Standing for World Health Organization on AbbreviationFinder, WHO is the international body of the United Nations system responsible for health. Made up of a group of experts, they develop health guidelines and standards, and help countries address public health issues, support and promote health research. Through WHO, governments can jointly tackle global health problems and improve people’s well-being. It also carries out various campaigns related to health, such as for example to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables in the world, or to reduce the use of tobacco and alcoholism.
Scope and objectives
WHO was established in 1948 to achieve the highest possible level of health by:
- The promotion of technical cooperation in health matters among nations
- The implementation of programs to combat and eradicate diseases
- Improving the quality of life. WHO works with the objective that all peoples can enjoy the highest level of health that can be achieved.
Its main objectives are:
- Develop fairer and more effective health systems that are more financially equitable
- Promote healthy lifestyles and reduce health risks.
- Reduce excess mortality, morbidity and disability with special emphasis on poor and marginalized populations.
- Sanitary measures: Draw up measures to contain an epidemic and sanitary measures on international travel (such as vaccination).
- Harmonization and coding: Maintains the international classification of diseases and up-to-date a model list of essential drugs that the health systems of all countries must make it possible to make available at affordable prices for the general population.
- Assistance to the least developed countries: Enabling vaccination against major infectious diseases, provision of drinking water, waste disposal, maternal protection and eradication of certain diseases.
- State program to fight AIDS: Increasing and promoting access to treatments, research, epidemiological surveillance, etc. It’s called the AIDSProgram.
- Medicines: Guarantee access to the population with good quality, safety and efficacy through the drug pre-evaluation program so that they can be safely acquired when international tenders are carried out, particularly for developing countries that cannot carry out those evaluations by their own means.
The World Health Organization (WHO), is made up of 193 member states and two associate members, based in Geneva meet annually within the framework of the world health assembly with the aim of establishing the general policy of the organization, approve its budget and, every five years, appoint the CEO. Its work is supported by the 34 members of the executive council made up of 32 health experts, elected by the health assembly. Six regional committees focus on regional health issues.
WHO has 6 regional offices that address specific issues in those regions with total autonomy, which allows them through their regional director (RD) to mediate with the central office and make decisions for their particular region, as well as and manage or supervise the health personnel and other experts, at regional headquarters and specialized centers, and exercise direct supervisory authority, simultaneously with the Director-General of WHO, and all the heads of the country offices that make up their region, known as WHO representatives.
The regional offices are located at:
- European Region made up of 53 countries including all European countries, with headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- South East Asia Region, based in New Delhi, India. Made up of all Asian countries not served by other health agencies, including North Korea.
- Region of Africa comprising 46 countries of the area, its regional office lies in Brazzaville, Congo although right now and is temporarily located in Harare, Zimbabwe.
- Region of the Americas made up of 35 countries based in Washington DC., United States, is also known as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
- Eastern Mediterranean Region includes North African countries (21 countries) based in Cairo, Egypt.
- Western Pacific region made up of 27 countries, the headquarters are in Manila, Philippines.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), created in 1948 as the UN agency specialized in health. It is the oldest international health organization in the world. It was born in 1902 as a response to the needs arising from the increase in commercial exchanges between the countries of the American continent. In the years since its inception, PAHO has contributed to the global eradication of smallpox, polio elimination, and significant progress in ridding the continent of measles.
Today it is an association of countries that encompasses about 30% of the land mass and approximately 14% of the world’s current population. From its headquarters in Washington DC., It directs scientific and technical experts in 27 country offices and nine scientific centers. The health authorities of the PAHO member states establish the technical and administrative policies of PAHO through their governing bodies.
The member states of PAHO are the 35 countries of the Americas; Puerto Rico is an associate member. France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are participating states, and Portugal and Spain are observer states. PAHO’s mission, as stipulated in its constitution, has not changed: to help the countries of the American continent work together to fight disease, prolong life, and promote people’s physical and mental health.
Today, when the continent faces so many health threats, PAHO is more important than ever. He has worked to increase life expectancy and lower infant mortality rates on the continent; combat old diseases that have returned again such as cholera, dengue and tuberculosis.
Protocols have been established to protect blood supplies, and countries have made considerable progress to improve water security. These unique successes in public health have been achieved in large part thanks to the actions taken jointly by the Pan American Health Organization and the governments of the region.