I have very adventurous nephews and nieces. My one nephew (whose pictures you see in this post) has travelled through South East Asia, South America and is currently in India. His older brother finally caught the travelling buy and went with him to India for two months. My nieces, not ones to be left behind, are on their way to South East Asia and Australia in May.
All this sound like a lot of fun but one of the most important steps for them to get ready for their trips is to get inoculated for Yellow Fever, Dengue, Japanese encephalitis and get prescription medicine for Malaria. Getting inoculated and other preventative measure, including sleeping under a bed-net, wearing a long-sleeved shirt and pants and applying insect repellent on a regular basis, will help make the trip more memorable.
I wanted to write this post on World Health Day because this year’s focus is on is vector-borne diseases. Vectors are small organisms such as mosquitoes, bugs, ticks, flies and freshwater snails, that carry disease from person to person and place to place. On World Health Day, celebrated on 7 April every year, the World Health Organization draws attention to a public health problem of global proportions and what needs to be done to address it. The date of 7 April marks the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948.
More than half the world’s population is at risk of vector-borne diseases, which include malaria, dengue, Japanese encephalitis, Lyme disease, leishmaniasis and yellow fever. The poorest people in the world (living in Africa, India, Asia and Latin America) are the most affected. However, environmental change and the rapid and increased movement of people and goods around the world means that the risks are now much more widespread.
- 40% of the world’s population is at risk from dengue
- An estimated 1.3 million new cases of leishmaniasis occur annually
- Malaria still kills an estimated 627 000 people every year, mainly children under 5 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa
- There are an estimated 200 000 cases of yellow fever, causing 30 000 deaths, worldwide each year, with 90% occurring in Africa
Although we live in an area that is not susceptible to these diseases, we should still be aware of how they effect the rest of the world. Awareness creates a dialogue of support, action and hopefully, prevention.
Make sure that when you are travelling (and even when you are home – think ticks and Lyme disease) you use precautions to make your trip safe, memorable and healthy. For more information about 2014 World Health Day, you can visit them on these social media platforms.
This is an opinion and PSA post. No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are my own. Information was used from the WHO website for educational purposes only. All photos are the exclusive property of my nephew JM.
Disclosure: This is a Public Service Announcement for the YMCA #YHealthyKids Day provided by @DownshiftingPRO. No compensation (either monetary or for products or services) was received for this blog post. To find other interesting PSA posts, please go to my PSA Pinterest Board. Pictures have been provided and credited to the YMCA of Greater Toronto and used with their permission.