Know About World Health Organization and It's Contribution For International Public Health-
World Health Day is celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO).
In 1948, the World Health Organization held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate 7 April of each year, with effect from 1950, as the World Health Day. The World Health Day is celebrated to create “awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization (WHO)”. Activities – related to that particular theme and the resources provided – continue beyond 7 April, that is, the designated day for celebrating the World Health Day.
World Health Organization
منظمة الصحة العالمية
Organisation mondiale de la Santé
Всемирная организация здравоохранения
Organización Mundial de la Salud
Flag of the World Health Organization
|Org type||Specialized agency of the United Nations|
|Head||Dr. Margaret Chan|
|Established||April 7, 1948|
The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on April 7, 1948, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations.
Constitution and history-
The WHO's constitution states that its objective "is the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health." Its major task is to combat disease, especially key infectious diseases, and to promote the general health of the people of the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is one of the original agencies of the United Nations, its constitution formally coming into force on the first World Health Day, (April 7, 1948), when it was ratified by the 26th member state. Jawarharlal Nehru, a major freedom fighter of India had given an opinion to start WHO. Prior to this its operations, as well as the remaining activities of the League of Nations Health Organization, were under the control of an Interim Commission following an International Health Conference in the summer of 1946. The transfer was authorized by a Resolution of the General Assembly. The epidemiological service of the French Office International d'Hygiène Publique was incorporated into the Interim Commission of the World Health Organization on January 1, 1947.
Apart from coordinating international efforts to control outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as SARS, malaria, Tuberculosis, swine flu, and AIDS the WHO also sponsors programmes to prevent and treat such diseases. The WHO supports the development and distribution of safe and effective vaccines, pharmaceutical diagnostics, and drugs. After over two decades of fighting smallpox, the WHO declared in 1980 that the disease had been eradicated – the first disease in history to be eliminated by human effort.
The WHO aims to eradicate polio within the next few years. The organization has already endorsed the world's first official HIV/AIDS Toolkit for Zimbabwe (from 3 October 2006), making it an international standard.
In addition to its work in eradicating disease, the WHO also carries out various health-related campaigns — for example, to boost the consumption of fruits and vegetables worldwide and to discourage tobacco use. Experts met at the WHO headquarters in Geneva in February, 2007, and reported that their work on pandemic influenza vaccine development had achieved encouraging progress. More than 40 clinical trials have been completed or are ongoing. Most have focused on healthy adults. Some companies, after completing safety analysis in adults, have initiated clinical trials in the elderly and in children. All vaccines so far appear to be safe and well-tolerated in all age groups tested.
The WHO also promotes the development of capacities in Member States to use and produce research that addresses national needs, by bolstering national health research systems and promoting knowledge translation platforms such as the Evidence Informed Policy Network -EVIPNet. WHO and its regional offices are working to develop regional policies on research for health -the first one being the Regional Office for the Americas PAHO/AMRO that had its Policy on Research for Health approved in September 2009 by its 49th Directing Council Document CD 49.10.
WHO also conducts health research in communicable diseases, non-communicable conditions and injuries; for example, longitudinal studies on ageing to determine if the additional years we live are in good or poor health, and, whether the electromagnetic field surrounding cell phones has an impact on health. Some of this work can be controversial, as illustrated by the April, 2003, joint WHO/FAO report, which recommended that sugar should form no more than 10% of a healthy diet. This report led to lobbying by the sugar industry against the recommendation, to which the WHO/FAO responded by including in the report the statement "The Consultation recognized that a population goal for free sugars of less than 10% of total energy is controversial", but also stood by its recommendation based upon its own analysis of scientific studies.
The World Health Organization's suite of health studies is working to provide the needed health and well-being evidence through a variety of data collection platforms, including the World Health Survey covering 308,000 respondents aged 18+ years and 81,000 aged 50+ years from 70 countries and the Study on Global Aging and Adult Health (SAGE) covering over 50,000 persons aged 50+ across almost 23 countries. The World Mental Health Surveys, WHO Quality of Life Instrument, WHO Disability Assessment Scales provide guidance for data collection in other health and health-related areas. Collaborative efforts between WHO and other agencies, such as the Health Metrics Network and the International Household Surveys Network, serve the normative functions of setting high research standards.
World Health Organization: An agency of the United Nations established in 1948 to further international cooperation in improving health conditions. Although the World Health Organization inherited specific tasks relating to epidemic control, quarantine measures, and drug standardization from the Health Organization of the League of Nations (that was set up in 1923) and from the International Office of Public Health at Paris (established in 1909), the World Health Organization was given a broad mandate under its constitution to promote the attainment of "the highest possible level of health" by all people. WHO defines health positively as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
The World Health Organization is abbreviated and commonly referred to as WHO. (In French, another official language at the UN, it is OMS which stands for Organisation Mondiale de la Sante.)
WHO has administrative headquarters in Geneva. It operates through three principal organs: the World Health Assembly, which meets annually as the general policy-making body; an Executive Board of health specialists elected for three-year terms by the assembly; and a Secretariat, which has regional offices and field staff throughout the world. The organization is financed primarily from annual contributions made by member governments on the basis of relative ability to pay. In addition, after 1951, WHO was allocated substantial resources from the expanded technical-assistance program of the UN.
The first is that the advice given by the World Health Organization in 1990 on eating five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases does not bear up to close scrutiny as a new study of half a million people has found that getting your five a day has little effect on cancer risk.
The second item was mention that the UK government has struck a deal with pharma giant GlaxoSmithkline regarding the tens of millions of unused H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines. Once again, it was the World Health Organization that recommended everybody be innoculated against this disease to prevent the spread of potentially the worst viral pandemic ever. Well, H1N1 turned out not to be quite so lethal nor so virulent as the WHO suggested and might be added to the list of other medical emergencies that were controlled or otherwise fizzled out in recent years, SARS, BSE, avian influenza etc.
Medicine is a complex issue. Looking after the health of billions of people is no simple matter. But, given that artificial intelligence (but not towel-folding robots) may actually be hundreds of years off (a third item on Today), we might safely assume that we shall have yet more episodes that turn out to be crying wolf in the years to come. However, when Canis lupus really is baying for blood at our doors we will not doubt turn to the WHO experts for help once again.
Intermittent Preventive Therapy-
The aggressive support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for intermittent preventive therapy which included the commissioning a report from the Institute of Medicine triggered a memo from the former WHO malaria chief Dr. Akira Kochi. Dr. Kochi wrote, “although it was less and less straightforward that the health agency should recommend IPTi, the agency’s objections were met with intense and aggressive opposition from Gates-backed scientists and the foundation”.
Members of the WHO are 191 of the UN members, the Cook Islands and Niue.
Non-state territories of UN Member States may join as Associate Members (with full information but limited participation and voting rights) if approved by an Assembly vote: Puerto Rico and Tokelau are Associate Members.
The following states and entities was granted observer status: Palestine (a UN observer),and Chinese Taipei (an invited delegation).
Non-members of the WHO are Liechtenstein and the rest of states with limited recognition.
WHO Member States appoint delegations to the World Health Assembly, WHO's supreme decision-making body. All UN member states are eligible for WHO membership, and, according to the WHO web site, “Other countries may be admitted as members when their application has been approved by a simple majority vote of the World Health Assembly.”
The WHO Assembly generally meets in May each year. In addition to appointing the Director-General every five years, the Assembly considers the financial policies of the Organization and reviews and approves the proposed programme budget. The Assembly elects 34 members, technically qualified in the field of health, to the Executive Board for three-year terms. The main functions of the Board are to carry out the decisions and policies of the Assembly, to advise it and to facilitate its work in general.
The WHO is financed by contributions from member states and from donors. In recent years, the WHO's work has involved increasing collaboration with external bodies; there are currently around 80 partnerships with NGOs and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as with foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Voluntary contributions to the WHO from national and local governments, foundations and NGOs, other UN organizations, and the private sector, now exceed that of assessed contributions (dues) from the 193 member nations.PDF (30.1 KB)
Condoms and the Roman Catholic Church
In 2003, the WHO denounced the Roman Curia's health department, saying: "These incorrect statements about condoms and HIV are dangerous when we are facing a global pandemic which has already killed more than 20 million people, and currently affects at least 42 million."
Uncharacteristically for a UN Agency, the six Regional Offices of the WHO enjoy remarkable autonomy. Each Regional Office is headed by a Regional Director (RD), who is elected by the Regional Committee for a once-renewable five-year term. The name of the RD-elect is transmitted to the WHO Executive Board in Geneva, which proceeds to confirm the appointment. It is rare that an elected Regional Director is not confirmed.
Each Regional Committee of the WHO consists of all the Health Department heads, in all the governments of the countries that constitute the Region. Aside from electing the Regional Director, the Regional Committee is also in charge of setting the guidelines for the implementation, within the region, of the Health and other policies adopted by the World Health Assembly. The Regional Committee also serves as a progress review board for the actions of the WHO within the Region.
The Regional Director is effectively the head of the WHO for his or her Region. The RD manages and/or supervises a staff of health and other experts at the regional headquarters and in specialized centres. The RD is also the direct supervising authority—concomitantly with the WHO Director General—of all the heads of WHO country offices, known as WHO Representatives, within the Region.
The Regional Offices are:
- Regional Office for Africa (AFRO)I, with headquarters in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. AFRO includes most of Africa, with the exception of Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Libya, Somalia and Morocco, which belong to EMRO.
- Regional Office for Europe (EURO), with headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Regional Office for South East Asia (SEARO), with headquarters in New Delhi, India. North Korea is served by SEARO.
- Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO), with headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. EMRO includes the countries of Africa, and particularly in the Maghreb, that are not included in AFRO, as well as the countries of the Middle East, except for Israel. Pakistan is served by EMRO.
- Regional Office for Western Pacific (WPRO), with headquarters in Manila, Philippines. WPRO covers all the Asian countries not served by SEARO and EMRO, and all the countries in Oceania. South Korea is served by WPRO.
- Regional Office for the Americas (AMRO), with headquarters in Washington, D.C., USA. It is better known as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Since it predates the establishment of WHO, PAHO is by far the most autonomous of the 6 regional offices.
30 December 2010 -- 2010 was a year of public health challenges stemming from a series of natural disasters. But it was also a year when a long-term collaboration culminated an affordable meningitis vaccine to eliminate one of Africa's biggest health problems. The vaccine promises to provide long-term protection for children as young as one year and the potential to protect many of 450 million people are at risk from meningococcal A disease.
Viet Nam: preventing anaemia in women of reproductive age-
In a developing country such as Viet Nam, children and young women often suffer from iron and folate deficiency, resulting in anaemia and increased risk of death. In addition, the negative consequences of iron deficiency anaemia on the cognitive and physical development of children and on the work productivity of adults are of major concern for the Government.
A simple solution is to provide a regular supplement of iron and folic acid for women during child-bearing years. Evidence suggests that this is a desirable intervention in those parts of the world where women do not yet have access to fortified foods or to diets that are high in bioavailable iron.
In 1998, the World Health Organization's Western Pacific Regional Office initiated a weekly iron and folic acid supplementation (WIFS) project. The project was piloted in four Member States: Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Philippines and Viet Nam.
Viet Nam became the first country in the Region to implement this anaemia prevention programme in women of reproductive age, using WIFS, combined with twice-yearly deworming. This was piloted in Than Mienh province in the late 1990s. The same initiative was introduced in 2006 in the Yen Binh and Tran Yen districts of Yen Bai province, covering 50 000 women ranging from 15 to 45 years of age. In 2008, the project was expanded to cover the whole province for a total of 250 000 women. Options to further scale up the programme from the provincial to national level are under discussion.
Thanks to the programme, anaemia prevalence in Yen Bai was reduced from 37.5% to 18%, and hookworm infestation decreased from 78.2% to 12%, according to a November 2010 evaluation of the nearly 5-year-old project. The birth weight of infants increased by about 130 grams. WHO is now working to support Yen Bai to secure a sustainable supply of iron and folic acid and to find viable ways to expand the programme.
The Philippines: a push for breastfeeding-A National Demographic Health Survey conducted in 2003 highlighted the dangerously low breastfeeding rates in the Philippines. The results came just after UNICEF and WHO launched the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF). In response to the survey and the strategy, the Philippines launched a national policy on IYCF and a five-year national action plan to provide strategic direction for improving breastfeeding practices in the country.
Among the follow-up initiatives is the Essential Newborn Care (ENC) protocol under the slogan "The First Embrace", which encourages early skin-to-skin contact and non-separation of the newborn child from the mother in order to promote breastfeeding. The exclusive breastfeeding rate at 28 days of life in the pilot hospital was double the national average for all hospitals.
Supportive supervision for IYCF was stepped up in health centres, with regular visits by national and regional coordinators. Key IYCF indicators were included in the Integrated Child Survival Monitoring Tool.
Open Learning for Development is an effort to provide free learning with the ultimate goal of helping developing countries around the world. The Open Training Platform is a UNESCO-driven hub offering free training resources on a wide range of development topics, fostering cooperation to provide free and open content for development.
UNESCO has launched this platform on the internet to make available training and capacity-building programmes and resources. These are developed by a variety of stakeholders worldwide in a wide range of subjects, including literacy, computers, business, environment, community development and much more.
The Open Training Platform initiative regroups partners from all UN agencies (FAO, ILO/ITC, ITU, UNESCO, the UNITAR, UNV, WHO and UNEP), worldwide development practitioners and agencies, as well as regional and local NGOs and CBOs.
The Alliance for Healthy Cities (or AFHC) is the cooperative international alliance aiming city or autonomy district dwellers health care for their healthy and qualitative living. The group of cities and other organizations such as district in a country are participating to the alliance with exchanging information to achieve the goal through an approach called Healthy Cities.