WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
20 Avenue Appia Telephone: (22)791-2111 CH-1211 Geneva 27 Facsimile: (22)791-0746/3111 Switzerland E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.who.int Director General: ... Dr. Gro Harlem BRUNDTLAND
WHO Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) [Temporary Address] Parirenyatwa Hospital Telephone: (4)70-3580 P.O. Box BE 773 Facsimile: (4)79-0146/1214 Zimbabwe E-Mail: email@example.com WHO Regional Office for Europe (EURO) 8 Scherfigsvej Telephone: 3917-1717 DK-2100 Copenhagen Facsimile: 3917-1818 Denmark Telex: 15348 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) WHO Post Office Telephone: (2)670-2535 Abdul Razzak Al Sanhouri Street Facsimile: (2)670-2492/2494 Nasr City, Cairo 11371 E-Mail: email@example.com Egypt WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO) World Health House Telephone: (11)331-7804 Indraprastha Estate Facsimile: (11)332-7972 Mahatma Ghandi Road Telex: 3165095 New Delhi 110 002 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org India WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WPRO) P.O. Box 2932 Telephone: (2)528-8001 1099 Manila Facsimile: (2)521-1036 Philippines Telex: 27652 E-Mail: email@example.com WHO Regional Office for the Americas (AMRO) 525 - 23rd Street, NW Telephone: (202)974-3000 Washington, DC 20037 Facsimile: (202)974-3663 USA Telex: 248338 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.paho.org
ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTIONS
The Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) was adopted on July 22, 1946 by the International Health Conference, which was convened by the Economic and Social Council and held in New York. WHO came into being on April 7, 1948, when the 26th United Nations member ratified its Constitution.
The objective of WHO is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Health, as defined in the WHO Constitution, is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. In support of its main objective, the Organization has a wide range of functions, including the following: (1) To act as the directing and co-ordinating authority on international health work; (2) To promote technical collaboration; (3) To assist Governments, upon request, in strengthening health services; (4) To furnish appropriate technical assistance and, in emergencies, necessary aid, upon the request or acceptance of Governments; (5) To stimulate and advance work on the prevention and control of epidemic, endemic and other diseases; (6) To promote, in co-operation with other specialized agencies where necessary, the improvement of nutrition, housing, sanitation, recreation, economic or working conditions and other aspects of environmental hygiene; (7) To promote and co-ordinate biomedical and health services research; (8) To promote improved standards of teaching and training in the health, medical and related professions; (9) To establish and stimulate the establishment of international standards for food, biological, pharmaceutical and similar products, and to standardize diagnostic procedures; and (10) To foster activities in the field of mental health, especially those activities affecting the harmony of human relations.
WHO also proposes conventions, agreements, regulations and makes recommendations about international nomenclature of diseases, causes of death and public health practices.
On taking up her position as Director-General in July 1998, Dr. Brundtland refocused the work of WHO and developed a new corporate strategy, setting out four strategic directions for WHO's contribution to efforts to advance health at global and country levels:
The Assembly adopted a zero-growth regular budget for 2002-2003. The total regular budget remains the same as in previous biennium at US$842.6 million. WHO expects extra-budgetary resources in the biennium 2002-2003 to grow by 25% compared to the current biennium.
191 members: Islamic State of Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro (suspended), Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Republic of Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
2 associate members: Puerto Rico, Tokelau
The main bodies of the WHO are: The World Health Assembly, the Executive Board and the Secretariat.
The Assembly usually meets in Geneva, but five meetings have been held in other countries. The Assembly's main tasks are to approve the WHO program and the budget for the following biennium and to decide major policy questions.
The Executive Board is composed of 32 individuals technically qualified in the field of health, each one designated by a Member State elected to do so by the World Health Assembly. Member States are elected for three-year terms. The Board meets at least twice a year; the main meeting is normally in January, with a second shorter meeting in May, immediately after the Health Assembly. The main functions of the Executive Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.
Current members of the Executive Board are Brazil, China, Columbia, Cuba, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Democratic People's Rebublic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lithuania, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.
The WHO has six regional organizations and offices lcoated in Alexandria, Brazzaville, Copenhagen, Manila, New Delhi and Washington, DC. Each office is headed by a regional director and there is a regional board.
The Secretariat is staffed by some over 3,500 health and other experts and support staff working at headquarters in Geneva, in the six regional offices and other countries.
The Secretariat is headed by the Director-General, who is nominated by the Executive Board and appointed by the World Health Assembly for a period of five years. Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland took office as Director-General on July 21, 1998.
UPDATED: March 25, 2003