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World Health Organization

Q. What is World Health Organization?
Ans. The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of UN that is concerned with international public health. Its constitution had been signed by 61 countries on 22 July 1946. It became the first specialised agency of the United Nations to which every member subscribed.  It was established on 7th April 1948, with headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. The Health Organization, an agency of the League of Nations is the Its predecessor of WHO.

Q. How WHO helps reducing global mortality?
Ans. In addition to the various types of diseases, hygiene, etc, the other areas covered are,  physical development, aging, nutrition, food security, healthy eating, occupational health, etc. Eradication of diseases like chickenpox, Polio, etc are some of the unique achievements. Between 1990 and 2010, WHO’s help has contributed to a 40% decline in the number of deaths from tuberculosis, and since 2005, over 46 million people have been treated and an estimated 7 million lives saved through practices advocated by WHO. The WHO is responsible for World Health Survey. The World Health Report, a leading international publication on health, is run by WHO.

Q. How many members are in WHO? Who contributes?
Ans. WHO has 194 member states: The WHO is financed by contributions from member states and outside donors. As of 2020, the biggest contributor is the United States. Bill Gates Foundation, UK, GAVI Alliance, Germany & Japan are next in line.

Q. What are the various areas where WHO worked in recent years.
Ans. WHO cautions the world of health related issues from time to time and acts accordingly.

In May 2014, WHO announced that the spread of polio was a world health emergency. The outbreaks of the disease in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East were considered “extraordinary”

In August 2014, WHO declared that the spread of Ebola was a public health emergency; an outbreak which was believed to have started in Guinea had spread to other nearby countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone. The situation in West Africa was considered very serious.

2018: WHO’s first global conference on air pollution and health was organized in collaboration with UN Environment, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In January 2020, the WHO declared the COVID 19 pandemic was a public health emergency of International concern.

Q. What functions are carried out to fulfill the objectives of WHO?
Ans. In order to fulfill the objectives, WHO functions in the following ways:

  1. Direct and co-ordinate authority on international health work.
  2. Maintain collaboration with the UN’s special agencies, government health bodies, etc.
  3. Assist governments upon request and strengthen the health services.
  4. Provide technical assistance and assist in emergencies.
  5. Assist upon the request of the UN health services and provide facilities to special groups.
  6. Maintain technical services including epidemiological and statistical services.
  7. Eradicate epidemic, endemic and other diseases.
  8. Prevent accidental injuries with help of specialized agencies.
  9. Improve nutrition, housing, sanitation, recreation, economic or working conditions with help of other specialized agencies.
  10. Promote co-operation among scientific and professional groups, which contribute to the advancement of health.
  11. Make recommendations with respect to international health.

Q. What is the role of WHO in respect of Public Health?
Ans. WHO plays important role in respect of public health by:

  1. providing leadership on matters critical to health and engaging in partnerships;
  2. shaping the research agenda and stimulating and dissemination of valuable knowledge;
  3. setting norms and standards and promoting and monitoring their implementation;
  4. providing tech support, catalyzing change, and building institutional capacity;
  5. monitoring the health situation and assessing health trends.

Q. What are the different fields of work?
Ans. Some of the fields of work are as follows:

  1. Communicable diseases: Of the identified 13 areas thrust is to combat HIV/AIDS malaria and TB.
  2. Non-communicable diseases: Another of the thirteen WHO priority areas is aimed at the prevention and reduction of such diseases.
  3. Life course and life style: WHO works to reduce morbidity and mortality and improve health during key stages of life.
  4. Surgery and trauma care: WHO promotes road safety, works on global initiatives in surgery, including trauma care.
  5. Emergency work: WHO coordinates with Member States and others to “reduce avoidable loss of life in natural and man-made emergencies.
  6. Health policy: Addresses underlying social and economic determinants of health through policies and programs & promotes a healthier environment, addressing root causes.
  7. Partnerships: With the World Bank constitute the core team administers the International Health Partnership (IHP+) to improve the health of citizens in developing countries.

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