World health day was celebrated at Army Medical College, Rawalpindi, on April 7, 2015.
The occasion was organized by the department of Community Medicine to highlight the significance of the day.
In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate April 7 of each year, with effect from 1950, as the World Health Day. Every year, the day is celebrated under a unique theme. This year’s theme is “From Farm to Plate, Make Food Safe” stressing upon five key areas; keep clean, separate raw and cooked food, cook thoroughly, keep food at safe temperature, and ensure use of safe water.
Maj Gen Malik Muhammad Abbas, Principal Army Medical College graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Dr Baseer Khan Achakzai, National focal person on Nutrition was invited as guest speaker, and Maj Shamaila Mohsin served as Master of Ceremony. The event started with a recitation from the Holy Quran. Birg.Mahmood-ur-Rehman, HoD Community Medicine Department, thanked the audience in his welcome address, and stressed that food safety should be considered as an area of prime public health importance. He added that it was high time we took action to protect consumers from the risks of food poisoning and food borne diseases.
The organizers, mainly 4th year and final year medical students, along with the department of Community Medicine, organized different activities related to this year’s theme, which were highly appreciated by the audience. The activities included video presentations, a poster contest, a photography competition, and a drama skit.
Later, Dr Baseer Khan Achakzai delivered a thought provoking speech and highlighted the key challenges faced by the government of Pakistan in dealing with food safety. Maj Gen Malik Muhammad Abbas, in his address, appreciated the organizers for organizing the event meticulously. He added that changes in food production, distribution and consumption, environmental changes, new and emerging pathogens, and antimicrobial resistance all pose challenges to food safety systems. The event ended with the distribution of certificates among the winners.