As the new year of 2019 is right around the corner, we thought we’d share some of the important medical events that will occur in the month of January. Mark your calendars, for these include: National Blood Donor Month, Cervical Health Awareness Month, Thyroid Awareness Month, and National Birth Defects Awareness Month.
National Blood Donor Month
National Blood Donation Month falls in January. The purpose of this event is to recognize the generosity people who regularly contribute blood as well as raise public awareness about donation. While some consistently contribute to blood donation, most people do not even think about it; this event is held to remind them. Why is January the Blood Donation Month though? The reason is that donations generally decline around this time period. Some factors responsible for this are: people tend to fall sick more often in the cold weather, others are mostly travelling, the harsh state of the weather dissuades people from leaving their homes. Additionally, with schools being out of session in January and December, centres that rely on students for their donation find themselves experiencing shortages.
Cervical Health Awareness Month
January is also known as Cervical Health Awareness Month. This event aims to increase awareness related to cervical cancer and HPV (human papillomavirus, a common infection spread through sexual activity that leads to cervical cancer) and the ways in which people can protect themselves from these diseases. It is very fortunate that there are means available that make the disease preventable. In the case of HPV, vaccination is an option. It is also important in preventing the spread of HPV and both pre-teen boys and girls are encouraged to get it. Meanwhile for cervical cancer it’s possible to stay safe through regular pap smears and HPV tests with additional follow-up care. Screenings for cervical cancer are capable of detecting any abnormal cells before they’ve turned into cancer cells. This is an extremely effective method for prevention. This event hopes to spread the word and increase education on the subject. People are encouraged to share information about this month on social media and promote discussion on the matter.
Thyroid Awareness Month
Another medical event in January is Thyroid Awareness Month. Its purpose is to spread awareness and information regarding the thyroid. This obviously includes basic facts like its location, functions and what factors can cause complication. Found in the middle of the lower neck region, the thyroid produces various hormones to help keep the body functioning in a healthy manner, such as controlling body temperature and heart rate. Problems begin to arise when the thyroid is either underactive or overactive. While the cause itself of thyroid problems is unknown, most cases can be cured through surgery that removes most (or all) of the thyroid. Statistics indicate that 20 million Americans are affected by thyroid conditions and a staggering 60% among them do not know that they suffer from it. Additionally, women are more susceptible to Thyroid problems than men. For them, untreated thyroid symptoms can lead to other serious health problems (such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and infertility).
National Birth Defects Awareness Month
This event also falls in the month of January. The purpose behind this is to help educate both expecting parents and parents that are planning on having a child about measures they can take to guarantee the birth of a healthy baby. Birth defects can lead to various health complications for new-borns (and sometimes even for the pregnant parent). Thus, it is imperative that parents know what to do to prevent birth defects. A variety of healthy habits are encouraged to prevent any complications, such as taking folic acid during the pregnancy, getting check-ups, and not consuming any alcohol.