World Stamps

Molly Goad

Charming United Nations stamp designs promote universal health coverage

March 16, 2018 10:00 AM

  • The United Nations is commemorating World Health Day and the 70th anniversary of the World Health Organization on six new stamps. The mission behind these designs is to generate awareness for universal health coverage for everyone.
  • Among the numerous stamps honoring the WHO and its programs are this 1956 3¢ U.N. stamp.
  • This 1962 4¢ U.S. commemorative is one of several stamps honoring the WHO.

By Molly Goad

The United Nations Postal Administration is issuing whimsical stamp designs to honor the 70th anniversary of the World Health Organization.

The stamps will be released April 6, the eve of World Health Day — an annual celebration to mark the anniversary of the formation of WHO on April 7, 1948.

WHO’s objective is to achieve a healthier future for people everywhere in the world. This includes fighting an array diseases from influenza and HIV to cancer and heart disease, as well as ensuring that water and air are safe and clean all over the world.

The organization has offices in more than 150 countries where staffers engage governments and other partners to join these efforts.

The set includes six stamps (two for each U.N. post office) and a souvenir card. Sergio Baradat of the United Nations created the colorful designs, using symbolic images to promote awareness and actions related to the 2018 World Health Day theme of “Universal Health Coverage. Everyone. Everywhere.” To follow the movement on social media, search for #HealthForAll. To learn more about this year’s campaign.

The two stamps for use from the post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City represent health services, 50¢; and healthy people, $1.15.

A heart, stethoscope, capsule, pill, band-aid, syringe and an E from an eye chart are pictured on the 50¢ stamp. Symbolic leaves, a heart, clock and a pie chart with arrows are shown in the four corners of the $1.15 design. A blue head with gearwheels is depicted in the center.

The designs of the stamps for use from the U.N. post office at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, illustrate the topics of stop epidemics, 1fr; and healthy children, 2fr.

The 1fr stamp features an outline of a microscope and a microscopic view of some of the organisms that cause epidemics. The 2fr Healthy Children stamp also has a school theme, showing a pencil, a triangle and a student in a graduation cap. Also pictured are an apple and glass of milk.

The message on the 68¢ and €1.70 stamps for use from the post office at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria, are “for all people” and “affordable care.”

A doctor, three other people and the world in hot pink and orange are featured on the 68¢ stamp. What appears to be a stylized caduceus is shown in sky blue in the background. A pink piggie bank and gold coins symbolize affordable care in the €1.70 design.

The theme of each design in inscribed in the upper left. In addition, all of the designs include “UN,” “World Health Day” and “2018” text. The text is English on the U.N. New York stamps, French on the U.N./Geneva stamps, and German on the U.N./Vienna stamps.

Lowe-Martin Group of Canada printed the stamps by offset lithography, plus hexachrome, in sheets of 20. Each stamp measures 30 millimeters by 40mm and its perforated gauge 13.3.

The quantities printed were 110,000 each of the 50¢ and $1.15; 80,000 each of the 1fr and 2fr; and 90,000 each of the 68¢ and 1.70.

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A total of 15,000 souvenir cards were printed. They are available either mint or canceled.

The World Health Organization and its programs have been honored on numerous stamps from the United Nations and from countries around the world. For example, the U.N. issued two WHO stamps April 6, 1956 (Scott 43-44), and the United States commemorated the agency’s drive to eradicate malaria on a stamp in 1962 (1194).

For more information about the new U.N. World Health Day stamps, visit their website.