National Public Health Week is observed during the first week of April and takes place from April 3 to 9 this week. That’s seven days to champion the health of all Americans. It’s a week to recognize that everyone should lead healthier lives, irrespective of where they live, work, or come from. Since its founding in 1955, the initiative has become an important movement to highlight issues that can improve the health and happiness of a nation. You could choose to crush a workout or any workout challenge today. It’s a great week to start eating healthy and stick to it. Whatever you do, remember to involve your friends, family, and the larger community. It’s also a week when we campaign for health policies that are fair, inclusive, and accessible to all communities in the United States.
History of National Public Health Week
The first National Public Health Week took place in April 1955 and was organized by the American Public Health Association (A.P.H.A.). Since then, the initiative has received tremendous support from civil societies and administrations across the United States. The day recognizes the long history and achievements in public health. It also serves to highlight critical issues to help people lead healthier and happier lives.
In attempting to reach these goals, National Public Health Week seeks to address the root causes of poor health, disease, and lifestyles. It starts with recognizing that healthcare is still a privilege many cannot afford. Where people are born, their neighborhoods, places of work, different lives, and backgrounds determine the quality of healthcare access.
A child who goes to school hungry will not be an engaged student. People working for minimum wages sacrifice health for the sake of an income. It’s thousands of families who have no access to nutritious food in their communities. Or those without the means to travel to access quality healthcare, often located far away.
National Public Health Week is committed to making health inclusive and equitable. It hopes to foster decision-making that considers the health of all communities — irrespective of income, race, or gender. Each year, the first full week in April celebrates the power of the community in realizing this vision. The A.P.H.A. usually announces different themes for each day of the week. From fitness challenges and discussions to sharing healthy recipes — it’s seven days of committing to health as a country.
National Public Health Week timeline
Shamans use herbal treatments to ward off diseases as communal habitation takes over from hunter-gatherer societies.
The development of Ayurvedic medicine is introduced to India through medical schools and public hospitals.
The Romans develop military medicine and sanitary engineering while conquering lands.
Edward Jenner develops the first smallpox vaccine.
National Public Health Week FAQs
What is public health?
Public health refers to systemic measures that promote health, prevent disease, and prolong life for a nation’s population.
When is National Public Health Week?
People across the United States observe National Public Health Week in the first week of April.
How do we celebrate National Public Health Week?
There are several ways to celebrate National Public Health Week. Attend online events or read up on the week and what it aims to achieve. Alternatively, host an event with a fun physical challenge.
How to Observe National Public Health Week
Get on board
There are several ways to get involved in Public Health Week. You could start by browsing the A.P.H.A. website for more on the initiative. The website lists numerous tips and resources on keeping healthy communicable diseases, sexual health, and chronic diseases. Share these resources widely!
Engage the community
Organize an event in the neighborhood to encourage physical activity. Think of fun workout challenges, steps counting, or going for a run together. Anything to keep people moving!
Cook healthy food today
What we feed our bodies is as important as exercise. Make nutritious meals for yourself and the family this week. Contrary to popular perception, healthy food can be tasty. All you need is commitment and some kitchen ingenuity.
5 Interesting Facts About Infectious Diseases
Yellow fever forged America’s two-party system
As the death toll increased, Federalists in Philadelphia accused the Democrats of waging a biological war.
Encephalitis or witchcraft?
In February 1962, eight women in Salem suffered from Encephalitis-induced fever and hallucinations that doctors called ‘demonic possession.’
The Reagan Administration launches its first Commission on HIV in July 1987 — by that time 33,745 Americans had perished.
Dirty laundry and cholera epidemics
British physician John Snow traced the source of a cholera epidemic to a public water pump, where a bucket of water had been used to wash a child’s diaper.
Malaria and war
During World War II, great swarms of mosquitoes forced General MacArthur’s forces to retreat from the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines.
Why National Public Health Week is Important
The power of community
National Public Health Week channels the power of community for the greater good. Health is a fundamental right. It’s a matter of public concern and should never be an individual struggle. We love how this week highlights what’s important.
The week opens our eyes in several ways. It busts well-established myths around food and exercise. We have access to credible resources on diseases of all kinds. What’s more, it offers well-researched perspectives into equitable, inclusive public health (or lack thereof).
It keeps you moving
It’s hard to stay still when everyone around is crushing a run or workout! National Public Health Week motivates even the laziest bums to make that first step towards a healthier lifestyle.
National Public Health Week dates