World Health Organisation


August 19, 2022

The World Health Organization (English: World Health Organization, WHO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that has a guiding and coordinating role in the field of health and well-being. The WHO aims to map global aspects of health care, coordinate health care activities and promote the health of the world's population. Activities include the classification of disorders (ICD-10) and drugs (ATC coding). The WHO was founded by the United Nations on April 7, 1948, and has been based in Geneva ever since. Every year this day is made in the news as World Health Day with a theme. The WHO logo is formed from the logo of the United Nations with an acupuncture incorporated in it.



After the second cholera pandemic (1826–1837), the French government organized a series of International Sanitary Conferences to standardize quarantine regulations, which still varied from country to country. The 14 conferences (1851–1938) led to international sanitation agreements, which formed the basis for the later WHO.


At the 1945 United Nations Founding Conference in San Francisco, under the impetus of Szeming Sze, a delegate from the Republic of China, and with the support of Alger Hiss, the United States Secretary General of the Conference, a statement was adopted calling for an international conference on healthcare. The use of the word "world" rather than "international" emphasized the truly global nature of what the organization wanted to achieve. The Statute of the World Health Organization was signed on July 22, 1946 by all 51 then member states of the United Nations and by 10 other countries. The WHO was thus the first specialized agency of the United Nations to which every member has joined. The charter formally entered into force on the first World Health Day on April 7, 1948, when it was ratified by the 26th member state. The statute consists of an agreement, a protocol and a statute in the narrower sense. These were signed by the founding members on 22 July 1946, 20 October 1947 and 7 April 1948. With the latter, the Member State is bound by the statute.

Member States

In the Netherlands, the statute became law on 8 March 1947 for the European Netherlands and on 8 November 1949 for the Dutch colonies, including the Dutch East Indies, which at that time was already de facto independent. As Indonesia, this country became a member on May 23, 1950. On February 12, 1949, the Soviet Union withdrew from membership, followed two days later by two vassal states: Ukraine and Belarus. Bulgaria resigned on November 29. In 1950, five other Marxist-Leninist states withdrew: Romania (February 20), Albania (February 25), Czechoslovakia (April 14), Hungary (May 19) and Poland (October 15). In between, on May 5, 1950, the Republic of China (Taiwan) also terminated its membership. In July 2020, US President Donald Trump formally announced the United States' departure from the organization, effective July 6, 2021. The US contributed in 2018–2019 about 16% of the total budget of the WHO.


The years 1945-1949

The first meeting of the World Health Assembly ended on July 24, 1948, when a budget of $5 million was secured for the year 1949. Croatian physician Andrija Štampar became the first president of the Assembly, and Brock Chisholm, who was executive secretary at the planning stage, was appointed director general. The first priorities were to contain the spread of malaria, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases, and to improve maternal and child health, nutrition and hygiene. In addition, the WHO drew up the first guidelines for the