World Health Organization screenshot


The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.


When diplomats met to form the United Nations in 1945, one of the things they discussed was setting up a global health organization. WHO’s Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948 – a date we now celebrate every year as World Health Day.


All countries which are Members of the United Nations may become members of WHO by accepting its Constitution. Other countries may be admitted as members when their application has been approved by a simple majority vote of the World Health Assembly. Territories which are not responsible for the conduct of their international relations may be admitted as Associate Members upon application made on their behalf by the Member or other authority responsible for their international relations. Members of WHO are grouped according to regional distribution (193 Member States).[1]


  • World Health Organization
  • Avenue Appia 20
  • 1211 Geneva 27
  • Switzerland
  • Telephone: + 41 22 791 21 11
  • Facsimile (fax): + 41 22 791 31 11


  1. WHO. accessdate 2011. [1]


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