WHO – Concept, history and objectives

We explain what the WHO is and what the history of this body is. In addition, its main objectives and what is PAHO.

WHO consists of the participation of 196 Member States.

What is the WHO?

WHO is the World Health Organization (in English WHO: World Health Organization), a body attached to the United Nations (UN) specialized in the management of international promotion and prevention policies for the protection of health in the world.

The OMS consists of the participation of 196 Member States, which govern it through the World Health Assembly, where each one has official representatives. It meets annually, usually in May, under the instructions of 34 members and technicians from the health field, who form the Executive Council for 3 years.

In addition, WHO Ordinarily acts through its Secretariat, which employs some 5,000 workers of diverse nature and profession, throughout the six regional offices that the organization has: Regional Office for Africa (AFRO), in the Republic of Congo; Regional Office for Europe (EURO), in Copenhagen, Denmark; Regional Office for South Eastern Asia (SEARO), in New Delhi, India; Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMPRO), in Cairo, Egypt; Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WPRO), in Manila, Philippines; and the Regional Office for the Americas, in Washington DC, United States.

WHO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and in 2009 it was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.

WHO history

One of the first measures of the WHO was the eradication of smallpox.

The first meeting of this body took place in Geneva in 1948, organized by the United Nations Economic Social Committee. However, the global needs around the preservation of the health of the peoples of the world date back to the end of the 19th century, and were especially enhanced after the end of the Second World War, when the need to orchestrate political destiny was imposed. nations to avoid conflicts that brutally affect the lives of millions of people.

One of the first measures of the WHO was the eradication of smallpox, which was achieved in 1979. Such an achievement prompted aggressive campaigns against poliomyelitis, leprosy, cholera, malaria, and tuberculosis, with varying margins of success. WHO also leads the global fight against HIV / AIDS, and sponsors medical research on many contagious diseases.

Objectives of the WHO

The WHO seeks the eradication of diseases worldwide.

The activities of the WHO pursue various objectives framed in the protection of human health and the democratization of access to minimum sanitary conditions, around various lines of action:

  • The harmonization of global health activities and the universal codification of the diseases and drugs necessary to combat them, especially those that require government policies to be accessible to the population.
  • Taking emergency health measures to face epidemic situations, or for the prevention of endemic diseases.
  • Eradication of diseases worldwide, through intensive and extensive health education, vaccination and treatment campaigns.
  • Healthcare assistance to developing countries or communities facing serious health conditions.
  • Evaluate drugs and ensure their preparation and proper use, for a correct and fairer distribution of pharmacology.


PAHO is the Pan American Health Organization, an inter-American body attached to the structure of the Organization of American States (OAS), also affiliated with the WHO since 1949.

Its headquarters are in the District of Columbia, United States, and it intends to ensure the integration of the policies of the different American nations in matters of health and disease prevention.

Is about the successor to the International Health Organization (1902-1923) and the Pan American Sanitary Bureau (1923).