What Does the World Health Organization Do?

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the most important international public health organization. It works to ensure the highest possible level of health for all people around the world through research, guidance, and advocacy. The organization’s core functions are focused on monitoring public health threats, setting standards for medical care and best practices in health management, and coordinating global responses to health concerns.

At the heart of WHO’s work are its six core areas: disease prevention and control, emergency preparedness and response, immunizations, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, and safe water and sanitation. These areas inform all of WHO’s initiatives—from providing essential medicines to safeguarding people in emergency situations—and they fall in line with the organization’s beliefs that all people should have access to quality healthcare regardless of where they live or their economic status.

Under this mission, WHO works with partners from over 150 countries to protect the lives of billions of people around the world by promoting universal access to healthcare services and advocating for policies that promote healthy lifestyles. Ultimately, WHO seeks to create an environment where everyone has access to quality healthcare without facing any type of discrimination or inequality.

Overview of whose Role in Global Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the leading global authority on public health. Its mission is to promote the highest attainable standards of health for all people around the world, without discrimination. WHO’s role includes:

  1. Providing technical support to countries in their health-related efforts, organizing and funding research, and supporting capacity-building activities in developing countries
  • Developing guidelines and standards for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment
  • Monitoring global health trends, such as outbreaks of infectious diseases, drug resistance, food-borne illnesses, and emerging risk factors like climate change
  • Shaping international policies on public health issues such as noncommunicable diseases, HIV/AIDS, nutrition and food security
  • Collaborating with partners to improve access to medicines and vaccines
  • In short, WHO works at every level—from local communities to global institutions—to ensure that people everywhere can lead healthier lives.

Whose Strategic Priorities

The World Health Organization (WHO) is committed to a set of strategic priorities that focus on the most pressing global health issues. These strategies are designed to target the root causes of health disparities, promote healthy lifestyles, and work to reduce worldwide mortality rates.

Disease Prevention & Control

WHO strategically works towards preventing and controlling infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDs, malaria and tuberculosis. This is accomplished in a number of ways, including global monitoring of disease outbreaks, providing technical advice to governments, vaccine development and research collaborations with other institutions.

Health Promotion & Protection

Another priority for WHO is health promotion and protection, which includes addressing factors that can lead to poor health such as environmental risks and consumption habits. WHO also works to ensure access to care by supporting the deployment of medical professionals in remote areas and the development of affordable medical treatments like generic drugs.

Capacity Building & Research

WHO also focuses on capacity building and research, which includes training medical professionals worldwide in best practices; developing national public health systems; conducting research into preventative healthcare measures; ensuring access to safe water through infrastructure investments; promoting nutrition education; establishing sustainable funding models for healthcare; and advocating for global healthcare initiatives around the world.

To summarize, WHO is committed to developing regional strategies that tackle global health issues from multiple angles – prevention and control of infectious diseases, promotion of healthy lifestyles, capacity building through training programs, research collaborations, infrastructural investments in safe water systems – all in order achieve greater global healthcare equity for all.

WHO Programs and Initiatives

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a leading voice for global health, and its activities focus on:

Assessing health trends. WHO does this by collecting and analyzing data from over 140 countries every year and by developing reports on global health topics.

Researching new treatments and medicines. WHO works with partners from the public, private and civil sectors to develop treatments, vaccines, and guidelines that can help prevent diseases worldwide.

Advocating for the health of all people everywhere. WHO works to increase public education about disease prevention, improve access to medical care, and prioritize primary healthcare in order to help communities stay healthy and live longer lives.

Supporting public health initiatives in underdeveloped countries. WHO provides funding to poorer nations in order to promote food security and access to better healthcare services in these areas, as well as provide resources for disease surveillance and emergency response efforts.

Furthermore, WHO also has a number of specialized initiatives dedicated to curbing major global health issues such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, obesity, child malnutrition, polio eradication campaigns, mental health awareness initiatives and more!

Funding Sources for the World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) is funded by many sources, so you may be wondering where the money comes from to keep them running. It’s a combination of donations and financial contributions from member countries.

Member Country Contributions

Member countries pay dues to the WHO, according to their respective economic situations—the more money the country has, the more they pay. This money makes up the largest portion of the organization’s budget—for example, in 2019, 79 percent of WHO’s funding came from these dues.

Donor Contributions

The remaining 21 percent of funding comes from charitable donations and philanthropic organizations. Governments, foundations, charities and individuals all contribute to the WHO’s mission in some way. This money allows them to have greater impact in areas such as global health emergencies and providing access to safe drinking water. It also helps increase its capacity to respond quickly to outbreaks as well as promote better management of scarce health resources.

The WHO works with a wide range of partners in both public and private sectors to support programs around health-related goals. By looking at both donations and member contributions, they are able to continue their amazing work around the world and make sure that everyone has access to quality health care.

Leadership and Governance at the WHO

When it comes to the World Health Organization, leadership and governance are key. This is why the WHO has a strict set of rules and regulations it has to follow—to ensure the health and safety of all citizens in every country.

The WHO is govern by a set of 193 member countries, known as the World Health Assembly (WHA). Each member country has one vote, and the WHA is responsible for making decisions on key health policies to improve global health.

Executive Board

The decision-making processes of the WHA are manage by the Executive Board, which consists of 34 members elected by the WHA every two years. These members come from a variety of backgrounds—ranging from professional health care workers to political leaders. The main role of this board is to develop and implement policy recommendations from the WHA in order to promote global public health initiatives.


The highest leadership position at the WHO is hold by a Director-General (DG). This individual is elect by an absolute majority of all member countries during a WHA session every five years. The DG serves as Chief Executive Officer for the entire organization, ensuring that all policies are implement correctly and efficiently. The current DG is Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from Ethiopia.

In addition to its leadership structure, the WHO also works closely with non-governmental organizations such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to promote global health initiatives and campaigns around issues such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

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