World Health Day 2014
Protect yourself from vector-borne diseases
On World Health Day, celebrated on 7 April every year, the World Health Organization draws attention to a public health problem of global proportions and what needs to be done to address it. The date of 7 April marks the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948.
The theme for World Health Day 2014 is vector-borne diseases.
More than half the world’s population is at risk of these diseases, which include malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis and yellow fever. The poorest people in the world are the most affected. However, environmental change and the rapid and increased movement of people and goods around the world means that the risks are now much more widespread. The World Health Day 2014 campaign focuses on vectors, the diseases they cause and simple precautions we can all take to protect ourselves and our families.
What are vectors?
Vectors are small organisms such as mosquitoes, bugs, ticks, flies and freshwater snails, that carry disease from person to person and place to place.
The campaign aims to raise awareness about the threat posed by vectors and vector-borne diseases and to stimulate families and communities to take action to protect themselves.
- Families living in areas where diseases are transmitted by vectors know how to protect themselves.
- Travellers know how to protect themselves from vectors and vector-borne diseases when travelling to countries where these pose a health threat.
- In countries where vector-borne diseases are a public health problem, ministries of health put in place measures to improve the protection of their populations.
- In countries where vector-borne diseases are an emerging threat, health authorities work with environmental and relevant authorities locally and in neighbouring countries to improve integrated surveillance of vectors and to take measures to prevent their spread and proliferation.