Nairobi, Kenya 5 April 2017:   The   World Health Day is a global health awareness day commemorated every year on 7th April to mark the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. The global body uses the opportunity to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health.

The World Health Day 2017 theme is “Depression Let us Talk”. Through this theme, sensitization and awareness on depression will be carried out through various planned activities key of which is information sharing.

As WHO notes, depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living.

At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. Yet, depression can be prevented and treated. A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help.

The Ministry of Health has lined up a four-day week-long activity programme which included a symposium on depression at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), Nairobi on Tuesday. There will also be education on depression and screening at the Mbagathi hospital on 7th April and it is open to the public. Further, various health professionals will participate in select radio and TV talk shows to sensitize the public on mental disorders like depression. Stakeholders will also create awareness on depression through the #LetsTalkKenya, under which messages on depression will be passed to the public.

Stakeholders, including Counties and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) among others, are encouraged to undertake activities and conversations to create awareness on depression.

The main event on the 7th of April 2017 which will be in Nairobi will be graced by senior officials from the Ministry of Health and WHO among other stakeholders.

The World Health Day is one of the official global health campaigns marked by WHO. Others are World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World AIDS Day, World Blood Donor Day, and World Hepatitis Day. There is also World Suicide Prevention Day and World Mental Health Day.