The aim of World Health Day 2010, as explained by the World Health Organization, is to draw attention to urbanization and health, recognizing that in an increasingly urbanized world, health issues present new challenges that go far beyond the health sector and require action at the global, national, community, and individual levels. Cities tend to promote unhealthy lifestyles, like“convenient” diets that depend on processed foods, sedentary behaviour, smoking, and the harmful use of alcohol and other substances. These lifestyle choices are directly linked to obesity and the rise of conditions like heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and diabetes. These conditions are costly to treat, for houselholds and societies, and they are increasingly concentrated in the urban poor.
On the occasion of World Health Day 2010, WSMI – the world federation promoting better health through responsible self-medication – is proud to note that nonprescription medicines contribute to disease prevention and positive health behaviours by helping people to feel better equipped and more motivated to look after themselves through self-care. A country which fully encourages Self-Care – through building healthier settings, making healthy choices easier for individuals, and empowering individuals to adopt healthy behaviors – can expect to have a healthier population. Promotion of effective self-care can also lead to improvement of equity in health.