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The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO). World Health Day. Observed by. All Member States of the World Health Organization.
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World Health Day provides an opportunity for the world community to come together for one day to focus on actions that can improve the health of all our people. Every year we highlight one important issue – but we ask everyone to consider all the things we need to do to keep our people healthy and well.
This year we focus on the issue of antimicrobial resistance under the theme “No action today – No cure tomorrow!”

Now antimicrobial resistance – or let us simply say drug resistance – happens when the germs that cause disease change in such a way that the medicines which we use to cure those diseases become less effective. The germs become resistant to our medicines. I have heard them sometimes referred to as “Superbugs.” This is an important issue because “Superbugs” can spread to others, can cause huge extra costs for patients and can even cause death.

We can stop this from happening. We need to make sure that we take the right medicine, in the right amounts, at the right time. Before you take medicines please check with your doctor or your pharmacists to make sure the medicine is right for you. Make sure that you take the entire course of medicine.
Sometimes people stop taking the medicine as soon as they begin to feel better – but this allows the microbes that are left to adapt and become resistant.

Sometimes people take medicines that were prescribed for other people or even take medicines from people not qualified to prescribe them.

Let me give you an example……In the last few years the Ministry of Health has reduced the number of cases of malaria in Belize from thousands a year to just about 150 total cases in each of the last 2 years. This is a great achievement by all of our hard working officers throughout the country. The Ministry tests the type of mosquito and the type of malaria parasites we have and makes sure that we know the best medicine for them. The best possible advice is free, the best possible test is free and the best possible medicine is free – yet we still have some people who get tested and get medicines from people outside the Ministry who are not properly qualified and who give out the wrong medicine for our type of malaria. This can cause drug resistance and could cause our medicines to become less effective in the future.
 Now – antimicrobial resistance is not the only health challenge facing our people. We all know about diabetes, about hypertension. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer or maybe by HIV. We all know friends or family members who have been involved in road traffic incidents or even in violent crime. And most if not all of these challenges can be controlled or prevented if we start to change the way we live – the way we look after ourselves and our family members. As our mothers and fathers taught us when we were children - Prevention is better than cure my friends.

A healthy diet and plenty of exercise. Don’t smoke. Drink responsibly. Drive safely. Safe sex every time. Look out for yourselves, your friends and your family – don’t put yourself at risk. Keep out of harm’s way.
These are not new messages but we need to do more to make these messages real for each and every one of us.

So today – on World Health Day – give yourself a special gift. Stop for a moment and ask what you can do for yourself to make health and wellness a reality for you. Think about what you eat and drink. Think about exercise. Think about how you get medicines and how you take them. Think about what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe, healthy and well.

Each and every one of you, my Belizean brothers and sisters, are the most valuable resource of this our beloved country.

On this World Health Day on behalf of the Ministry of Health and our partners throughout Belize and around the world, I wish you all health and wellness.

May God Bless you all and may God bless Belize.
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