World Health Day

World Health Day

7 April 2014 has been nominated as World Health day by the World Health Organisation.

This year, focus on diseases that can cause serious illness and death have been brought into the spotlight. These are termed vector-borne diseases with the main agents being mosquitoes, flies, ticks, bugs and freshwater snails. These diseases are preventable, but sadly still affect millions of people in the poorer regions of the world. However, these diseases are also spread through travel, trade and migration, thus making approximately half the world’s population susceptable.

The key message for world health day is to protect yourself as far as possible. This may be by means of:

  • Vaccinations,
  • Repellents,  
  • Protecting your body by using clothing to prevent direct contact with agents that can spread the disease.
  • Do not swim, wash clothes in or consume water that is of an unknown source and does not appear fresh or free flowing. To purify water from bacteria only:
    • Boil water for up to 20 minutes in a pot at a high temperature to kill bacteria. Filter the water with a muslin cloth to remve and solid materials.
    • Use purification tablets, e.g. iodine – beware if you are pregnant.
    • Use a water purifier, e.g. ultraviolet purifier

It is also a good idea to understand the disease risks of a country where you will be travelling to, thereby allowing you to adequately protect yourself.

So, this means that there is also a motivation for environmentally-friendly initiatives for the prevention of these diseases. Keeping our environment clean and hygienic can also contribute to the prevention of diseases spreading.