WHO: It’s a specialized agency by the United Nations (UN), it functions mainly in the healthcare field internationally. It is dedicated only for one purpose and that is to help the attainment of best possible health throughout the World.

WHO works in collaboration with the Ministries of Health of its Member States to resolve health related issues. WHO is the one which leads the World in Global health related issues, sustaining the health research agenda, setting the standards and guidelines in the healthcare field, forms evidence based policies, provide support with technologies to the countries, it’s also monitors and evaluate current health trends in respective countries

Founded in:

7 April 1948; 73 years ago

Total members:

194 members, 150 country offices, 6 regional offices.


Geneva, Switzerland


Tedros Adhanom


Parent organization:

United Nations Economic and Social Council



Objectives of WHO:

  • To function as the main monitoring and coordinating authority for international health related issues.
  • WHO helps establish and sustain effective relations with the UN, other specialized agencies, and health related organizations by governments of member states, and other private organizations which support its objectives.
  • To give all the help needed to the governments of member nations after strengthening the health related services.
  • WHO promotes healthy relationships between the scientific and professional groups which contribute to the betterment in the health care department.

The Structure of WHO:

It consists of 3 departments: World Health Assembly, The secretariat, Members and Associate Members.

  1. World Health Assembly;
  • It consists of representatives of each member.
  • Each member should be represented by at most 3 delegates and one of those will be designated as chief delegate by the member.
  • The technical knowledge and capability to provide betterment of healthcare will be the qualifier aspect for the selection of the delegates or representatives, those who are part of National healthcare Admiration of the Member County will be preferred over others.
  • The World Health Assembly of WHO will conduct a meeting every year one time generally, but in special cases it can be done as many times as required.

     Functions of World Health Assembly:

  • The policies of WHO are determined by the World Health Assembly only.
  • The budget and all monetary issues are supervised by the assembly in WHO.
  • The World Health Assembly is the one who reports to the Economic and Social Council of the UN, when it comes to any mutual agreement between the UN and WHO.
  1. The Secretariat:
  • It consists of the Director General and other technical and administrative staff needed by WHO.
  • The Director General is appointed by the World Health Assembly.
  1. Members and Associate Members
  2. Members of the UN can become the members of WHO easily.
  3. Territories or groups of territories which are not responsible for their own behavior in international relationships with other nations can become associate members, and these are selected by the World Health Assembly.

Contribution of WHO In the world:

The governments of member countries can contact WHO in their country offices.

  • They provide technical support in health issues to the country, they also share appropriate international standards and guidelines, and convey requests and needs of the country to the other levels of WHO.
  • They provide education and awareness on social health to other UN agencies in the country.
  • WHO works with a lot of different agencies and organizations, like NGOs, Private sector, donors etc. other than governments.

The whole World is privileged to have WHO as its programs help all countries, developed and developing both, tremendously in resolving various health issues.

E.g. WHO programs to eliminate Smallpox and to control tuberculosis are tremendous.

WHO does all it takes to provide immunization to children against the most common early age transmuted illnesses like —diphtheria, measles, poliomyelitis, tetanus, tuberculosis, and whooping cough. It does all what is needed for the well-being of children in cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

In the beginning of WHO from 1948 to 1958, it worked tremendously in eradicating the various infectious diseases like malaria, yaws, tuberculosis, and venereal diseases, in developing countries which were affecting lives of millions of people and causing life loss on a huge scale.

In the next decade from 1958-68 worked in making Africa free from several colonies and establishing good healthcare facilities over there.

In the time during 1968-78 WHO gained huge success in totally removing smallpox from the world.

And still WHO is doing a lot for establishing health and well-being throughout the World. “Health for All ” is the slogan WHO is following from the start.

Concerns of WHO:

  • Air pollution and drastically changing climate worldwide:

90% of the people breathe toxic air which infects their lungs. Many of the people die prematurely because of the illness caused by air pollution.

  • Non communicable diseases:

Disease like diabetes, cancer, heart disease comes under this category and now 70% of the people die from it which is a huge concern. WHO tries  to promote all the necessary information to prevent or control these diseases like healthy eating habits, regular exercising, reducing the amount of alcohol intake etc. Awareness about mental health is also neccessary as the suicide rates are so high, especially among teenagers.

  • Global pandemics:

WHO monitors all kinds of influenza viruses and other viruses (like covid-19) throughout the world and tries to provide all the majors to prevent them from spreading more.

  • Awareness about the importance of vaccination:

WHO tries to make people aware that the whole world gets the necessary vaccination against the prevention of viruses, e.g. covid vaccine and other vaccines too like one again measles. WHO also does its best to make these vaccines available to all.

  • HIV: Around 37 million people are currently dealing with this virus. WHO promotes all kinds of help necessary for these people and also does its best so that people follow healthy sexual habits and use protections to avoid spread this illness.

FAQs about WHO:

Q1. What is health according to the definition of WHO?

A1. WHO defines health as overall well-being of the individual. He/she must be physically, mentally and socially sound and able to function well in all 3 of these. Health is not just absence of a virus or bacteria.

Q2. Is WHO an Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)?

A2. No, it’s an Intergovernmental Organization, A specialized agency dedicated to healthcare, and it belongs to the UN.

You Can Read Also: