Analyse the work of the World Health Organisation
The World Health Organisation, the United Nations Specialised agency for health, was established on 7th April 1948. The objective of the World Health Organisation is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible levels of health, this being defined in the organizations constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of infirmity or disease. 192 member states govern the WHO through representatives in the World Health Assembly, a body whose primary functions are to approve the health organizations biannual budget and program.
Perhaps one of the most widely applauded actions of the WHO has been the eradication of smallpox. In 1967, when the WHO began its eradication program around 15million people were affected annually, with around two million deaths as a result. Many of the remaining victims were left with blindness or severe disfiguration as a result. Smallpox was targeted as the first major virus to be eliminated by the organisation because of its feasibility and financial viability. By 1980 the World Health Organisation certified smallpox as being eradicated. It is estimated that without the efforts of the WHO around 40 million deaths would have resulted from the smallpox virus by 2002. The eradication of the disease has been an important function of the WHO since the first concerted effort, that of smallpox, had succeeded. In 1980 the WHO targeted leprosy, which affected approximately 12million people worldwide. By 1998 just over one million people were affected, with seventy five per cent of those receiving treatment. In 1987 the WHO turned its attentions to Polio, with similar results. By 1996 Polio was on the verge of extinction, with over 1billion children having received vaccination, and Polio cases dropping by ninety per cent as a result.
Disease Prevention and Control is another important function