When is World Health Day 2020 and what is this year’s theme?

Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 12:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 12:07 pm
World Health Day is an annual event (Photo: Shutterstock)

World Health Day is an annual event which creates awareness of a “specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization (WHO).”

But when did it begin and what is this year’s theme amid the global coronavirus crisis? Here’s what you need to know about World Health Day 2020.

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What is World Health Day?

From its inception at the First Health Assembly in 1948, World Health Day took effect from 1950 onwards, with an annual day aimed at raising awareness of important health issues, including mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change.

World Health Day is a World Health Organisation event, within the United Nations’ system.

How is it observed?

The day is usually marked by “activities which extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these important aspects of global health,” explains WHO.

This includes organising recognition awards and certificates for midwives and nurses in your local or national healthcare facilities, and asking leaders and health care leaders to promote the Year of Nurse and the Midwife in a variety of ways.

When is it?

World Health Day takes place on 7 April each year.

What is this year’s theme?

World Health Day 2020 is honoring the contribution of nurses and midwives, recognising their invaluable role in keeping the world healthy.

Nurses and other health workers are currently at the frontline of the COVID-19 response, putting their own health at risk to in order protect the broader community.

In the 2020 International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, the World Health Day is also an opportunity to highlight the work of both nursing and midwifery around the world, “celebrating this workforce as one of the most valuable resources of every country,” explains WHO.

The tagline for World Health Day 2020 is: ‘Support nurses and midwives’


The Department of Health and Social Care also took to Twitter to talk about the important work that nurses and midwives doTwitter, writing: “This #WorldHealthDay we’re celebrating the vital role nurses and midwives play in providing health care, especially on the frontlines in the fight against #coronavirus.

Now more than ever we are thankful for their commitment and hard work #SupportNursesAndMidwives

WHO also posted on Twitter: “It’s #WorldHealthDay. Today, we celebrate the work of nurses & midwives by showing our appreciation for their bravery, courage & resolve in the global #COVID19 response.

“Tell us who your favourite nurse or midwife is #SupportNursesAndMidwives”

How can I get involved?

WHO explains that you can get involved by:

-Organising recognition awards/certificates for midwives and nurses in your local/national healthcare facilities in order to show appreciation of their contribution to the community--Producing and displaying International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife posters-Asking health care leaders to promote the Year of Nurse and the Midwife in their speeches, on social media, websites, television and radio interviews