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article imageApril 7 is World Health Day

By Tim Sandle     Apr 7, 2014 in Health
World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948. Each year a theme is selected that highlights a priority area of public health.
The special health topic for 2014 is vector-borne diseases. Vectors are organisms that transmit pathogens and parasites from one infected person (or animal) to another. Vector-borne diseases are illnesses caused by these pathogens and parasites in human populations. They are most commonly found in tropical areas and places where access to safe drinking-water and sanitation systems is problematic.
More than half the world’s population is at risk from diseases such as malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease, schistosomiasis, and yellow fever, carried by mosquitoes, flies, ticks, water snails and other vectors. Every year, more than 1 billion people are infected and more than 1 million die from vector-borne diseases.
The most deadly vector-borne disease is malaria. Malaria is caused by a single-celled parasite belonging to genus Plasmodium, transmitted by mosquitoes, in areas in over 100 countries risking about 3.3 billion people. Mosquitoes spread the parasite to humans through their bites; the parasite then travels to the liver, where it matures and reproduces in forms that infect the red cells and cause clinical symptoms.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that is concerned with international public health. It was established on 7 April 1948, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. The WHO's Constitution states that its objective "is the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health."
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