World Environmental Health Day 2021: History, significance of day dedicated to our surroundings

Since 2011, September 26 is observed annually as World Environmental Health Day across the globe. It was established that year by the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH), a body of 44 member states, with a goal to raise awareness regarding the health of our environment.

Every year, the occasion is marked under a special theme, with that for the current edition being “Prioritising environmental health for healthier communities in the global recovery.” The “global recovery” here refers to that from the ongoing pandemic of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The theme is based on the “Manifesto for a healthy recovery from Covid-19” which was released by the World Health Organization on May 26, 2020, and which, according to IFEH, is based on six key ideas.
Speaking ahead of World Environmental Health Day, 2021, Susana Paixao, who heads the IFEH, said, “It is necessary for the world to understand that there is an integral connection between the environment, health and economy. Hence, it becomes important to invest in healthy and green recovery, close to all communities, with support from the environmental health workforce, and in collaboration with our organisation. This is how we selected the theme for this year.”

Meanwhile, the tagline for September 26 last year was “Environmental health, a key public health intervention in disease pandemic prevention.”
As always, various events will take place across the world in connection with the occasion, with the environmental body urging national governments to hold programmes to mark the day. The central theme behind the celebrations is to determine and minimise factors that contribute to the deterioration of environmental health.
Headquartered in London, the IFEH was established in 1986. Its work is focused on scientific and technical research on environmental health, and exchange of ideas on the same.


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