World Health Organization (WHO) World Health Organization


General Information:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized agency of the United Nations for the health sector, was established in the year 1948.
  • Its headquarter is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • At present 194 countries are members of WHO. It has six regional offices in addition to having offices in 150 countries.
  • It is an intergovernmental organization and generally works in collaboration with the health ministries of its member states.
  • WHO shapes the agenda for health research, providing leadership on global health matters and sets various benchmarks and benchmarks.
  • In addition, WHO articulates evidence-based policy options, provides technical assistance to countries, and monitors and evaluates health trends.
  • WHO started work on April 7, 1948, so at present, World Health Day is celebrated every year on 7th April.


  • To act as the directing and coordinating authority on international health related work.
  • Establish and maintain effective cooperation with the United Nations, including specialized agencies, government health administrations, professional groups, and other organizations that are leaders in the field of health.
  • To provide assistance to strengthen health services at the request of governments.
  • Promote collaboration between scientific and professional groups that contribute to health progress.


WHO is operated through the following organizations

  • world health assembly
    (World Health Assembly):

    • The World Health Assembly is made up of representatives representing the member states.
    • Each member is represented by a maximum of three representatives, one of whom is designated as the chief representative.
    • These representatives are selected from amongst the fittest persons on the basis of their technical ability in the field of health as they preferentially represent the national health administration of the member nation.
    • The World Health Assembly meets in regular annual sessions and sometimes in special sessions.
  • Functions of the World Health Assembly:
    • The World Health Assembly determines the policies of WHO.
    • It monitors the financial policies of the organization and reviews and approves the budget.
    • It reports to the Economic and Social Council regarding any agreements between the WHO and the United Nations.


(The Secretariat):

  • The Secretariat consists of the Director General and such technical and administrative staff as are considered necessary for the organization.
  • The Director General of the World Health Assembly is appointed on the basis of nomination by the Board in accordance with the conditions laid down by the World Health Assembly.

Membership & Co-subscription:

  • Members of the United Nations can become members of this organization.
  • Regions or regional groups that are not responsible for the conduct of international relations may be nominated by the Health Assembly as co-members.

World Health Organization's global contribution

(WHO's Contribution to World)

  • country office
    (Country Offices)

    • These are the primary contact points between the government of the country concerned and the World Health Organization.
    • They provide technical assistance on health matters, as well as share relevant global standards and guidelines, and communicate government requests and urgent demands to other levels of the WHO.
    • They inform the host government about the spread of a disease outside the country and work closely with it.
    • They provide advice and guidance on public health to the offices of other United Nations agencies located in the country.
  • In addition to governments, the WHO itself coordinates with other UN agencies, providers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector.
  • All countries benefit from WHO's international health work, including the most developed countries. For example- global eradication of smallpox, spread of better and cheaper methods of controlling tuberculosis, etc.
  • WHO believes that vaccination prevents six major infectious diseases of childhood – diphtheria, measles, poliomyelitis, tetanus, tuberculosis and whooping cough. Vaccination should be available to all children who need it
    • WHO, in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), is leading a worldwide campaign to ensure effective immunization for all children.

Historical visit of WHO:

  • WHO in the first decade of its establishment (Year 1948-58) during the period focused prominently on specific infectious diseases affecting millions of people in developing countries.
  • Year 1958 to 1968 During the period many colonies in Africa became independent which later became members of the organization.
  • The World Chemical Industry by the WHO in the 1960s (World Chemical Industry) to develop new insecticides to fight the vectors of onchocerciasis (river blindness) and schistosomiasis.
  • WHO's important contribution to international health communication was the global standardization of nomenclature for diseases and causes of death.
  • WHO's establishment Third decade (1968–78) Great success was achieved in the field of smallpox eradication in the world.
    • By 1967, smallpox was endemic in 31 countries. About 10 to 15 million people were affected by this.
    • The work was carried out by teams of public health workers in all affected countries, led and coordinated by WHO.
    • This massive campaign expanded vaccination (with the BCG vaccine) against six diseases affecting children globally: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, poliomyelitis and tuberculosis.
    • After a long confusion due to political reasons, during this period WHO entered the field of family planning by promoting research and development on human reproduction all over the world.
    • New efforts were also made for the control of malaria and leprosy.
  • WHO's establishment fourth decade (1978–88) was initiated by a large global conference of WHO and UNICEF. The conference was held in 'Alma Ata', a city located in the Asian part of the Soviet Union. (Alma Ata) was held in.
    • The importance of primary health care, preventive and curative measures was emphasized in the Alma Ata conference.
    • Emphasis on community participation, appropriate technology and inter-sectoral cooperation became central pillars of world health policy in this conference.
  • 30 years after the founding of the WHO, 134 member states have reaffirmed the same commitments that follow its motto 'Health for All'. (Health for All) embedded in.
  • Made by the United Nations General Assembly in the year 1980 for the provision of safe drinking water and adequate emissions disposal for all 'International Decade for Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation' (Years 1981-90) The announcement was supported by the WHO.
  • In this period each country was encouraged to develop a list of 'essential medicines' for use in all public facilities, rather than the thousands of branded products sold in global markets.
  • Oral rehydration therapy was another major breakthrough in controlling infantile diarrheal disease all over the world which was based on very simple principles.

Network: The 1995 Ebola virus outbreak in Congo, of which the WHO remained unaware for three months, revealed a startling lack of global public health surveillance and notification systems.

  • Therefore, in the year 1997, WHO together with Canada created the 'Global Public Health Intelligence Network'. (Global Public Health Intelligence Network-GPHIN) It was broadcast everywhere that took advantage of Internet technology to act as an early warning system for reporting potential epidemics.
  • WHO designated GPHIN as the 'Global Outbreak Alert Response Network' in the year 2000. (Global Outbreak Alert Response Network-GOARN) To analyze the events with.
  • GOARN ties up 120 networks and institutions with data laboratories, skills and experience to enable rapid response to any crisis.

Other efforts made by WHO:

  • WHO has also increased its efforts to tackle cancer, which is now causing death in developing countries as well as in prosperous nations.
  • Tobacco is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
  • To prevent these deaths, efforts are being made by the WHO to ban the use of tobacco in every country.
  • The worldwide pandemic of AIDS has posed another challenge to the WHO amid growing global efforts to contain the spread of this deadly sexually transmitted virus.
    • WHO is working to facilitate self-testing of HIV victims so that more people living with HIV can know their status and receive the right treatment.

World Health Organization and India

(WHO and India):

  • India became a member of WHO on 12 January 1948.
  • WHO's regional office for South-East Asia is located in New Delhi.

Health related efforts by WHO in India:

  • chicken pox

    • The total number of smallpox cases reported in India in the year 1967 was about 65% of the total cases in the world.
    • Of these, 26,225 cases resulted in the death of the patient, an incident that paints a grim picture of the relentless struggle that lies ahead.
    • In 1967, the WHO launched an intensive smallpox eradication program. (Intensified Smallpox Eradication Program) started up.
    • Smallpox was eradicated in the year 1977 with the coordinated effort of WHO and Government of India.
  • polio

    • Global polio eradication initiative launched by WHO in 1988 with financial and technical assistance from the World Bank (Global Polio Eradication Initiative) In the context of India launched a campaign against polio disease.
    • Polio Campaign-2012: The Government of India, in partnership with UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has created a universal awareness of the need for all children under the age of five to be vaccinated against polio. Contributed to awareness.
    • As a result of these efforts, India was kept out of the list of endemic countries in the year 2014.
  • WHO Country Cooperation Strategy- India (Years 2012-2017) The strategy was jointly developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) and the WHO Country Office in India (WHO Country Office-WCO).

Global Health Concerns and World Health Organization

World Health Concerns & WHO:

Environmental Pollution and Climate Change

(Air Pollution and Climate Change):

  • Every day nine out of ten people in the world breathe polluted air. In the year 2019, air pollution has been considered by WHO as the biggest environmental risk to health.
  • Microscopic pollutants with air can enter the respiratory and circulatory systems and cause damage to the lungs, heart and brain, leading to the premature death of 7 million people annually from diseases such as cancer, stroke, heart and lung disease.
  • The primary cause of air pollution (burning of fossil fuels) is also a major contributor to climate change that affects people's health in various ways.
  • Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause an additional 250,000 deaths annually from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress.

non-communicable diseases

(Noncommunicable Diseases):

  • Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease are collectively responsible for more than 70% deaths or 41 million deaths worldwide.
  • According to WHO, the five main reasons for the increase in these diseases are tobacco use, physical inactivity, indiscriminate use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and air pollution.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-19 year olds.

global influenza pandemic

(Global Influenza Pandemic):

  • The WHO is continuously monitoring the spread of the influenza virus to determine possible causes of the pandemic. 153 institutions from 114 countries are involved in this global monitoring and response.

critical and vulnerable situations

(Fragile and Vulnerable Settings):

  • More than 1.6 billion people (22% of the global population) live in places of long-term crisis (common challenges such as drought, famine, conflict and population displacement) and are deprived of basic health services due to poor health services. Huh.

antimicrobial resistance

(Antimicrobial Resistance):

  • It is a problem in which bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi develop resistance to modern medicines, making it difficult to treat various infections easily.
  • The inability to prevent infection leads to serious procedures such as surgery and chemotherapy.
  • Drug resistance results from overuse of antimicrobials in people.
  • WHO is working to implement a global action plan to increase public awareness and knowledge to reduce infection and combat antimicrobial resistance by encouraging the judicious use of antimicrobials.

Ebola and other serious pathogens

(Ebola and Other High-Threat Pathogens):

  • The year 2018 saw Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo in two different cities with a population of over 1 million. One of the affected provinces is also an active conflict zone.
  • WHO's R&D Blueprint (WHO's R&D Blueprint) Identifies diseases and pathogens that cause a state of public health emergency but lack effective treatments and vaccines.
  • With its help, WHO works in the field of prevention of global health problems such as Ebola, many other hemorrhagic fevers such as Zika, Nipah, Middle East respiratory syndrome, coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
  • Primary health services are usually people's first point of contact with the healthcare system and all countries should strive to provide comprehensive, affordable, community-based services to their citizens throughout their lives.



  • It is a mosquito-borne disease that causes flu-like symptoms and can prove fatal and fatal in people with severe dengue, which has been a serious challenge for decades.
  • In countries like Bangladesh and India, a large number of dengue cases are reported during the rainy season.
  • Now the length of time these countries are affected by dengue is increasing significantly (in 2018 Bangladesh had the highest number of deaths in nearly two decades).
  • The disease is now spreading to less tropical and more temperate countries, such as Nepal, which have not traditionally dealt with the disease.
  • WHO's Dengue Control Strategy (WHO's Dengue Control Strategy) aims to reduce dengue deaths by 50% by the year 2020.



  • Massive progress is being made in terms of HIV testing among people and providing antiretroviral treatment to approximately 22 million affected people and access to preventive measures such as pre-exposure prophylaxis. (Antiretroviral treatment is provided to prevent HIV infection when people are at risk for HIV).
  • Today around 37 million people are living with HIV all over the world.
  • Young girls and women in the age group of 15-24 years are becoming more affected by HIV which is a serious problem.
  • WHO is working with countries to support the introduction of self-testing so that more HIV-infected people can be diagnosed with their status and receive treatment (preventive measures).

WHO's Organizational Challenges

(WHOs' Organizational Challenges):

  • The WHO relies mainly on funds provided by rich countries and institutions such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, rather than secure funding from countries.
  • As a result, WHO's 80% currently finances programs that are chosen by the funders. Important WHO programs are underfunded because of conflicts of interest between the funding agencies and rich and developed countries in determining these programs.
  • As a result, the role of the WHO as a representative in the global health sector has been replaced by other intergovernmental bodies such as the World Bank and by larger establishments.
  • The organization's efficacy has been questioned after its inadequate performance in ending the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
  • Inadequate funding, lack of planning, staff and officials in WHO is also a major challenge.