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Topic – The World Health Organization

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The World Health Organization

WHO: World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) is part of the United Nations (UN). The UN is an international organization with the goals of promoting world peace, resolving conflicts between countries, and improving the lives of people around the world. Nearly all countries in the world are members of the UN.

Being in good health is an important part of having a good life. Children need to be healthy so they can go to school to learn, and adults need to be healthy to work and support their families.

By focusing on health issues, the WHO helps the UN achieve its goal of improving the lives of people around the world. Over 7000 people work for the WHO at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and in WHO offices in over 150 countries.

The WHO works in several different ways to keep people healthy and help people who are sick.

Setting Standards

A standard can be a benchmark people use to measure something. For example, to measure whether a new medicine should be approved for use, it has to meet two main standards—scientific studies must show that the medicine is effective in treating a health problem, and studies must also show that the medicine is safe for people to use. The WHO has set standards for such things as approving medicines and deciding whether water is clean enough to drink.

Because the WHO is an international organization, it can bring together the best health experts from around the world to help it set standards. The WHO also uses these experts to develop advice for health professionals on how to prevent and treat various health problems.

Delivering Health Care

People working for the WHO often work with health professionals in a country to deliver health care to citizens. For example, WHO staff have worked to help vaccinate people to protect them from diseases that can be deadly.

Identifying and Responding to Health Trends

Countries that are part of the WHO provide health data from their countries. Over time, this data allows the WHO to get a picture of health trends around the world. If the data shows that a particular health problem, such as diabetes, is increasing around the world, the WHO will take steps to help combat this trend.

More Than Just Diseases

While fighting diseases is an important focus of the WHO, the organization also works on health issues not related to diseases. Mental health is an important aspect of overall health, so the WHO also helps to promote mental health. People who experience a devastating natural disaster or living in war zone can suffer from extreme stress and other psychological challenges. The WHO trains people to help those who are dealing with mental health challenges.

Additional focuses of the WHO include preventing injuries and helping people with disabilities get the services and equipment they need.

A microscopic image of COVID-19

Working with Governments

The WHO works with governments to help them deal with a health crisis such as the COVID-19 virus, which quickly spread around the world in 2020. While most people recovered from the virus, the worldwide number of deaths from the virus quickly climbed. In many different ways, the WHO supported governments in fighting the spread of the virus. For example, government health agencies paid close attention to the WHO’s guidelines on preventing the spread of the virus when developing their national plans for dealing with COVID-19.

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