A Quick Guide to the World Health Organisation
What is the World health organisation? The World Health Organisation is a specialized agency of the United Nations whose mission is to promote public health worldwide. Its constitution states its objective as the attainment of the best health possible for all people. Its mission statement is based on the belief that the health of people everywhere depends on their own health. This belief has been incorporated into many of the organisation’s policies. This article will discuss some of the major issues affecting the world health.
The organisation is not immune to criticism. In fact, it has been called into question by some countries, including the US. In the past, WHO has responded to pandemics and epidemics. For example, in 2003, the WHO responded quickly to an outbreak of SARS in China, which led to over 8,000 infections and 700 deaths. The disease was first detected in the country in November 2002, and the WHO issued an advisory on March 2003. While initially criticised for trying to hide the disease, the PRC government changed its policy and cooperated with WHO. The WHO advisory effectively acted as a travel ban.
The organization’s responsibilities during a pandemic include surveillance, monitoring, and evaluating, as well as developing guidelines for its member states. The constitution also lays down its powers, with its powers mainly resting with “assistance to governments” when requested and “technical assistance” on demand. These provisions impose political constraints on WHO’s autonomy. This article is a quick primer on the structure of the World Health Organisation.
Although WHO has a mixed record, it has achieved some impressive feats, such as eradicating smallpox, although it was delayed in responding to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which may have cost thousands of lives. Such failures are not the result of a lack of commitment on the part of WHO staff, but highlight long-standing problems. In addition to being underfunded, the organisation is complex and highly dependent on member state cooperation to operate effectively.
The WHO’s Contingency Fund for Emergencies is an important source of funding. With this money, the World Health Organisation (WHO) can respond quickly to natural disasters, such as the recent tsunami in Nepal. A recent example of the World Health Organisation’s response is the cholera campaign, which was launched in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The funds went to treating people with the disease, educating the public about hand hygiene and tracing contacts.
Although the implementation section of guidelines is more focused and more consistent in recent versions, implementation guidance has not been systematically integrated. Before 2012, the implementation section was scattered throughout the document. Today, the implementation section is usually a brief, repetitive summary of the WHO guidelines. Moreover, it rarely recommends techniques with evidence of effectiveness. A more comprehensive implementation section would be more useful. It is advisable to consult with relevant stakeholders when developing new guidelines.