Every year on April 7th we celebrate World Health Day to remember the day that the World Health Organization was formed. (W.H.O.) Every year this day has a theme, and this year it’s Depression. Their slogan “Depression: Let’s Talk” is trying to get people to open up about their disorder and get the help they may need. They have several goals about what they want to see happen:
the general public is better informed about depression, its causes and possible consequences, including suicide, and what help is or can be available for prevention and treatment
people with depression seek help
family, friends and colleagues of people living with depression are able to provide support
WHO defines a case of depression when a person has gone at least 2 weeks with persistent sadness and they don’t enjoy doing any of their normal activities, which prevents them from carrying out every day activities. There are a few more symptoms that people who are afflicted by depression may have:
a loss of energy
a change in appetite
sleeping more or less
feelings of worthlessness, guilt or hopelessness
thoughts of self-harm or suicide
The number of people that have being diagnosed every year with depression has seen an 18% increase in the last decade. The low estimates have depression affecting 322 million people worldwide, about 4.4% of the population.
Depression can be effectively prevented and treated. Treatment usually involves either a talking therapy or antidepressant medication or a combination of these. Overcoming the stigma often associated with depression will lead to more people getting help.
Today was chosen as a symbolic day to represent the Down Syndrome. Taking place on the 21st day of the 3rd month, it represents the triplication of the 21st chromosome. Today was meant as a day for people all around the world to learn about this connecting disorder. Down syndrome has been present in all cultures and societies around the world for millennia.
The goal of having this awareness day every year is to bring about a change be fully and equally included in society for everyone that is affected by Down Syndrome. Not all governmental bodies recognize the needs or help that those affected may need. Several key areas that people around the world are trying to change through advocacy are “health, education, work and employment, standard and choice of living accommodation, participation in political, public and cultural life and access to justice and recognition before the law.”
It is estimation of incidence is about 1 in every 700 births world wide. Approximately 6,000 babies are born that are affected by this chromosome disorder in the United States. About a quarter of a million families in the US that are affected by Down Syndrome.
The CDC and WHO have recognized that are several illnesses or health problems that are more likely to occur in someone that has Down Syndrome.
Hearing loss (up to 75% of people with Down syndrome may be affected)
Obstructive sleep apnea, which is a condition where the person’s breathing temporarily stops while asleep (between 50 -75%)
Ear infections (between 50 -70%)
Eye diseases (up to 60%), like cataracts and eye issues requiring glasses
Heart defects present at birth (50%)
There are several tests that are available to detect if a child has Down syndrome before birth and directly after birth. While there is no treatment available, there are certain therapies and groups that work towards helping affected people move to their full intellectual and physical capabilities.
“Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.”
This is the definition that the United Nations has on their web page of social justice. Their vision, which should be shared by everyone, is a world with equal opportunity with equal outcome. This means that there would be no social barriers that would inhibit one’s desire for upward mobility. Their main idea for how this could be helped along is with economic development, as well as setting planetary boundaries.
Every year, they urge members to help the global community and themselves by working to eradicate the poverty in their respective nations while also providing full employment to those that desire it with good work. They believe, with much research to back them up, that if the basic human needs are met, that there are no “needs” such as food, water, shelter or health care that go unmet on a daily basis, true equality will be allowed to develop mostly on its own.
They also recognize that our respective economies cannot grow infinitely on a planet with finite resources. That’s why they propose that the jobs that are being created do not go towards material consumption, but instead towards making older jobs more green and trying to restore areas that natural resources have been lost.
July 11th is World Population Day. This day is organized by the United Nations and each year has a different theme. 2016’s Population Day theme is Investing in Teenage Girls. In 1989 the United Nations created this day to bring a focus to population issues.
Around the world teenage girls face many issues. In many countries teenage girls are considered ready for marriage, children, or to be pushed into the real world. Girls at this age are often forced out of school which can be very detriemental to their futures. These girls also suffer from a lack of health information. They lack many of the resources necessary to properly care for themselves. This issue is even worse for girls of ethnic minorities or those living in poverty. “Yet when teenage girls are empowered, when they know about their rights and are given the tools to succeed, they become agents of positive change in their communities.”
Each year agents of the UN work to end these population differences and to empower and educate people so they can live safe, comfortable, and healthy lives. You can join the UN in their efforts in a variety of ways. To learn more about the cause and what you can do visit the link below.
World Water Day is held on March 22nd annually. This event dates back to March of 1992 and is used to promote the awareness of water and water related jobs. About half of the world’s workers are employed in a water related field, that is about 1.5 billion people. 2016’s World Water Day theme is: Better Water, Better Jobs. The issue that World Water Day is trying to address is the lack of human rights protection within the water sector. World Water Day is hosted by UN-Water. UN-Water runs all water related campaigns within the United Nations. This campaign “aims to inform, engage, and inspire action”. To learn more about World Water Day and how you can help please visit the link below: http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/about/en/