February 24, 2014
/ by Kimberly Cooper
When: April 7, 2014
What: Although various forms of diseases such as cancer continue to plague us with no known cure, health care today has made it so that many once-fatal diseases are no longer a threat. In honor of the existence of vaccinations and the cutting-edge treatments now available, recognize the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 7.
Background: In 1948, the United Nations founded the World Health Organization (WHO) as a means to provide leadership and awareness for global health matters. Each year on April 7, the founding of this organization is commemorated with World Health Day. The World Health Organization spreads awareness of health issues worldwide, from AIDS to blood donation. Celebrate the founding of the World Health Organization by spreading awareness of health issues with a special focus on vector-borne diseases in this year’s upcoming event.
Story Pitch: A number of groups and organizations can pitch around World Health Day. Both elementary and secondary schools can note the importance of proper vaccination schedules to prevent the spread of disease. They may also alert parents of the need for regular check-ups to keep children healthy. In addition, family physicians may stress the need for regular check-ups among adults who may forget to visit the doctor regularly. Makers of hand sanitizer will want to use the event to promote anti-bacterial products. Fitness centers can note the importance of exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, while food retailers can highlight items that are high in antioxidants and other naturally immune-boosting nutrients.
Story Hook: According to the World Health Organization, immunizations avert an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths each year from diseases such as diphtheria, pertussis and measles. How else can people prevent illness and stay healthy? Consider the following when you make your pitch:
Tips: A doctor who specializes in infectious diseases can give insight on how to best prevent the spread of illness. In addition, a parent who regularly has her child vaccinated can comment on the importance of a set vaccination schedule for children.
Centers for Disease Control (800) 232-4636 www.cdc.gov
Department of Health and Human Services (877) 696-6775 www.hhs.gov
World Health Organization www.who.int
National Foundation for Infectious Disease (301) 656-0003 www.nfid.org
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