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:
Promoting health through the life-course
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.