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English : World Days Calendar : April

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  1. International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action : April 4th
  2. International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda : April 7th
  3. World Health Day : April 7th
  4. What is the World Health Organization (WHO) and what is its role?
  5. WHO and its Partners in Action
  6. Day of Peasant's Struggle : April 17th
  7. TV Turnoff Week : April 21th-26th
  8. Earth Day : April 22nd
  9. World Book and Copyright Day : April 23rd
  10. Malaria Awareness Day : April 25th

International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action : April 4th

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International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda : April 7th

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World Health Day : April 7th

Description of the day :

                                                           World Health Day


World Health Day is celebrated each year on the 7th of April to commemorate the creation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. Each year, a specific theme is addressed: « International Health Security », « Working Together for Health », « Make Every Mother and Child Count », and « Road Safety » are some examples.




What is Health?

The definition of health is very broad. According to the WHO, health is not just an absence of sickness or disease, but a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.


In 2008, health problems around the world are devastating and cry out for attention:

  • The inhabitants of more than 40 countries are caught in crises due to a natural catastrophe, economic crisis, or conflict.

  • More than half of the registered deaths in the world each year (approximately 35,000,000 out of 58,000,000 in 2005) are caused by chronic sickness.

  • Smoking causes approximately five million deaths a year. 
  • Close to 11 million children under the age of five die each year, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, and South-Asia. The main causes of these deaths are diarrhea, HIV/AIDS, malaria, measles, neonatal affections, and pneumonia.
  • More than half a million women die each year during pregnancy or childbirth, usually due to a lack of regular health care and emergency healthcare administered by trained personnel.
  • HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria cause the most deaths of all infectious diseases today in the world: Six million dead between the three diseases.
  • Lack of access to healthcare is the main cause behind all these deaths; most of them could be avoided if people had access to healthcare.

    What is the World Health Organization (WHO) and what is its role?

    WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. Its goal is to deliver the highest level of healthcare possible to all people. To achieve their goal, experts at WHO provide basic training, establish health standards, and help countries face their public health problems. Furthermore, WHO supports and encourages health research. Almost 8,000 people from over 150 countries work for WHO. Through WHO, governments work together to address public health problems at a global scale and contribute to the well-being of people around the world.


    WHO and its Partners in Action

    WHO realizes its objectives through its Action program and in partnership with other United Nations organizations, donors, non-governmental organizations, collaborative centers, and the private sector. WHO actions have a worldwide impact on people’s daily lives and focus on four priorities:

    • Meet the Millennium Development Objectives by implementing programs that help countries to fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, improve the health and nutrition of women and children, and increase access to essential medications.
    • Improve health services and make access to these services more equitable in a world where life expectancy is 85 years in Japan, but only 36 years in Sierra Leone. People require health care where they live.
    • Contribute to health security in the world by identifying and confronting new dangers rapidly.
    • Reduce tobacco consumption and promote healthy eating habits along with physical exercise to help fight against chronic diseases such as cancer, cerebrovascular accident, cardiopathies, and diabetes.

Pedagogical tools :

Tanzania: AIDS and a lack of Medication

Student's Handout

Teacher's Guide

What you can do :

Action 1

Take care of your health by engaging in regular physical exercise. An active lifestyle reduces the risk of premature death, chronic disease, and disability. Studies demonstrate strongly that exercise greatly reduces the risk of colon cancer and possibly breast cancer as well. Good nutrition helps to maintain a healthy body. Engage in physical activity, and enjoy a healthy diet based on Canada’s Food Guide.

Action 2

After having received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999, Doctors Without Borders started a campaign for access to essential medications in order to improve accessibility to medication for populations in distress. Sign the petition and contribute to the development of new worldwide initiatives regarding access to essential medications. 

Action 3

Lessen the impact of your actions on the environment, be proactive about recycling, only purchase what you really need and pick up the junk that you see adrift on the ground. Remember that a healthy environment contributes towards maintaining a healthy physical and mental well-being.

Day of Peasant's Struggle : April 17th

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TV Turnoff Week : April 21th-26th

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Earth Day : April 22nd

Description of the day :

Earth Day

The environmental movement that was born approximately forty years ago is very different from the one we know today. Each year on April 22nd we celebrate Earth Day. This day’s objective is to bring environmental challenges to the forefront. This date was chosen to commemorate April 22nd, 1970, the day that Senator Gaylord Nelson encouraged students to set up environmental awareness initiatives in their communities. Today, it is estimated that over 500 million people in over 184 countries participate in Earth Day each year. Thus the day has become the most important participatory environmental event in the world. April 22nd is a chance to reflect upon the relationship we have with nature and the environmental problems that can be solved through our daily actions.



The Earth and its problems

Sadly, the list of environmental problems that affect our earth is very long. Climate change, and the greenhouse effect are the result of devastating human actions. To these, we can also add air pollution, desertification, water pollution, loss of biodiversity, and many other saddening phenomena. The causes of these catastrophes are well known. Among others, we can blame consumption, industrialization, weak environmental regulations, and certain people’s irresponsibility. Even though the earth’s environmental circumstances leave much to be desired, Earth Day invites us to see the future in a positive light by encouraging us to take action.

Solutions for our world

Despite the scale of ecological disaster that humans have created, action can always be taken to help the earth regains its health. Earth Day is a great chance to learn about the environmental challenges that face us all, and to learn about what concrete actions we can take to change things. Whether it be through awareness campaigns, recycling, reusing, or saving energy, each one of us can do our part for the well-being of the earth. Using public transit, and reducing the amount of domestic waste are other ways to live in a more ecologically friendly way each day. We must remember that the environment is everybody’s business, and that we cannot be shy about educating other people around us regarding this important cause.


The Day in Quebec

Like other parts of the world, Quebec is also confronting serious environmental challenges. This is why so many Quebecois individuals and organizations participate in Earth Day each year.


Activities for Everyone

To meet the objectives of the Earth Day, the Quebecois day organizes various activities across the province. Just visit the day’s website to choose an activity that you can participate in. Included among these activities are:

-         Clean up duty

-         Taking walks in nature

-         Planting trees

-         Ecological film screenings

-         Education and awareness campaigns

These are only a few of the activities that will be offered this year; so there’s no excuse not to get involved!


What you can do :

Action 1

Surely you’ve heard a lot about the environmental problems that affect our planet and imperil the survival of many species. Begin a personal reflection on your relationship with the earth and the resources that it provides. Ask yourself if your actions are always good for the environment. And what about the actions of the people around you? What could you do to help the earth and its environment regain its health ? If you want, write a list of ecological resolutions that you feel you could keep.

Action 2

Avoid asking your parents to drive you to your friends’ house (or other places) by car. Instead, take your bicycle or walk! If the distance is too far, take public transit as much as possible. ¸

Action 3

Have you ever thought that you might be consuming too much energy ? Many people use electricity as if it were free and didn’t affect the environment. However, we know that using less electricity can make a difference to nature. To help out a bit, here’s a small action you can take at home: Lower the thermostat by a single degree, and you could save up to 7% of the electrical energy used over the long-term!

World Book and Copyright Day : April 23rd

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Malaria Awareness Day : April 25th

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