The WHO stands for the World Health Organization. It is the organism of the United Nations Organization (UN), specialized in the prevention and control of health worldwide.

For WHO, “health is the degree to which a person can carry out their aspirations, meet their needs and relate appropriately to their environment.”

WHO was founded in 1948, based in Geneva, at the initiative of the Economic and Social Council that met for the first time on the date indicated. WHO is made up of 193 Member States, including those belonging to the UN, except Liechtenstein, and 2 non-UN territories: Niue and the Cook Islands.

WHO was created after the end of the 19th century war. However, the World Health Organization has an emblem chosen by the first World Health Assembly in the same year it was founded, and consists of the United Nations symbol loaded with a wand with a coiled snake.

WHO was created with the objective of being an international public health agency that is responsible for developing the level of health of all the inhabitants worldwide, that is, to improve the complete state of the individual, both physical and mental and Social.

WHO is funded by contributions from member states and the collaboration of external entities, as well as other non-governmental organizations and pharmaceutical industries. In consideration of this point, Spain stands out for the collaboration of donation and organ transplants worldwide.

WHO was distinguished by the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.

WHO structure

The World Health Organization is formed by:

  • The World Health Assembly, composed of the representatives of all the Member States that are responsible for directing the organization’s policy.
  • The Executive Council, composed of representatives of 24 member states elected by the Assembly and the Secretariat. The Executive Council is made up of a general director, assisted by technical and administrative personnel.
  • On the other hand, the Geneva-based WHO has six regional offices: EMRO (Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean), AFRO (Regional Office for Africa), WPRO (Regional Office for the Western Pacific), the EURO ( Regional Office for Europe), SEARO (Regional Office for Southeast Asia), and the Pan American Health Organization (Regional Office for the Americas).

WHO role

WHO performs the following functions:

  • It is responsible for the International Classification of Diseases, and to update the list of essential medicines that the health systems of all countries should have at affordable prices for the general population.
  • It is responsible for taking measures to stop an epidemic and implement sanitary measures on international travel, such as vaccination.
  • Provide assistance to undeveloped countries, such as vaccination days, waste disposal, drinking water supply, eradication of some diseases.
  • Develop a state program to fight AIDS, such as access to treatments, research, medications, surveillance of disease development, etc.
  • The fight against tuberculosis, malaria, reduction of infant mortality, and improvement of maternal health.

WHO and PAHO

PAHO stands for the “Pan American Health Organization”, it is an international organization dedicated to public health, with the purpose of achieving the well-being and improvement of the population’s health, and of the living conditions in the peoples of America.

PAHO’s mission is to cooperate with Member Countries to achieve a healthy environment worldwide and move towards sustainable human development.