December 27th

International Day of Epidemic Preparedness -

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Recognized every 27th of December, the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness is a worldwide event supervised by the United Nations. This day serves as a conscious reminder of the relentless struggles humanity has faced against life-threatening epidemics throughout history. Its primary aim is to fortify international commitment towards epidemic detection and management by increasing public consciousness, enhancing healthcare systems, fostering scientific innovations, and encouraging global partnerships.

The necessity of such readiness was starkly demonstrated amidst the global COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, this day underscores the perpetual need for proactiveness and resilience in addressing impending health challenges.

History of International Day of Epidemic Preparedness

On September 7, 2020, the United Nations General Assembly introduced the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness. This dedication was driven by a push to encourage global unity in confronting epidemics. This day is observed annually every 27th of December.

The conceptualization and implementation of the International Day of Epidic Preparedness were driven by lessons drawn from the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease had globally crippling effects on human health, financial systems, and day-to-day life. Along with these impacts, it revealed the limitations across national, regional, and international levels in mitigating, reacting to, and recovering from epidemics.

Through this observance, the UN aspires to advocate for proactive management of epidemics. It also aims to underscore the need for investment in preparedness strategies, infrastructure, and systems capable of responding to epidemic threats. This initiative emphasizes the intricate connection that exists between human and animal health and their shared environmental context.

International Day of Epidemic Preparedness Timeline

Plague of Athens

One of the earliest recorded epidemics in history. This event heightened the awareness of the need for preparedness against epidemic scale diseases.

Black Death

The epidemic that killed 75-200 million people and spread across Europe, Asia, and Africa. It led to the establishment of advanced warning systems.

Global Polio Eradication Initiative

The World Health Organization launched this initiative to eradicate polio worldwide through mass vaccination.

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

A partnership designed to accelerate the end of these epidemics by providing support to countries in need.

Declaration of COVID-19 Outbreak

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, leading to global health crisis.

Adoption of International Day of Epidemic Preparedness

The UN General Assembly officially adopted the International Day of Epidic Preparedness to strengthen capacities for preparing and responding to epidemics.

Continued Observance of International Day of Epidemic Preparedness

The day is observed to emphasize on the importance of the prevention of, preparedness for and partnership against epidemics.

Ideas to Celebrate International Day of Epidemic Preparedness

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Educational Webinar

Organize an educational webinar inviting healthcare professionals and scientists to talk about epidemic preparedness, how to prevent epidemics, and the importance of public health.

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School Project Display

Ask students to prepare projects covering various epidemics, focusing on human responses, how they were tackled, and lessons learned. Host a virtual or physical exhibition showcasing these projects.

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Launching Awareness Campaign

Launch a public awareness campaign via social media, newspapers, or local radio stations. Provide helpful information on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of diseases.

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Health Fair

Hold a community health fair offering screenings, vaccines, and information about local health resources. Include presentations about epidemics and how they are managed.

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Public Health Officer Speech

Invite a public health officer to give a speech or presentation about the importance of preparedness, how epidemics can affect the community, and what steps can be taken to minimize risks.

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Invest in Research Fundraiser

Organize a fundraiser aimed at raising funds for medical research and vaccine development. This could help fuel advancements that prevent future epidemics.

7 Interesting Facts About Epidemic Preparedness


Smallpox: a success story

Smallpox is one example of a human disease that has been successfully eradicated by vaccination. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it eradicated in 1980 after a global immunization campaign.


Pandemic Flus are not Annual Flus

Pandemic flu is not the same as the seasonal flu. Pandemics happen when a new strain of the flu virus emerges that can infect many people quickly and cause severe illness because few people have immunity.


Disease X and the Unknown

The World Health Organization (WHO) has a term, 'Disease X', for a currently unknown pathogen that could cause a serious international epidemic in the future.


Pandemics and the Economy

Pandemics can have significant economic impacts. For example, the 1918 Spanish flu is estimated to have reduced gross domestic product (GDP) by 5-10% in the afflicted countries.


The Role of Computer Modelling

Computer modelling is a key tool in epidemic preparedness. It helps predict the spread of diseases, assess the potential impact of various interventions, and guide public health policy.


The Oldest Existing Epidemic Preparedness Plan

The oldest existing written plan for an epidemic response is found in the Old Testament of the Bible. The book of Leviticus outlined measures for isolating people with leprosy and instructions for purifying impacted communities.


First Digital Pandemic Response

The 2009 H1N1 pandemic was the first to see widespread use of digital media, including social networks, for disseminating information and shaping public response.

International Day of Epidemic Preparedness FAQs

Next International Day of Epidemic Preparedness Dates

Year Date Day
2023 December 27th Wednesday
2024 December 27th Friday
2025 December 27th Saturday
2026 December 27th Sunday
2027 December 27th Monday
What is the pattern? Every December 27th

International Day of Epidemic Preparedness Word Search

  • Epidemic
  • Preparedness
  • Awareness
  • Prevention
  • Medicine
  • Health