World Health Day: April 7

Día Mundial de la Salud: 07 de Abril
World Health Day: April 7

April 7, 2014, marks the UN Observance of World Health Day. This year’s topic is focused on vector-borne diseases, or diseases that are spread by insects bites or stings.

The World Health Organization and IVM (Integrated Vector Management)

The World Health Organization (WHO), has created a management system called the Integrated Vector Management (IVM) in which the new strategies for controlling and preventing vector-borne disease are linked, to promote benefits for both health and environmental issues.

The IVM strategies have been established to be cost-effective and have the least negative effect on ecosystems and the public’s health.

Some examples of these strategies include: the introduction of bacteria and fish into vulnerable ecosystems that kill vector larvae before they can become disease carrying vectors, insecticide-nets, and the elimination of vector breeding grounds through better design and use of water resources.

World Health Success Stories

According to the WHO, the devastating disease known as ‘guinea-worm’ has been virtually eliminated in Nigeria. Whereas in 1988, there were more than 650,000 cases of the disease, today there are none.

Also according to the WHO, South-East Asia is now Polio-free! For more information on how Nepal is making sure Polio does not return, please click here.

Did you Know?

  • The most deadly vector-borne disease is Malaria, which kills over 1.2 million people every year!
  • 40% of the world’s population is at threat for Dengue Fever, which is the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the world!

 How to protect yourself and your family

  1. Make sure not to leave puddles of water in or around your home, these can easily become nesting grounds for vectors and the transmission of vector-borne diseases.
  2.  If you are able to, use an insect net around your beds, and use screen doors and windows wherever possible.
  3.  Have your home sprayed often. If you cannot afford it, contact your local government, many countries have programs for spraying your home.
  4.  If you are travelling to a malaria-prone region for a short period of time, take into consideration the use of certain drugs that can prevent the onset of malaria.
  5.  If you live in a wooded area or go into a wooded area, check yourself for tick bites frequently as these pesky insects can carry a disease known as Lyme’s Disease.
  6.  Always see a doctor as soon as possible if a rash occurs following an insect bite
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