Happy Health Day!
Saturday, April 7th marks World Health Day. This day commemorates the First World Health Assembly held by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. This holiday marks the importance of global health as well as public health. Not so coincidently, this week also happens to be Public Health Week! Both World Health Day and Public Health Week work to highlight the importance of preventative care, advocating for those in need, and strategizing for successful partnerships across all spectrums of health care.
According to the American Public Health Association, for each 10% increase in local public health spending, infant deaths decrease by 6.9% and cardiovascular deaths decrease by 3.2%. While 75% of U.S. health spending is related to preventable conditions like obesity and diabetes, every dollar of public health funding saves $5.60 in overall health spending. Additionally, every $1 spent on childhood vaccines saves $16.50 on future health care costs. This both alleviates stress on the medical system but on families as well, as preventive care can be as simple as an inoculation.
Helping for Health
This week, individuals across the world have been taking action by engaging their local policy-makers in conversations about public health programs. These include fundraising for healthier school lunch meals, setting aside areas for green spaces (like parks and community gardens), and creating local programs to get communities more active and healthy. Other actions include helping people become better prepared for emergencies, free screenings of newborns for health problems, and increased education to reduce tobacco use.
Locally, we have some great public health programs, from smoking cessation to Santa Fe’s program-in-development to encourage more walking in our beautiful city. But all of us can do more to help create safe and healthy communities. If you would like to learn more about making improvements related to public health and global health, check out the following resources:
American Public Health Association: http://www.nphw.org/get-involved
WHO World Health Day 2018: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2018/how-you-can-get-involved/en/
New Mexico Department of Health: https://nmhealth.org/
Nurses With Heart wishes you good health and a happy April!