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World Health Organization (WHO)

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World Health Organization (WHO)
Address: 
20 Avenue Appia
Geneva 27 1211
Switzerland

WHAT WE DO

Our goal is to build a better, healthier future for people all over the world. Working through offices in more than 150 countries, WHO staff work side by side with governments and other partners to ensure the highest attainable level of health for all people.

Together we strive to combat diseases – infectious diseases like influenza and HIV and noncommunicable ones like cancer and heart disease. We help mothers and children survive and thrive so they can look forward to a healthy old age. We ensure the safety of the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink – and the medicines and vaccines they need.

Our primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations’ system. The main areas of our work are: 

Health systems
Promoting health through the life-course
Noncommunicable diseases
Communicable diseases
Corporate services
Preparedness, surveillance and response.

WHO identifies, together with its Member States, the global leadership priorities that guide its work. Learn more about the current global leadership priorities of WHO here.

 

WHO WE ARE

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations’ system.  WHO was set up when its Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948 – a date we now celebrate every year as World Health Day.

 

WHERE WE WORK

We support our 194 Member States as they coordinate the efforts of multiple sectors of the government and partners – including bi- and multilateral, funds and foundations, civil society organizations and private sector – to attain their health objectives and support their national health policies and strategies. We are now more than 7000 people and these dedicated professional are working at the Headquarters office in Geneva, 6 Regional and 150 Country offices.

 

HOW WE ARE GOVERNED

Governance takes place through the World Health Assembly, which is the supreme decision-making body; and the Executive Board, which gives effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly. The Organization is headed by the Director-General, who is appointed by the Health Assembly on the nomination of the Executive Board.

Dr Margaret Chan is the Director-General of WHO, appointed by the World Health Assembly on 9 November 2006. The Assembly appointed Dr Chan for a second five-year term at its sixty-fifth session in May 2012. Dr Chan's new term began on 1 July 2012 and will continue until 30 June 2017.

 

Databases: 

Fact Sheet - Mercury and health

03. good health and well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

06. clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

07. affordable and clean energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all

09. industry, innovation and infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

11. sustainable cities and communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

12. sustainable consumption and production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Inheriting a sustainable world: Atlas on children’s health and the environment

Updated, comprehensive report on challenges to children's environmental health worldwise

03. good health and well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

06. clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

07. affordable and clean energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all

08. decent work and economic growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

09. industry, innovation and infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

11. sustainable cities and communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

12. sustainable consumption and production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

13. climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

17. partnerships for the goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Protecting Children from unhealthy environments

More than 1 in 4 deaths of children under 5 years are attributable to unhealthy environment

03. good health and well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

06. clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

07. affordable and clean energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all

09. industry, innovation and infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

11. sustainable cities and communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

12. sustainable consumption and production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

17. partnerships for the goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The cost of a polluted environment: 1.7 million child deaths a year

More than 1 in 4 deaths of children under 5 years of age are attributable to unhealthy environments.

03. good health and well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

06. clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

07. affordable and clean energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all

09. industry, innovation and infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

11. sustainable cities and communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

12. sustainable consumption and production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

17. partnerships for the goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Nine countries commit to halve maternal and newborn deaths in health facilities

New WHO and UNICEF-supported network to improve care for mothers and babies

03. good health and well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

04. quality education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

05. gender equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

17. partnerships for the goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Health System in Yemen

Explaining the Health and Humanitarian Situation in Yemen

03. good health and well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

06. clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

07. affordable and clean energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all

16. peace and justice

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

17. partnerships for the goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

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