It's World Health Day

Every year the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsors a World Health Day focusing on a different topic. Last year it was health and climate change, a timely subject matter and one that's certainly in the forefront of our minds. The year before that it was international health security, a perfect topic when mad cow and SARS outbreaks were all the rage. But this year's is leaving us a little... eh.

This year's topic is... drum roll, please... Make hospitals safe in emergencies. Um... what?

Shouldn't hospitals be safe? Aren't they the place we turn to in emergencies? Isn't that, in fact, why we refer to certain areas of the hospitals as Emergency Rooms?

But don't turn away just yet. While hospitals in Gaza and Somalia, for example, might need more help in emergency safety than in other areas, according to WHO, we all have a role to play.

If lobbying the government isn't your cup of tea, consider taking an emergency treatment class such as CPR. Still wondering WIIFM? (What's in it for me?) Try pulling together your own emergency plan. Do you have MREs, spare water, a set rendez-vous point with loved ones?

We're coming around to this year's topic. Disaster can strike anytime, anywhere and it can have an impact on lives near and far. While much of WHO's message is geared for governments and the health industry, that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do. Trust the double negative and take steps, however small, to protect yourself and your loved ones in case of emergency.

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