40 Facts About WHO


The WHO incorporated the assets, personnel, and duties of the League of Nations' Health Organization and the, including the International Classification of Diseases .

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WHO's mandate seeks and includes: working worldwide to promote health, keeping the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.

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The WHO serves as a forum for discussions of health issues.

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WHO has played a leading role in several public health achievements, most notably the eradication of smallpox, the near-eradication of polio, and the development of an Ebola vaccine.

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WHO relies on contributions from member states and private donors for funding.

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Nature of this statement has led some groups and activists including Women in Europe for a Common Future to claim that the WHO is restricted in its ability to investigate the effects on human health of radiation caused by the use of nuclear power and the continuing effects of nuclear disasters in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

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Independent WHO held a weekly vigil from 2007 to 2017 in front of WHO headquarters.

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The initial problem the WHO team faced was inadequate reporting of smallpox cases.

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WHO established a network of consultants who assisted countries in setting up surveillance and containment activities.

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The WHO helped contain the last European outbreak in Yugoslavia in 1972.

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WHO, did accept that more had to be done to assist maternal health and that progress in this area had been slow.

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In 1988, WHO launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to eradicate polio.

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In 2007, the WHO organized work on pandemic influenza vaccine development through clinical trials in collaboration with many experts and health officials.

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WHO is mandated under two of the international drug control conventions to carry out scientific assessments of substances for international drug control.

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On 5 May 2014, WHO announced that the spread of polio was a world health emergency – outbreaks of the disease in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East were considered "extraordinary".

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On 8 August 2014, WHO declared that the spread of Ebola was a public health emergency; an outbreak which was believed to have started in Guinea had spread to other nearby countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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WHO created an Incident Management Support Team on 1 January 2020, one day after Chinese health authorities notified the organization of a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown etiology.

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On 14 January 2020, the WHO announced that preliminary investigations conducted by Chinese authorities had found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus identified in Wuhan.

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WHO faced criticism from the United States' Trump administration while "guid[ing] the world in how to tackle the deadly" COVID-19 pandemic.

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WHO called the announcement "regrettable" and defended its actions in alerting the world to the emergence of COVID-19.

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In terms of health services, WHO looks to improve "governance, financing, staffing and management" and the availability and quality of evidence and research to guide policy.

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WHO – working with donor agencies and national governments – can improve their reporting about use of research evidence.

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On Digital Health topics, WHO has existing Inter-Agency collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union, including the Be Health, Be Mobile initiate and the ITU-WHO Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Health.

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WHO aims to improve access to health research and literature in developing countries such as through the HINARI network.

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WHO created the Civil Society Reference Group on HIV, which brings together other networks that are involved in policymaking and the dissemination of guidelines.

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In 2014, WHO released the Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life in a joint publication with the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance, an affiliated NGO working collaboratively with the WHO to promote palliative care in national and international health policy.

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WHO has published various tools for measuring and monitoring the capacity of national health systems and health workforces.

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WHO promotes the development of capacities in member states to use and produce research that addresses their national needs, including through the Evidence-Informed Policy Network .

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WHO has a Framework Convention on Tobacco implementation database which is one of the few mechanisms to help enforce compliance with the FCTC.

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WHO has been moving toward acceptance and integration of traditional medicine and traditional Chinese medicine .

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In May 2009, the Department of Health of the Republic of China was invited by the WHO to attend the 62nd World Health Assembly as an observer under the name "Chinese Taipei".

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In May 2018, the WHO denied access to its annual assembly by Taiwanese media, reportedly due to demands from the PRC.

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Pressure to allow the ROC to participate in WHO increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with Taiwan's exclusion from emergency meetings concerning the outbreak bringing a rare united front from Taiwan's diverse political parties.

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In January 2020 the European Union, a WHO observer, backed Taiwan's participation in WHO meetings related to the coronavirus pandemic as well as their general participation.

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WHO responded by indicating that they had already discussed China and formally ended the interview.

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The New Zealand Government subsequently supporting Taiwan's bid to join the WHO, putting NZ alongside Australia and the United States who have taken similar positions.

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WHO operates "Goodwill Ambassadors"; members of the arts, sports, or other fields of public life aimed at drawing attention to the WHO's initiatives and projects.

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In Europe, WHO Representatives serve as head of the country office, and are nationals except for Serbia; there are heads of the country office in Albania, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.

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WHO is financed by contributions from member states and outside donors.

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At the beginning of the 21st century, the WHO's work involved increasing collaboration with external bodies.

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