Journée mondiale de la santé

2 Journée mondiale de la santé      1


The World Health Day is one of the world organization of health initiatives, founded in 1948. It is an event celebrated in all the member country where everyone, from the leaders to the general public is invited to consider a health problem that has consequences worldwide. Lebanon joined WHO January 19, 1949
At the first World Health Assembly in July 1948, it was decided that the Executive Board will be invited to recommend the establishment of a World Health Day. It was suggested to choose July 22 to commemorate the signing (22/7/1946) of the Constitution of the World Health Organization by 61 nations. WHA1.134 – July 1948 -13.308
Thus Lebanon will issue a commemorative stamp on 07/22/1949 for the day celebrating both the World Health Day and his first year in the WHO. This seal will be find on both domestic and international mail from Beirut, as well on covers transiting through the capital.

Fig 1– Commercial mail posted on 07/22/1949 in Beirut, heading to Switzerland with the red WHO Cancel

Fig 2– Internal mail posted on 22/07/1949, from Beirut to Tripoli with the red WHO commemorative cancel

Note that the mail posted at that time was often accompanied by the stamp tax for Palestine refugees



Fig 3 and 4 – Back of the two letters shown in Fig 1 and Fig 2


Fig 5 and 6 – Outgoing airmail from Beirut to Greece with WHO commemorative cancel on Back. 


Fig. 7 – International mail posted in Beirut on 22/7/1949, heading to the United States with the red commemorative cancel and stamp tax for Palestine Refugees on front of the cover


Fig. 8 and 9 – Mail posted on 18/7/1949 in Jerusalem, passing through Amman, cancelled with WHO commemorative stamp upon arrival in Beirut, the 07/22/1949

WHOFig10 WHOFig11
Fig.10 and 11 – Mail from Ramallah posted on 07/18/1949, transiting through Beirut and collecting WHO commemorative stamp on back. Note the AV2 cancel found on letters from Palestinian village (Heifetz AV2 Type 10)


Fig 12 – Philatelic cover with WHO cancel on a stamp issued for the third UNESCO Congress in 1948 that took place in Beirut.

Fig 13 – Lebanese report to the WHO assembly in 1949


«Considering that the World Health Assembly decided that the Organization must grant its patronage to the celebration by all Member States of World Health Day, on the date of July 22 of each year
Considering that schools and other educational institutions in every country, major propaganda tools, should be observing this day
Considering that in many countries, most schools are closed on July 22 and cannot therefore fulfill this mission
Considering that the choice of April the 7th, referring to the official entry into force of the constitution of WHO in 1948, offers a solution wich would allow to avoid these disadvantages,
The second World Health Assembly, decided to fix for 1950 and for subsequent years, the “World Health Day” on April 7 in order to be celebrated appropriately by all Member States.
WHA2.35 – June 1949 21:27»

Translation in English of fig 13

Because of this ratification, the celebration of the «Health  World day»  will henceforth be made on April 7th of each year and this from 1950. That became a tradition. Unfortunately our postal administration will not renew any more the experiment and the commemorative cancel of 1949 will remain a unique experience.


Fig.14 –  Beware of Hypertension

However in 1978, in full civil war, the post office will emit a stamp to commemorate the World Health day. The topic this year being prevention of Hypertension. There are two type of prevention, primary and secondary. Primary is to take appropriate measures to prevent the disease from happening the first place. The steps to be taken by Lebanese now a days is maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and avoiding bad news by keeping their local radio and TV shut  off !!! Secondary prevention means the disease cannot be prevented from happening in the first place and the controle of the disease is related to routine checkups in order to detect the disease in the earliest stage.