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Celebrating World Health Day 

This April 7, join St. Jude in celebrating World Health Day. Learn why World Health Day matters, how you can participate and how you can support organizations like St. Jude and improve public health along the way. 

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Patient Ellie gives a smile as she's held by her dad.

St. Jude patient Ellie with her dad


What is World Health Day? 

Inspired by the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, World Health Day focuses on health awareness and working toward improved global health. Each year, WHO selects a theme around something currently important in the medical and wellness fields. Themes range from physical and mental health to insurance policies and more.

St. Jude patient Maelin-Kate sits in a colorful hospital room with her mom.

St. Jude patient Maelin-Kate with her mom


Why World Health Day matters to St. Jude

St. Jude is a globally recognized, healthcare-focused nonprofit and partner of WHO. Currently, nearly half of the world’s population is without access to essential healthcare services. This includes children and families across the world who are unable to access necessary pediatric cancer care and treatment. 

St. Jude cares for some of the world’s sickest children regardless of their race, ethnicity, beliefs or ability to pay. Our patients receive the customized care they need to treat childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases, no matter what barriers they may face.


Our partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO)

St. Jude is the first and only World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Childhood Cancer. Since our partnership began in 2016, St. Jude and WHO have worked together to advance childhood cancer care and expand its reach across the globe. St. Jude doctors' and researchers’ roles in this partnership have included (but aren’t limited to):

  • Sharing tools, costs and frameworks for prioritizing, monitoring and evaluating pediatric-specific cancer in national cancer control plans.
  • Creating tools and platforms for initiatives like St. Jude Cure4Kids and St. Jude Cloud that help in the dissemination of pediatric cancer research and education.
  • Building stronger childhood cancer control methods through technical support, training materials and stakeholder engagement.

In addition, WHO supports the St. Jude Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer, which aims to cure at least 60% of children with six of the most common kinds of cancer worldwide by the year 2030


How to recognize World Health Day and improve global health issues 

There are many things you can do to recognize World Health Day and help improve health in your community and around the world. Here are some simple ideas to help you get started:

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Educate yourself and your family 

When it comes to common health concerns, staying educated about public health policy, vaccinations and new public health warnings and guidelines can help you make an impact on the lives of loved ones and the greater community. 

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Promote healthy habits 

Promoting healthy habits — like exercise, self-care and balanced eating — within your community can help improve public health. Consider hosting a group fitness or healthy cooking class to inspire others to engage in healthy habits. 

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Consider volunteering at local healthcare or community-support facilities, charities and organizations. Volunteering your time and skill sets helps extend access to resources for those who may otherwise go without.



Whether it be a monetary contribution or a donation of clothing, nutritious food or hygiene products, donating helps provide for those who lack access to support and essential needs.


Frequently asked questions about World Health Day

  1. The World Health Organization (WHO) is an agency of the United Nations (UN) focused on promoting global health and safety. WHO partners with healthcare and safety organizations worldwide to lead global efforts to expand health coverage and promote healthy choices. WHO also coordinates the world’s responses to global health concerns and emergencies. 

  2. World Health Day is celebrated annually on April 7.

  3. WHO was founded in 1948, and World Health Day, first celebrated on April 7, 1950, was created to mark the momentous occasion. 

    In 2023, WHO reached its 75th anniversary, and the theme for World Health Day was “Health For All.” The theme centered around the idea of people of all nations having good health, peace and prosperity. To bring this vision to reality, communities need to have access to quality health services, something WHO campaigns tirelessly for.

Patient Kenadie smiles and holds her hands up in a heart as she sits in a colorful room.

St. Jude patient Kenadie


How supporting St. Jude helps improve global health 

Unlike other hospitals, the majority of funding for St. Jude comes from generous donors

Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped raise the survival rate for children with cancer in the United States, where 4 out of 5 children survive cancer. In many countries, however, 1 out of 5 children who develop cancer will survive. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer, no matter where they live.

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