Investing in the World's Health Organization

Globalization and rapid urbanization have dramatically improved living standards for many but at the same time have created many health challenges and inequities.

WHO is working to address these increasingly complex challenges of health in the 21st century.

Communicable diseases

WHO is working with countries to increase and sustain access to prevention, treatment and care for HIV, tuberculosis,malaria and neglected tropical diseases and to reduce vaccine-preventable diseases. MDG 6 (combat HIV/AIDS,malaria and other diseases) has driven remarkable progress but much work remains.

Non communicable diseases

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, and mental health conditions - together with violence and injuries - are collectively responsible for more than 70% of all deaths worldwide. Eight out of 10 of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. The consequences of these diseases reach beyond the health sector and solutions require more than a system that prevents and treats disease.

Health through the life course

Promoting good health through the life course cuts across all work done by WHO, and takes into account the need to address environment risks and social determinants of health, as well as gender, equity and human rights. The work in this biennium has a crucial focus on fi nishing the agenda of the MDGs and reducing disparities between and within countries.

Health systems

Strong health systems are the enablers for good health in countries and critical for well-functioning health programmes. WHO monitors regional and global health situations and trends, bringing together all disease and health system information. Reliable and up-to-date health information and evidence are essential for public health decision-making, resource allocation, monitoring and evaluation. WHO is the global guardian of health information and works with countries to improve the generation, sharing and use of high-quality knowledge resources.

Preparedness, surveillance and response

During emergencies, WHO’s operational role includes leading and coordinating the health response in support of countries, undertaking risk assessments, identifying priorities and setting strategies, providing critical technical guidance, supplies and financial resources as well as monitoring the health situation. WHO also helps countries to strengthen their national core capacities for emergency risk management to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies due to any hazard that pose a threat to human health security.

Corporate services and enabling functions

Corporate services provide the enabling functions, tools and resources that makes all of this work possible. Whether it is governing bodies convening Member States for policy making, the legal team for their advice during the development of international treaties, communications staff for helping disseminate health information, human resources for bringing in some of the world’s best public health experts or building services for providing the space and the tools for around 7000 staff to perform their work in one of WHO’s more than 150 offices.