World Health Day

2007: international health security

WHO staff and GOARN members at work in the field
WHO/Chris Black

The theme for World Health Day 2007 was international health security. The aim was to urge governments, organizations and businesses to "invest in health, build a safer future".

Emerging diseases, such as SARS and avian influenza, humanitarian emergencies, health risks from effects of climate change or environmental degradation, and other acute health threats can all be defined as public health emergencies. International health security is the first line of defence against health shocks that can devastate people, societies and economies worldwide.

A high-level global debate took place in Singapore on 2 April 2007, in advance of the Day, to raise the profile of international health security. The wide-ranging debate challenged panellists to confront the public health, business and diplomatic obstacles to improved cross-border cooperation, and urged them to find a way forward to more effective collaboration.