World health day
7 April 1948 World Health Organization (WHO) was founded. In the same year, the first World Health Assembly (WHA) decided to establish a dedicated health day around the world. Since 1950, World Health day has therefore been celebrated on 7 April .
What is health?
We used to think about health as the absence of disease, but actually, it is not just about that. In fact, according to the WHO:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and does not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” 
We can see every day how true this statement is. Take for instance when we feel sad or melancholic, we would not say that we are in perfect health.
In 1966, an Italian hygienist, Alessandro Seppilli, defined health as “a condition of harmonious functional, physical and mental balance, of the dynamically-minded individual integrated into his natural environment” .
We can easily understand that health is a dynamic condition as it is not always possible to have physical, mental and social well-being. Fortunately, the condition of health and well-being can be improved.
What does health depend on?
Different factors determine the state of health:
Environmental factors, which include physical and social environment. Talking about the physical environment, we refer to climatic, chemicals and biological agents.
Social environment includes the conditions of life, work, income, level of education, cultural and religious conditioning.
It is important to consider people’s socio-economic status: employment, poverty, social exclusion are factors that influence the state of health.
This aspect can affect lifestyle, leading to behaviors that are not conducive to health, such as incorrect diet, smoking, alcohol, incorrect use of drugs, sedentary lifestyle.
Another important aspect to consider is the access to services: instruction, type of health system, social services, means of transport, recreational activities, are all very important factors in our life .
What can we do to promote health?
Health education is essential to prevent disease and promote well-being. It is about teaching people to make positive choices. In this way, people can be encouraged to engage in health-promoting behaviors.
Prevention activity is essential to prevent the onset and progression of diseases. It consists of a series of actions aimed at promoting the health of the community. We can classify it into primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
The objective of primary prevention is to prevent the sickness of healthy people through strategies aimed at removing the causes of diseases or the factors that facilitate their onset. In this way, it is possible to reduce the frequency of the disease considerably. It is based on programs and interventions aimed at individuals, communities or the environment. It acts on the lifestyle, on the work environment and on strengthening the immune system .
The objective of secondary prevention is to cure diseases at their initial stage, that is, before they reach an evolutionary stage such that they can no longer be cured. With secondary prevention it is possible to reduce the mortality, but not the incidence of diseases, because it doesn’t remove the causes. It is based on screening tests, which had to be quick, sure, not expensive and well accepted by people .
The objective of tertiary prevention is the prevention of disability.
It consists in preventing sick people from experiencing a state of disability and in rehabilitation procedures and techniques, which must be implemented as soon as possible to achieve maximum recovery .
Health is therefore a condition that depends on many factors. To promote it, everyone’s contribution is necessary: both from institutions and individual citizens. Prevention is an important part of the process of promoting health.
Health is a precious commodity and everyone should be able to easily access the necessary care in order to preserve it.
Written by Graziella Migliorino – Master’s Degree in Pharmacy
Message to reader: Any information on this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended in any way to replace professional figures in the medical and consultancy fields.
Messaggio al lettore: Ogni informazione presente in questo blog è puramente a scopo informativo. Non si intende in nessun modo sostituire figure professionali in campo medico e di consulenza.