The World Health Organisation Essays

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The World Health Organisation

Founded in 1948, the World Health Organization leads the world alliance for health for all. A specialized agency of the United Nations with 191 Member Sates, WHO promotes technical cooperation for health among nations, carries out programmes to control and eradicate disease, and strives to improve the quality of human life.

WHO has four main functions:

* to give worldwide guidance in the field of health

* to set global standards for health

* to cooperate with governments in strengthening national health programmes

* to develop and transfer appropriate health technology, information and standards

The WHO definition of health:
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Some projects target vulnerable populations such as the elderly and women. Others focus on encouraging healthy lifestyles, sexual health and tobacco-free societies.

The impact of the environment on health is a high priority for WHO. One example is access to safe drinking water. WHO puts the highest priority on the development of community water supplies and sanitation facilities with the AFRICA 2000 initiative. WHO is deeply concerned with prevention and control of ionising radiation so dramatically highlighted by the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Other issues such as the health effects of electromagnetic fields and the increasing depletion of the ozone layer, are of major concern.

Scientific and Ethical Action

Improved health is not achieved just with financial resources and high technology. It requires a social conscience and a commitment to share the advances of health science throughout society.

Every field of health raises ethical questions concerning sex, birth, confidentiality and personal safety. WHO helps safeguard ethical standards by insisting, for example, that consensus must be reached on what is acceptable in cloning, that there is informed consent when carrying out experiments with humans, or estimating how much risk should be borne by