Apr 07 2011

On This Day In History April 7

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

April 7 is the 97th day of the year (98th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 268 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1948, The World Health Organization is founded. WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on April 7, 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is one of the original agencies of the United Nations, its constitution formally coming into force on the first World Health Day, (April 7, 1948), when it was ratified by the 26th member state. Jawaharlal Nehru, a major freedom fighter of India had given an opinion to start WHO. Prior to this its operations, as well as the remaining activities of the League of Nations Health Organization, were under the control of an Interim Commission following an International Health Conference in the summer of 1946. The transfer was authorized by a Resolution of the General Assembly. The epidemiological service of the French Office International d’Hygi√®ne Publique was incorporated into the Interim Commission of the World Health Organization on January 1, 1947.


Apart from coordinating international efforts to control outbreaks of infectious disease, such as SARS, malaria, tuberculosis, influenza, and HIV/AIDS, the WHO also sponsors programmes to prevent and treat such diseases. The WHO supports the development and distribution of safe and effective vaccines, pharmaceutical diagnostics, and drugs. After over two decades of fighting smallpox, the WHO declared in 1980, that the disease had been eradicated – the first disease in history to be eliminated by human effort. The WHO aims to eradicate polio within the next few years.

The organization develops and promotes the use of evidence-based tools, norms and standards to support Member States to inform health policy options. It regularly publishes a World Health Report including an expert assessment of a specific global health topic. The organization has published tools for monitoring the capacity of national health systems and health workforces to meet population health needs, and endorsed the world’s first official HIV/AIDS Toolkit for Zimbabwe (from 3 October 2006), making it an international standard.

In addition, the WHO carries out various health-related campaigns – for example, to boost the consumption of fruits and vegetables worldwide and to discourage tobacco use. The organization relies on the expertise and experience of many world-renowned scientists and professionals to inform its work. Experts met at the WHO headquarters in Geneva in February, 2007, and reported that their work on pandemic influenza vaccine development had achieved encouraging progress. More than 40 clinical trials have been completed or are ongoing. Most have focused on healthy adults. Some companies, after completing safety analysis in adults, have initiated clinical trials in the elderly and in children. All vacciness so far appear to be safe and well-tolerated in all age groups tested.

The WHO also promotes the development of capacities in Member States to use and produce research that addresses national needs, by bolstering national health research systems and promoting knowledge translation platforms such as the Evidence Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet). WHO and its regional offices are working to develop regional policies on research for health – the first one being the Pan American Health Organization/Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO/AMRO) that had its Policy on Research for Health approved in September 2009 by its 49th Directing Council Document CD 49.10.

WHO also conducts health research in communicable diseases, non-communicable conditions and injuries; for example, longitudinal studies on ageing to determine if the additional years we live are in good or poor health, and, whether the electromagnetic field surrounding cell phones has an impact on health. Some of this work can be controversial, as illustrated by the April, 2003, joint WHO/FAO report, which recommended that sugar should form no more than 10% of a healthy diet. This report led to lobbying by the sugar industry against the recommendation, to which the WHO/FAO responded by including in the report the statement “The Consultation recognized that a population goal for free sugars of less than 10% of total energy is controversial”, but also stood by its recommendation based upon its own analysis of scientific studies.

The World Health Organization’s suite of health studies is working to provide the needed health and well-being evidence through a variety of data collection platforms, including the World Health Survey covering 308,000 respondents aged 18+ years and 81,000 aged 50+ years from 70 countries and the Study on Global Aging and Adult Health (SAGE) covering over 50,000 persons aged 50+ across almost 23 countries. The World Mental Health Surveys, WHO Quality of Life Instrument, WHO Disability Assessment Scales provide guidance for data collection in other health and health-related areas. Collaborative efforts between WHO and other agencies, such as the Health Metrics Network and the International Household Surveys Network, serve the normative functions of setting high research standards.

WHO has also worked on global initiatives in surgery such as the Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and the Guidelines for Essential Trauma Care focussed on access and quality. Safe Surgery Saves Lives addresses the safety of surgical care. The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist is in current use worldwide in the effort to improve safety in surgical patients.

 529 – First draft of the Corpus Juris Civilis (a fundamental work in jurisprudence) is issued by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I.

1521 – Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Cebu.

1541 – Francis Xavier leaves Lisbon on a mission to the Portuguese East Indies.

1724 – Premiere performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. John Passion BWV 245 at St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig.

1776 – Captain John Barry and the USS Lexington captures the Edward.

1788 – American Pioneers to the Northwest Territory arrive at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, establishing Marietta, Ohio as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory, and opening the westward expansion of the new country.

1798 – The Mississippi Territory is organized from disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain. It is expanded in 1804 and again in 1812.

1805 – Lewis and Clark Expedition: The Corps of Discovery breaks camp among the Mandan tribe and resumes its journey West along the Missouri River.

1827 – John Walker, an English chemist, sells the first friction match that he had invented the previous year.

1829 – Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, commences translation of the Book of Mormon, with Oliver Cowdery as his scribe.

1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Shiloh ends – the Union Army under General Ulysses S. Grant defeats the Confederates near Shiloh, Tennessee.

1868 – Thomas D’Arcy McGee, one of the Canadian Fathers of Confederation is assassinated by the Irish, in one of the few Canadian political assassinations, and the only one of a federal politician.

1890 – Completion of the first Lake Biwa Canal.

1906 – Mount Vesuvius erupts and devastates Naples.

1906 – The Algeciras Conference gives France and Spain control over Morocco.

1908 – H. H. Asquith of the Liberal Party takes office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, succeeding Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman

1922 – Teapot Dome scandal: United States Secretary of the Interior leases Teapot Dome petroleum reserves in Wyoming.

1927 – First distance public television broadcast (from Washington, D.C. to New York City, displaying the image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover).

1933 – Prohibition is repealed for beer of no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight, eight months before the ratification of the XXI amendment.

1939 – World War II: Italy invades Albania.

1940 – Booker T. Washington becomes the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.

1943 – Holocaust: In Terebovlia, Ukraine, Germans order 1,100 Jews to undress to their underwear and march through the city of Terebovlia to the nearby village of Plebanivka where they are shot dead and buried in ditches.

1943 – Ioannis Rallis becomes collaborationist Prime Minister of Greece during the WWII Axis Occupation.

1945 – World War II: The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, is sunk by American planes 200 miles north of Okinawa while en-route to a suicide mission in Operation Ten-Go.

1945 – World War II: Visoko is liberated by the 7th, 9th and 17th Krajina brigades from the Tenth division of Yugoslav Partisan forces.

1946 – Syria’s independence from France is officially recognised.

1948 – The World Health Organization is established by the United Nations.

1948 – A Buddhist monastery burns in Shanghai, China, leaving twenty monks dead.

1954 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his “domino theory” speech during a news conference.

1956 – Spain relinquishes its protectorate in Morocco.

1964 – IBM announces the System/360.

1969 – The Internet’s symbolic birth date: publication of RFC 1.

1971 – President Richard Nixon announces his decision to increase the rate of American troop withdrawals from Vietnam.

1976 – Former British Cabinet Minister John Stonehouse resigns from the Labour Party.

1977 – German Federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback and his driver are shot by two Red Army Faction members while waiting at a red light.

1978 – Development of the neutron bomb is canceled by President Jimmy Carter.

1983 – During STS-6, astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson perform the first space shuttle spacewalk.

1985 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declares a moratorium on the deployment of middle-range missiles in Europe.

1989 – Soviet submarine Komsomolets sinks in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway killing 42 sailors.

1990 – Iran Contra Affair: John Poindexter is found guilty of five charges for his part in the scandal (the conviction is later reversed on appeal).

1992 – Republika Srpska announces its independence.

1994 – Rwandan Genocide: Massacres of Tutsis begin in Kigali, Rwanda.

1994 – Auburn Calloway attempts to hijack FedEx Flight 705 and crash it to insure his family with his life insurance policy. The crew subdues him and lands the aircraft safely.

1995 – First Chechen War: Russian paramilitary troops begin a massacre of civilians in Samashki, Chechnya.

1999 – The World Trade Organization rules in favor of the United States in its long-running trade dispute with the European Union over bananas.

2001 – Mars Odyssey is launched.

2003 – U.S. troops capture Baghdad; Saddam Hussein’s regime falls two days later.

2009 – Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori is sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering killings and kidnappings by security forces.

2009 – Mass protests begin across Moldova under the belief that results from the parliamentary election are fraudulent.

Holidays and observances

  * Christian Feast Day

      Aibert of Crespin

      Blessed Notker

       John Baptist de La Salle

       April 7 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

  * World Health Day



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  1. TMC

    Dalai Lama

    Reflect on the value of inner versus outer wealth; in our world, there is a new awareness of our inner life and its worth.

  2. RiaD

    for your concern & keeping firefly going while i was down.

    i apologize for not giving notice, but i’m prone to not going to the doctor & generally wait too late, practicing wishful thinking.


    i’m feeling much much better

  3. TMC

    You know (and I tell this to every patient I see like you) the longer you wait to go to the ER the more likely it is you’ll be admitted or worse. You are no different than any other patient, even ones with insurance. I’ve did it once myself, I came very close to dying. I won’t do it again. I hope you were able to get your meds. Looked like you got a lot of good advice about clinic and pharmacy/pharmaceutical  programs.

  4. RiaD

    & got the spiriva today. i’m trying to wade through the links & figure out how to do the cheap meds thing. lots of wonderful advice. & so nice of youff to do.(but quite embarrassing)

    i’ll tell mrD to remind me of your words if this ever happens again.

    damn this country for making it so damn hard on people.

  5. TMC

    One of the problems of patients with chronic lung disease (emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis) is that they lose fluids faster because they breath faster. I tell all the patients I see that they must drink more water and that any upper respiratory infection, vomiting or diarrhea that lasts longer than 24 hours requires a doctor consult or visit. Dehydration will trigger an exacerbation of COPD because the lining of the lungs dry out and get irritated. The more you understand about your medical problems the better you’re able to manage it.

    I’m glad you’re getting some help. I believe the company that makes Spiriva has a program. There should be a web site or a 1-800 # to contact them.

  6. RiaD

    i can’t stand A/C or heaters without having a humidifier on.

    & i can’t go in & out from “conditioned air” to outside & back…

    any drastic changes in humidity take my breath

    so there are only a very few months i am really comfortable, able to go outside & make my way to the garden.

    but now, being more housebound i’m getting less excercise so i tire quicker when i do get out, so i get depressed & do less, the cycle goes round & round.

    it sux. i had NO idea.

    & there is really NO way to explain it to ppl.

    everyone really thinks they’re immortal.

    i know better.

    somedays its really quite hard to get up & do ANYthing

    in my mind i think i can get so much accomplished & make lists….

    in reality i can hardly do anything anymore.

    i feel like such a drag on my family.

  7. TMC

    that once I was on my maintenance meds, like spiriva, I was able to do more and the changes in temperature/humidity was less likely to trigger an attack. I haven’t has an asthma attack that required me to go to the ER in years. I practice yoga which has helped with my muscle tone and balance as well as my breathing. You don’t need a class either, there are lots of free sites and videos on the net. I did get this little book that was helpful doing the exercises at home:

    A Morning Cup of Yoga, by Jane Goad Trechsel (under $10)

  8. RiaD

    talking to you always gives me hope.

    YOU’re the BEST!

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