World Health Organization (WHO) | IAS Target IAS Target

World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. The constitution of the WHO has been signed by 61 countries (all 51 member countries and 10 others) on 22 July 1946. Since its establishment, it has played a leading role in abolishing smallpox.

Its current priorities include:

  • Communicable diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and Ebola,
  • The mitigation of the effects of non-communicable diseases such as sexual and reproductive health, development, and aging;
  • Nutrition, food security and healthy eating;
  • Occupational health;
  • Driving the development of reporting, publications, and networking.

WHO responsible for the:

  • Worldwide World Health Survey,
  • World Health Day.

Established 7 April 1948
Membership 194 members states
Headquartered Geneva, Switzerland
Parent organization United Nations Economic and Social Council

WHO's role

  • Providing leadership on matters serious to health and engaging in partnerships where joint action is required;
  • Articulating ethical and evidence-based policy options;
  • Setting norms and standards and promoting and monitoring their implementation;
  • Providing technical assistance, catalysing change, and building sustainable institutional capacity;
  • Monitoring the health situation and assessing health trends,
  • Shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation, and spreading of valuable knowledge;
  • CRVS (Civil Registration and Vital Statistics) to provide monitoring of vital events (birth, death, wedding, divorce).

Focus area of WHO

  • Communicable disease
  • Environmental health
  • Non-communicable disease
  • Data handling and publications
  • Emergency work
  • Life course and life style
  • Surgery and trauma care
  • Health policy
  • Public health education and action