World Health Organization

World Health Organization

World Health Organization

Definition and Purpose:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized organization of the United Nations.
  • It is in charge of matters about global health and public health on a worldwide scale.


  • The organization was established on April 7, 1948.
  • held its initial meeting on July 24 of that same year.


  • Incorporated the resources, people, and obligations of the Office International d’Hygiène Publique in Paris and the League of Nations’ Health Organization.
  • similar to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), has been given responsibilities.

Headquarters and Offices:

  • Geneva, Switzerland serves as the corporate headquarters.
  • operates globally with 150 field offices and six regional offices.

What are the Objectives of WHO?

  • Promoting Health and Well-Being: The WHO’s main goal is to advance the health and well-being of people in all parts of the world. Addressing both physical and emotional health problems falls under this category.
  • Disease Prevention and Control: The WHO aims to stop the spread of illness, manage outbreaks, and lessen the effects of already-existing diseases. This entails surveillance, investigation, and the application of efficient preventative and corrective procedures.
  • Establishing International Standards for Health: The organization develops international standards and guidelines for a range of health-related topics, such as disease diagnosis, treatment, and medical procedures. Global health care is made more consistent and high-quality thanks to these standards.
  • Offering Technical Help: The WHO provides countries in need, especially those with limited resources, with technical help and expertise. This aid can include training, capacity-building, and support for bolstering health systems.
  • Promoting Research and Innovation: The WHO supports and promotes health-related research and innovation. This entails supporting the creation of new drugs, vaccines, and technology as well as funding and enabling research projects.
  • Monitoring and Evaluating Health Trends: The organization gathers and examines information on global health trends, assisting in the detection of new health problems and the tracking of health-related objectives.

How is the organization being governed?

  • World Health Assembly (WHA): 
      • The WHO’s decision-making body, the WHA is made up of representatives from all 194 of its member states.
      • To establish policy, approve the budget, and reach significant conclusions regarding global health challenges, it convenes yearly in Geneva, Switzerland.
      • The WHO’s Director-General is chosen by the WHA, which also determines the organization’s priorities and approves its finances and activities.
  • Executive Board:
      • Each member of the Executive Board has a three-year term and is a health specialist from one of the 34 member nations. The Board assists in putting WHA policies and decisions into action by holding meetings in between annual WHA conferences.
      • On numerous health-related issues, the Executive Board advises the Director-General and makes recommendations.
  • Director-General: 
      • The WHA appoints the Director-General for a five-year term. He or she serves as the WHO’s main administrative officer.
      • The Director-General is in charge of leading and managing the organization as a whole, putting policies into practice, and managing daily operations.
  • Secretariat:
    • The WHO’s administrative branch, the Secretariat, is in charge of carrying out the directives and guidelines established by the WHA and the Executive Board.
    • It offers assistance for the organization’s technical, operational, and administrative tasks.

What are the WHO’s main interventions in the global health situation?

  • Smallpox elimination: One of the WHO’s greatest triumphs was the successful elimination of smallpox, which was proclaimed eradicated in 1980. For the first time, an infectious disease in humans was eradicated.
  • Polio Eradication: In the global campaign to eradicate polio, the WHO has taken the lead. Though polio is still present in a few places, there has been a dramatic improvement in the number of cases.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) control: The WHO has played a significant role in the creation of plans for the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of tuberculosis. It has also taken the lead in the fight against drug-resistant TB strains.
  • Control and Elimination of Malaria: The WHO has tried to lessen the impact of malaria through initiatives like the distribution of bed nets sprayed with an insecticide, indoor residual spraying, and the provision of efficient antimalarial medications.
  • HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment: The WHO has taken a leading role in advancing HIV/AIDS preventive and care methods. Global policies for antiretroviral treatment and prevention strategies have been significantly shaped by it.
  • Maternal and Child Health: The WHO has concentrated on enhancing maternal and child health through programs that include advocating for secure childbirth, enhancing access to critical medical services, and lowering maternal and child mortality.
  • Immunization campaigns: The WHO has sponsored immunization campaigns around the world, ensuring that people have access to vaccines for diseases like COVID-19 and other recent outbreaks of measles, polio, and influenza.

What is the relationship between India and WHO?

  • Membership and involvement:
      • Since the WHO was founded in 1948, India has been a member, making it one of the organization’s founding members.
      • India actively participates in the World Health Assembly’s (WHA) and the Executive Board’s decision-making procedures as a member state of the WHO.
  • Partnerships & Cooperation:
      • On several health-related activities, programs, and projects, India works with the WHO. This collaboration encompasses a variety of health-related fields, such as disease prevention, maternity and child health, immunization, the improvement of health systems, and emergency response.
  • Health Policy and Recommendations:
      • India frequently harmonizes its health policies and recommendations with those made by the WHO. This guarantees that India’s healthcare procedures comply with best practices and international standards.
  • Disease Prevention and Control:
      • In attempts to manage and eradicate illness, India works with the WHO. For instance, India actively participates in the worldwide drive to eradicate polio and collaborates with the WHO to carry out vaccine efforts.
  • Campaigns for public health:
      • India and the WHO work together on public health initiatives designed to increase awareness, encourage healthy habits, and treat particular health issues. This includes initiatives for good diet, disease prevention, sanitation, and cleanliness.
  • Response to a health emergency:
    • In times of public health emergencies, such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters, India and the WHO collaborate. The WHO supports India’s response activities with technical knowledge, resources, and direction