To:                  Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by:      Department of Health
Date:               Friday, 07 April 2023

World Health Organization marks its 75th anniversary, along with its 194 Member States and other partners


Pretoria: South Africa joins the global community to commemorate the World Health Day, a global health awareness day celebrated on 7 April every year to raise awareness of health inequity and encourage public engagement in advocacy efforts and also highlight the advantages of improving health for all through better and more equitable health services.

Seventy-five years ago, in the aftermath of the deadliest and most destructive war in human history, the Constitution of the World Health Organization came into force: a treaty between the nations of the world, who recognized that health was not only a fundamental human right, but also fundamental to peace and security.

On 7 April 2023, the World Health Organization marks its 75th anniversary, along with its 194 Member States and other partners.

During the past seven and a half decades, there has been extraordinary progress in protecting people from diseases and destruction, including smallpox eradication, reducing the incidence of polio by 99%, saving millions of lives through childhood immunization, declines in maternal mortality and improving health and well-being for millions more.

South Africa congratulates the World Health Organization to have reached this milestone and we now look forward to the next 75 years of the Organization’s leadership of the global health development agenda.

The World continues to face vast inequities in access to health services, major gaps in the defenses against health emergencies, and threats from health harming products and the climate crisis. In this regard, we note and support that WHO is urging countries to take urgent action to protect, support and expand the resources required for health system’s strengthening.


In South Africa, the Commemoration events will include:

  • A joint National Department of Health and WHO Webinar on Friday 14 April 2023
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health/Sexually Transmitted Infections/Condom and Healthy Lifestyle Culmination Event in Kimberly, Northern Cape on Friday 14 April.

World Health Day is one of eight official global health annual campaigns marked by the WHO, along with World TB Day, World AIDS Day, World Immunisation Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Blood Donor Day and World Hepatitis Day.


For more information and media enquiries, please contact:

Mr Foster Mohale
Departmental Spokesperson
National Health Department


Mr Doctor Tshwale
Media Liaison Officer for Health Minister
National Health Department
063 657 8487


Mr Faridun Nazriev
External Relations Officer
World Health Organization Country Office
+27 83 785-1993