Charity In The Spotlight: What Does The World Health Organization Do?

World health organization (WHO) is the organization that directs and coordinates health matters within the United Nations system. This organization provides leadership on global health issues, influencing health research, standards setting norms, providing the required technical support to all the countries involved, and assessing and monitoring global health developments.

WHO role in public health
This organization fulfills is agenda through its core functions, which are:

• Leadership provision on health matters and engaging in partnerships where joint actions are required
• It shapes the research agenda and stimulates the generation dissemination and translation of essential knowledge
• It sets standards and norms, monitors and promotes their implementation
• It articulates evidence based and ethical policy options
• It provides required technical support, and builds sustainable institutional capacity
• It monitors health situations and assesses health trends

These core functions were set out at the 11th general work program that provides the global organizational framework, resources budget, and results. It covers a 10-year period running from 2006 to 2015.

The agenda
The WHO’s landscape is increasingly changing, as much as it is complex. Unfortunately, the boundaries are now unclear and it has extended into other sectors, which influence health outcomes and opportunities. The world health organization is responding to these challenges by using a six point to address the issue. The six points address two specific health goals, two strategic must have’s and two operational advances. Health in Africa and women’s health will be the measuring gauge for the impact of the organization’s overall performance.

1) Development support
In the past decade, the health sector has achieved exceptional prominence as the key driver in social economic progress, and consequently more resources invested into the industry. Conversely, poverty is still a major contributor to poor health within significant populations.
The ethical principal of equity is what directs health development. Hence, people must gain access to health enhancing interventions, and no one should deny them for unfair reasons, be they social or economic. WHO has made a commitment to ensure they give priority to health issues among the disadvantaged the poor and or vulnerable groups within communities.

2) Nurturing health security
Collective action is required in order to share vulnerability to health security threats. One of the major threats arises from epidemics and disease outbreaks. It is notable that outbreaks are increasing, and the biggest influencer are factors such as environmental mismanagement, rapid urbanization methods used to produce and sell food, and also the misuse and use of antibiotics. The world is doing its best to defend itself against such outbreaks using collective measures introduced in 2007, when revisions on international health regulations were enforced.

3) Enhancing the health systems
If health improvement is going to operate as poverty reducing strategy, then the poor must receive health services as well as the underserved populations. Apparently, many health systems across the globe are unable to do this, which makes strengthening the systems, a first priority for WHO. Some of the areas they are addressing include providing enough and adequately trained staff, good financing, as well as access to essential drugs and the appropriate technology.

4) Connecting information research and evidence
Evidence is the source of strategies priorities and a measuring gauge for results. The WHO generates authoritative health information, after consulting with the industry leading experts to put in place standards and norms, communicate evidence-based options on policies as well as monitoring the evolving global health issues.

5) Promoting partnerships
The WHO works in collaboration and support with different partners who include other UN agencies, international organizations, civil society donors and the private sector. The WHO uses its strategic power of evidence to encourage their partners to implement programs within regions and countries to align their activities with top-notch technical practices and guidelines as well as with priorities put in place by countries.

6) Enhancing performance
The WHO participates in current forums that aim at enhancing its effectiveness and efficiency, both at the international level as well as within countries. It aims at ensuring that their staffs, who are the strongest asset, work in a rewarding and motivating environment. It also plans to budget its operations and activities through a results based management, along with clearly defined results expectations to measure the performance at international regional and country levels.

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