Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
World Health Organization
Deepali Sharma & Karina Weichold
The World Health Organization (WHO), established in the year 1948 and currently with 192 member states, is an intergovernmental specialized organization within the United Nations system. Based on the principle of decentralization, it has six regional organizations in Africa, the East Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, Europe, the West Pacific, and the Americas. The main objective of WHO, with its central headquarters at Geneva, Switzerland, remains “the attainment by all people of the best possible level of health” (World Health Organization [WHO], 2004). WHO is governed by the World Health Assembly (WHA), an executive board, and a secretariat headed by a director-general. The WHA, frequently called the legislative and supreme governing body of WHO, also acts as its main decisionand policy-making association. Further, it takes crucial decisions concerning strategies, programs, and future activities of the organization. While the two constitutional functions of WHO are to act as the directing and coordinating authority ...