Did you know that April 7th is World Health Day? World Health Day is always celebrated on the 7th of April, as it marks the anniversary of the founding of World Health Organization (WHO)in 1948. WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations. The organization is responsible for leadership on global health issues, developing health research agendas around the world and assessing health trends. Each year on World Health Day, a specific theme is selected that highlights a area of public health that is of great concern throughout the world. It is an international health event whose mission is to emphasize and improve diverse health problems. Several different countries around the world participate each year.
Some of the recent World Health Day themes are:
- Health Workers
- Make Every Mother and Child Count
- Road Safety
- Healthy Environments for Children
Some of the major activities on World Health Day focus on awareness, education and fund raising. Any funds that are donated go towards helping research, problem solving and education for the health issue of the year. The selected theme for World Health Day 2013 is high blood pressure.
What do you need to know about high blood pressure?
High blood pressure increases the risk of developing a heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause blindness, irregular heart rhythm and heart failure. The risk of developing these complications is higher in those people who have additional cardiovascular risk factors, like diabetes.
One out of every three adults worldwide has high blood pressure. The number increases as you age, from 1 in 10 people in their 20s and 30s to 5 in 10 people who are in their 50s. High blood pressure is most prevalent in some of the lowest-income countries in Africa. Over 40 percent of adults in many of Africa’s countries are thought to suffer from high blood pressure.
The good thing is that high blood pressure is preventable and treatable. In modern countries, prevention and treatment of the disorder has resulted in a massive reduction of heart disease related deaths.
You can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure by:
- Lowering salt intake;
- Eating a healthy diet;
- Avoiding alcohol;
- Regular physical activity;
- Maintaining a healthy weight; and
- Avoiding tobacco.