The World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized agency of the United Nations was established around1946-1948, with its headquarters at Geneva, with the aim of building a post-war system of international cooperation…
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The WHO was created through a historical process that began in the nineteenth century and developed through the twentieth century by the establishment of a number of international sanitary bodies. The World Health Organization was conceived to function as the central international organization in the domain of international health cooperation. Its extensive functions and powers ensured guidance in health care and related areas as well as coordination of international health work at the global level (Burci & Vignes 2004).
Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to make a profile of the World Health Organization, outline how the organization works, and describe its impact globally.
The World Health Organization
The World Health Organization admits all sovereign states, including those not belonging to the United Nations, to full membership; it also admits associate membership to territories that are not self-governing. There are 193 member nations. The WHO is governed by the World Health Assembly consisting of representatives of all the member nations, who meet at least once a year; an executive board elected by the World Health Assembly; and a secretariat headed by a director-general. There are regional organizations in Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, south-east Asia, Europe,
the west Pacific, and the Americas (The Columbia Encyclopedia 2009). ...
The Secretariat is the administrative and technical organ of the WHO, responsible for implementing the organization’s activities. It consists of the headquarters in Geneva, six regional offices, and nearly one hundred and fifty country and liaison offices in selected member states. The World Health Organization is based on the concept that diseases are prevalent world-wide, they do not keep within boundaries, and as stated in the preamble to the WHO Constitution, the promotion and protection of health is essential for all. At several levels including the normative, the technical and in policy-making, the WHO has used its authority and implemented programs to achieve its constitutional objectives in various different and sometimes innovative ways. It has become a vital agency in the effort of the international community to control diseases and to promote good physical and mental health (Burci & Vignes 2004). The basic institutional structure and functions of the WHO is the result of its creators to facilitate greater and more concerted international health cooperation by forging a new organization along with pre-existing health bodies and their political constituencies. For this purpose, well-defined leadership and unrivalled technical expertise were called for. This resulted in a three-tiered organization which enabled the WHO to integrate centralized policy leadership with decentralized operational capacity. In practice,however, the “appropriate distribution of staff, financial resources, and perhaps most importantly decision making power across the headquarters regional and country levels has remained an ongoing source of tension” (Lee 2008: 25) The Functioning and Operations of the
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