Category Archives: Health Observances

World Breastfeeding Week 2013



Show your support for breastfeeding during World Breastfeeding Week (August 1st to August 7th) this year! This year’s theme  “Close to Mothers” highlights Breastfeeding Peer Counseling. Even when mothers are able to get off to a good start, all too often in the weeks or months after delivery there is a sharp decline in breastfeeding rates, and practices, particularly exclusive breastfeeding. The period when mothers do not visit a healthcare facility is the time when a community support system for mothers is essential. Continued support to sustain breastfeeding can be provided in a variety of ways. Traditionally, support is provided by the family. As societies change, however, in particular with urbanization, support for mothers from a wider circle is needed, whether it is provided by trained health workers, lactation consultants, community leaders, or from friends who are also mothers, and/or from fathers/partners.

Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding and World Breastfeeding Week 2013, and check out @MLibraryHealthy Twitter for breastfeeding updates from August 1st to August 7th!


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6th Annual World Hepatitis Day


500 million people worldwide are living with either chronic hepatitis B or C. While this is far higher than the prevalence of HIV or any cancer, awareness is inexplicably low and the majority of those infected are unaware.

Here’s 5 things YOU can do to help celebrate World Hepatitis Day this Sunday, July 28th!

  1. Take 5 minutes to find out whether or not you are at risk for Hepatitis with CDC’s online assessment tool.
  2. Learn more about all types of hepatitis.
  3. Promote awareness of hepatitis with promotional materials from the World Hepatitis Alliance.
  4. Learn how to avoid infection.
  5. Talk to a friend, family member, or neighbor about what you have learned and spread the knowledge!

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2013


June 15th marks the 7th annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. In addition, WEAAD is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. –Administration on Aging

How can I get involved?


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World No Tobacco Day 2013

Every year on May 31st, the World Health Organization and multiple partners band together to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

This year’s World No Tobacco Day will promote the theme “Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship“.


The ultimate goal of World No Tobacco Day is to contribute to protect present and future generations not only from these devastating health consequences, but also against the social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.
Specific objectives of the 2013 campaign are to:

  • spur countries to implement WHO FCTC Article 13 and its Guidelines to comprehensively ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship such that fewer people start and continue to use tobacco; and

  • drive local, national and international efforts to counteract tobacco industry efforts to undermine tobacco control, specifically industry efforts to stall or stop comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

To learn more about World No Tobacco Day, get No Tobacco Day resources, and find out how you can make a difference visit here.

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May 24th is Don’t Fry Day!

This Friday, May 24th  is “Don’t Fry Day“. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention hopes to raise sun safety awareness for all by hosting a ‘fry-free’ day.

So, how can you stay cool?

Acting more like the Blues Brothers is probably a good start.

The sunglasses are a nice touch though.

No! Not that kind of cool!

To keep sun-safe the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention recommends the following:

  • Do Not Burn or Tan
  • Seek Shade
  • Wear Sun-Protective Clothing
  • Generously Apply Sunscreen
  • Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow, and Sand
  • Get Vitamin D Safely

Know that skin cancer is on the rise in the United States, and the American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. This year alone, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be more than 76,250 new cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and more than two million new cases of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers in the U.S.

Fortunately, skin cancer is highly curable if found early and can be prevented. Remember to Slip! Slop! Slap!…and Wrap when you’re outdoors — slip on a shirt, slop on broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, slap on a wide-brimmed hat, and wrap on sunglasses. The best way to detect skin cancer early is to examine your skin regularly and recognize changes in moles and skin growths. And stay cool!



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National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

May 19th, 2013 is the 9th annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This day is officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

This day is largely supported by the efforts of the Banyan Tree Project. The Banyan Tree Project  is a national community mobilization and social marketing campaign to end the silence and shame surrounding HIV/AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities. The Banyan Tree Project produces annual anti-HIV stigma messages and materials, and helps hold events for the A&PI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

How can I participate?

  • Learn the facts about HIV/AIDS in the A&PI community
  • Tweet about HIV on the #BTPchat, every Thursday at 5 PM Eastern until June 9th
  • Host an HIV/AIDS awareness event in your community on May 19th
  • Get tested for HIV/AIDS!

To learn more about the Banyan Tree Project, visit here.

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National Women’s Check Up Day!

Monday, May 13th marks National Women’s Check Up Day!

2-women4This nationwide effort, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health encourages women to call and visit health care professionals to schedule and receive checkups; and promotes regular checkups as vital to the early detection of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health illnesses, sexually transmitted infections, and other conditions.

How can I participate in National Women’s Check Up Day?

  • Contacting your current doctor to schedule a checkup or screening
  • Discussing which screenings and tests are right for you and when and how often you should have them.
  • Check out the preventive health screenings available with the Affordable Care Act
  • Take the Check-up Day Pledge and pledge to schedule at least one preventive health screening during May 2013.

To learn more, visit here!

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