GENEVA – World Health Day has been observed every April 7th since 1950. The special day is one of eight inaugurated under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO). It was the first such day to be set aside by the WHO.
World Health Day has a dual function. First, it is intended to “draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance (for) global health each year.” Second, it commemorates the founding of the World Health Organization.
The theme of World Health Day changes from year to year, always focusing on a significant global public health concern. The theme for 2020 is “Support Nurses and Midwives.”
Past themes have included “Should Disaster Strike, Be Prepared” (1991), “International Health Security” (2007), and “Antimicrobial Resistance” (2011). Each of these would also be appropriate for 2020 now that the widespread Coronavirus has become pandemic.
Clearly, the “dawn to dusk” activities in which WHO and affiliates had initially hoped to participate will not happen as originally expected. Millions of people are living in isolation to defend against the spread of the virus. More and more countries announce enforced lockdowns with every passing day.
Whether or not the WHO continues to promote this year’s theme, the world will remain focused on the Coronavirus as infections are confirmed and the death toll mounts.
In advance of World Health Day, Gospel for Asia (GFA), one of America’s largest faith-based missions organizations, and its affiliates like GFA World (Gospel for Asia Canada) are encouraging Christians around the globe to invoke special prayers for the Coronavirus Crisis, and the health of those suffering because of it.
- Pray for the recovery of those who have contracted the Coronavirus.
- Pray for the expeditious arrival of medication to effectively treat the disease.
- Pray for the rapid development of a vaccine that will defend people against the virus.
- Pray for wisdom for medical researchers and government officials.
- Pray for the safety of doctors, nurses, and other front-line medical professionals
- Pray for the protection of the billions of people living in South Asia and Africa who have no access to medical care, and can’t see a doctor if they get sick.
- Pray for the Lord’s blessing for pastors, missionaries, and others who serve others as the loving hands and feet of Jesus among those who are sick with Coronavirus and other diseases.
- Pray that the sacrificial work of believers will shine brightly in the darkness of these days so that many will see and glorify our Father who is in Heaven.
- Pray that millions will come to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the everlasting salvation of their souls.
The potential tragedy we face is not that multitudes will succumb to the Coronavirus, but that multitudes who do not know Jesus Christ will die without Him. This, above all else, should be our motivation to make special prayers over this crisis in advance of April 7th, World Health Day.