World Health Organization (WHO)

About WHO: World Health Organization (WHO), is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) established in 1948.  WHO is the first global health organization established in 1948, replacing many regional and national health bodies. Its primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations system

Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland. 

Member Countries: All Member countries of the United Nations may become members of WHO by accepting its Constitution. Other countries may be admitted as members when their application has been approved by a simple majority vote of the World Health Assembly. 194 Members of WHO are grouped according to 6 regions. 

  • It has the authority of directing and coordinating matters related to international health.
  • World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of WHO, attended by delegations from all member states.
  • The Executive Board of WHO implements the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly.
  • The US is currently the biggest financial contributor to the WHO, and has been its active member for many decades. 

Aim: It aims to enhance international cooperation for improved public health conditions.  Each year WHO celebrates its date of establishment, April 7, 1948, as World Health Day. 

Functions: Its specific tasks include epidemic control, quarantine measures, and drug standardization.   WHO promotes the attainment of “the highest possible level of health” by all people. 

Definition of Health by WHO: WHO defines health positively as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  

World Health Assembly: The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.  

Reports Published:  

  • World Health Report
  • Global Nutrition Report 
  • World Vision Report 
  • Ambient Air Pollution Report 
  • World Report on Hearing 
Print Friendly and PDF