World Health Organization

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is a United Nations (UN) specialized agency concerned with international public health. The WHO was founded on April 7, 1948, and its headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization's primary objective is to create a brighter, healthier future for people everywhere. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the WHO, including its history, organizational structure, goals, and functions.


The Past[edit | edit source]

The World Health Organization was established in response to the need for an international organization committed to addressing global health issues. After World War II, representatives from 61 nations met to draft the organization's constitution, which gave rise to the concept of a global health organization. The WHO was officially founded on April 7, 1948, which is now World Health Day.

Structure[edit | edit source]

The World Health Organization is governed by its constitution and three main bodies:

  • The "'World Health Assembly (WHA)"' is the highest decision-making body of the WHO and is made up of delegates from all member states. Annually, it meets to establish the organization's priorities, approve budgets, and assess its progress.
  • The "'Executive Board"' is comprised of 34 members who are technically qualified in the field of medicine. They are responsible for implementing the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly and are elected for three-year terms.
  • The Director-General, who is elected for a five-year term, presides over the Secretariat. The Secretariat is comprised of employees at the WHO's headquarters, regional and country offices.

The World Health Organization is divided into six regional offices, each of which is responsible for addressing the specific health needs of its region.

  • Africa (AFRO) (AFRO)
  • Americas (PAHO) (PAHO)
  • Oriental Mediterranean (EMRO)
  • Europe (EURO) (EURO)
  • Asia's Southeast Region (SEARO)
  • Oceanic Pacific (WPRO)

Purposes[edit | edit source]

As stated in its constitution, the primary objective of the WHO is "the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health." The organization focuses on various aspects of public health, including:

  • Disease control and prevention
  • Wellness promotion
  • Health system improvement
  • Emergency planning and reaction
  • Collaboration with governments and other institutions

Functions[edit | edit source]

To fulfill its mandate, the WHO performs a variety of functions, such as:

  • Providing technical assistance to developing nations
  • Developing and promoting policies and guidelines based on empirical evidence
  • Monitoring global health trends and risk assessment
  • conducting research to address issues of public health
  • Aiding nations in the development and implementation of national health plans
  • Responding to public health crises, such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and the International Health Regulations are notable WHO initiatives.

Criticisms and Obstacles[edit | edit source]

Concerns have ranged from the WHO's funding structure to its capacity to effectively respond to global health crises over the course of its existence. In response to these criticisms, the organization has implemented reforms and collaborated with other international organizations and partners to enhance global health governance.

World Health Organization Resources

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