Thursday, March 05, 2009

March Health Observances 2009

Noteworthy health observances for March 2009:

National Kidney Month and World Kidney Day (March 13). From the CDC's MMWR website: "This year, World Kidney Day focuses on high blood pressure, which, along with diabetes, is a leading cause of [chronic kidney disease]. Information regarding kidney disease is available from the National Kidney Disease Education Program at Information regarding World Kidney Day activities is available at"

National Brain Injury Awareness Month: Brain Injury Association of America. This year the association's campaigns will focus on on creating awareness about sports & concussions, specifically related to youth sports.

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Prevention and early detection are keys for overcoming any kind of cancer. Learn more about decreasing your risks for colorectal cancer this month by visiting the websites of Prevent Cancer Foundation or the Colorectal Cancer Coalition.

National Endometriosis Awareness Month. Sponsored by the Endometriosis Research Center. Endometriosis is a painful disorder of the female reproductive system--but it's a lot more complicated than that. Proper diagnosis and treatment of this condition can relieve suffering and enhance fertility among those affected. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) provides this informative online guide to endometriosis: Endometriosis Pamphlet.

National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month: . During National MS Education and Awareness Month, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation raises awareness of the often "invisible" early symptoms of MS. Their theme this year is "MS: Now You See It, Now You Don’t."

American Red Cross Month: Since 1943 each U.S. president has proclaimed March as American Red Cross Month. The vast majority of Red Cross services have always been provided by volunteers who are gratefully acknowledged this month. This year the Red Cross in conjunction with Red Cross month, the organization is also launching the first ever Change a Life contest in which entrants are encouraged to relate how a Red Cross experience changed their life or someone else’s life.

Hemophilia Month: The National Hemophilia Foundation is dedicated to finding better treatments and cures for bleeding and clotting disorders and to preventing the complications of these disorders through education, advocacy and research. Project Red Flag, one of the hemophilia foundation's campaigns, aims to raise awareness about bleeding and clotting disorders.

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, is sponsored by The Arc. Founded in 1950, the Arc is the world’s largest community-based organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By providing an array of services and support, the Arc aspires to ensure that individuals and families find the resources they need to live an ordinary and productive life. (I like this list that The Arc has compiled on their website: Disability related health links.)

Eatright, this is National Nutrition Month brought to us by the American Dietetic Association, find videos and books under the topic of nutrition with the links provided.

Save Your Vision Month is sponsored by the American Optometric Association and Workplace Eye Wellness Month courtesy of Prevent Blindness America.

National Poison Prevention Month. For more information visit: or In addition, the week of March 15-21 is specifically designated as National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week, sponsored by the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition.

National Eye Donor Awareness Month. The Eyebank Association of America is the oldest transplant association in the United States. Learn more about cornea donation and transplantation via their informative site.

Other observance days and weeks in March 2009:

March 10: National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, sponsored by the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 2009 theme is, "HIV is Right Here at Home." Important facts to consider: Most women are infected with HIV through heterosexual contact and injection drug use; and women of color are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.

National Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 8-14: sponsored by the National Patient Safety Foundation. Hospitals and health care organizations across the country are encouraged to plan events to promote patient safety within their own organizations. Educational activities are centered on educating patients on how to become involved in their own health care, as well as working with hospitals to build partnerships with their patient community.

March 23-27, National Youth Violence Prevention Week part of the National Youth Violence Prevention Campaign. each day of the week will focus on a specific violence prevention strategy. These include promoting respect and tolerance, anger management, resolving conflicts peacefully, supporting safety, and uniting in action.

March 24, American Diabetes Alert Day, American Diabetes Association. The 21st annual "call-to-action" day to inform the public about Type 2 Diabetes is so important as this disease is running rampant in our nation.

March 24: "I am stopping TB." That's the slogan for World TB Day sponsored by the--Stop TB Partnership and the World Health Organization. The date of World TB day is significant in that the bacteria causing tuberculosis was first identified by Dr. Koch on this date in 1882. Today TB remains an epidemic in parts of the world. Once nearly eradicated in the U.S., an alarming 20% increase in the number of reported cases in the U.S. from 1985-1992 reawakened the need for public awareness and prevention. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control World TB Day website is another source of good information.

March 31: Kick Butts Day, We all know smoking is a risk to our health, and we all know people who have suffered the effects of long-term smoking. It's an extremely tough habit to break so it's easier not to begin smoking at all. On this day expect to see events that educate children about the health hazards of tobacco use.

I'm posting late--but there is still plenty of March left . . . It's also women's health month . . . and the month that either comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb (or vice versa) . . .


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