World Health Organisation

Type of Structure: organisation / agency
Regional Scope: global
Parent Organisations: UN
Child Organisations:
No more in operation: IAASTD
Duration : 1948 to present
Contact Address: no office contact defined

General information and objectives

The Constitution of World Health Organization was adopted on 22 July 1946 by the
International Health Conference, which was convened by the Economic and Social
Council and held in New York. WHO came into being on 7 April 1948, when the 26th
United Nations member ratified its Constitution.

The World Health Assembly is the policy-making body of WHO and meets in annual
session. The Executive Board, which meets twice a year, acts as the executive organ of
the Assembly. Six regional organizations have been established as integral parts of the
Organization, each consisting of a regional committee and a regional office. Regional
committees meet in annual sessions. The Secretariat consists of a Director-General, six
Regional Directors, and such technical and administrative staff as is required.

The objective of WHO is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of
health. Health, as defined in the WHO Constitution, is a state of complete physical,
mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. In
support of its main objective, the Organization has a wide range of functions, including
the following:

To act as the directing and co-ordinating authority on international health work;

To promote technical co-operation;

To assist Governments, upon request, in strengthening health services;

To furnish appropriate technical assistance and, in emergencies, necessary aid, upon the
request or acceptance of Governments;

To stimulate and advance work on the prevention and control of epidemic, endemic and
other diseases;

To promote, in co-operation with other specialized agencies where necessary, the
improvement of nutrition, housing, sanitation, recreation, economic or working
conditions and other aspects of environmental hygiene;

To promote and co-ordinate biomedical and health services research;

To promote improved standards of teaching and training in the health, medical and related

To establish and stimulate the establishment of international standards for biological,
pharmaceutical and similar products, and to standardize diagnostic procedures;

To foster activities in the field of mental health, especially those activities affecting the
harmony of human relations.

WHO also proposes conventions, agreements, regulations and makes recommendations
about international nomenclature of diseases, causes of death and public health practices.
It develops, establishes and promotes international standards concerning foods and
biological, pharmaceutical and similar substances.

For further details, link to the WHO Home Page

Last update: 5/6/22
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2023)

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