With the coronavirus spreading across the world massively, the World Health Organization has been in news, giving guidelines for effective ways of mitigating the detrimental effects of the virus.
Here is all you need to know about the World Health Organization, the specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
What is the World Health Organization (WHO)?
The WHO is the directing and coordinating specialized agency of the United Nations on international health.
What is the objective of the WHO?
The main objective of the WHO is the attainment of the highest level of health by all people in the world and its commitment is to achieve better health for everyone across the world.
The main areas of work are health systems; health through the life-course; noncommunicable and communicable diseases; preparedness, and surveillance and response.
Among other things, the WHO works to prepare for emergencies by identifying, mitigating and managing risks, eliminate and eradicate high-impact communicable diseases, focus on primary health care to improve access to quality essential services, and improve access to essential medicines and health products.
When was the WHO formed?
The WHO was formed on 7th April 1948. This date is now celebrated across the world as World Health Day.
Where is it headquartered?
The WHO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It also has six regional offices on the whole – in Africa, the Americas, South-East Asia, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, and the Western Pacific. It works with 194 member states from more than 150 offices across the world.
What initiatives has it undertaken?
The WHO has played a pivotal role in a wide range of public health achievements across the world. For instance, it has achieved considerable success with the eradication of small pox. This was the first disease in history to be eliminated by human effort. Further, it has also played a critical role in the near-eradication of polio, reducing subtantially the death caused by measles, and in the development of a vaccine for the Ebola virus.
Who heads the WHO?
The WHO is headed by the Director-General whose term lasts for 5 years.
The current Director-General is Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from Ethiopia, who was appointed on 1 July 2017.
Read more about the WHO’s directive on coronavirus here.
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