[Dateline: New York | Author: World Health Organization]
World Health Day, 7 April, marks the anniversary of the 1948 founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). This year’s focus is on the need to make hospitals and health facilities safe in disasters and other emergencies.
Health centres and staff are critical lifelines for vulnerable people in disasters - treating injuries, preventing illnesses and caring for people's health needs. They are cornerstones for primary health care in communities - meeting everyday needs, such as safe childbirth services, immunizations and chronic disease care that must continue in emergencies. Often, already fragile health systems are unable to keep functioning through a disaster, with immediate and future public health consequences.
This year, WHO and international partners are underscoring the importance of investing in health infrastructure that can withstand hazards and serve people in immediate need. They are also urging health facilities to implement systems to respond to internal emergencies, such as fires, and ensure the continuity of care.
For further information, browse through the WHO web site to learn more about the urgency and feasibility of making hospitals and health facilities safe in disasters.