World Hepatitis Day, 28 July
- World AIDS Day, 1 December
Whether you’re a fitness professional such as a personal trainer, a group fitness instructor, a health professional, an educator or simply an interested member of the public, World Health Day is a way of promoting health and finding out relevant information.
Why 7 April?
The date of 7 April was chosen as WHO’s constitution came into force on this day in 1948.
What is WHO?
The World Health Organisation directs and co-ordinates international health within the United Nation’s system. Its HQ is in Geneva, Switzerland but it also has 150 country offices and six regional offices. More than 7,000 people are involved with the organisation.
Why does it hold global public health days?
In the organisation’s own words: “Global public health days offer great potential to raise awareness and understanding about health issues and mobilize support for action, from the local community to the international stage.”
Why the focus on diabetes?
Every year, WHO selects a particular focus for World Health Day. This year it is diabetes, a chronic, progressive disease and a growing global problem, in particular among low- and middle-income countries. By 2030, it is expected that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in the world.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for around 10% of cases and is caused when the pancreas cannot produce insulin – the hormone that regulates our blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes makes up the remaining 90% of cases – typically found in overweight and/or inactive individuals (see our blogs on Personal Training – Diabetes and Obesity and diabetes, Obesity and Diabetes- the effects of a high carb/fat diet). Type 2 diabetes can in some cases be reversed with changes to diet and exercise patterns.
Of particular concern is the rise in children developing Type 2 diabetes (see our blog on Childhood obesity: what can we do?).
There is also gestational diabetes, which develops during pregnancy and is temporary, but can lead to Type 2 diabetes over the long term.
Diabetes can cause hearts attacks and strokes as well as kidney failure and blindness. It can also lead to nerve damage and infections that result in amputations.
A few global statistics:
Number of people with diabetes worldwide: est 422 million (2014 figures)
Number of deaths directly caused by diabetes: approx 1.5 million (2012 figures)
Proportion of adults over 18 who are overweight: 1 in 3 (2014 figures).
Proportion of adults over 18 who are obese: 1 in 10 (2014 figures).
What are the goals of World Health Day 2016?
As well as increasing awareness and triggering specific actions to diagnose and combat diabetes, WHO will launch the first ‘Global report on diabetes’.
Commercial and government funded training courses are now available with CMS Fitness Courses via the 19+ Advanced Learner Loan. So if you want to become an obesity and diabetes specialist or maybe just be be known as the best personal trainer, there are options available to you.