World Health Organization (WHO): Constitution, Goals, Norms, Recommendations

In modern society, one of the main values ​​is human life. A large number of events are aimed at improving its quality and duration, which are supported by the rulers of almost all countries of the world. To coordinate their actions, as well as to perform many other functions in the field of maintaining and improving public health, the World Health Organization (WHO) was created, which at the moment is one of the most respected and influential organizations in the world.

Start of business and WHO goal

Her activities began in 1948. Just then, April 7th, the charter was ratified and the first obligations were taken, in particular, for example, the development of an international classification of diseases. In the future, WHO began to take responsibility for the implementation of large-scale programs around the world. One of the most important achievements is the smallpox eradication campaign, which was successfully completed in 1981. Spheres of influence, areas of activity and functions of the organization are determined by the charter and lead to one goal - achieving the highest level of health, which is only possible in these conditions, for all peoples of the world.

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WHO principles

The Charter of the World Health Organization defines health as a state of well-being on a physical, mental and social level. And he separately explains that if a person has no diseases and physical defects, then it’s too early to say that he is healthy, because the state of mental balance and the social factor are not taken into account. By signing the charter, the WHO member countries agree that everyone has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, and any state success in the field of health is of value to all. In addition, there are some principles that are also fundamental, and they are adhered to by all who have adopted the charter. Here are some of them.

  • Universal health is a key factor in achieving peace and security, and it depends on the degree of cooperation of individuals and states.
  • The uneven development of health care, as well as disease control measures in different regions of the world is a common danger.
  • Child health is a factor of paramount importance.
  • To provide the opportunity to use all the achievements of modern medicine is a necessary condition for the highest level of health.

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WHO functions

To achieve the intended goal, the charter stipulates the functions of the organization, which are very extensive and diverse. To list them, the World Health Organization used all the letters of the Latin alphabet. Since there are a lot of them, here are the most important ones. So, the functions of WHO are as follows:

  • act as a coordinating and governing body in international health work;
  • provide necessary assistance and technical assistance in health care activities;
  • to encourage and develop work on the control of various diseases, as well as to support the maintenance that may be required;
  • promote a change for the better in medical and health professions;
  • establish and disseminate international standards for food, pharmaceutical and other products;
  • develop the protection of motherhood and childhood, take measures to harmonize life.

WHO work

The organization’s work is carried out in the form of annual World Health Assemblies, at which representatives from different countries discuss the most important issues in the field of public health. They are headed by a CEO, selected by the executive committee, which includes representatives from 30 countries. The functions of the Director General include the provision of annual estimates and financial statements of the organization. He has the authority to receive the necessary health-related information directly from government and private institutions. In addition, he is obliged to keep the regional offices informed of all territorial issues.

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WHO units

The WHO structure includes 6 regional divisions: European, American, Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, Pacific and African. Almost always, decisions are made precisely at the regional level. In the autumn, during the annual meeting, representatives from countries of the region discuss urgent problems and tasks for their locality, adopting relevant resolutions. The regional director coordinating work at this level is elected for 5 years. Like the general, he has the authority to directly receive health information from various institutions in his region.

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WHO activities

Today, one can highlight several of the most important areas of activity carried out by the World Health Organization. Millennium Goals - this is how their various media characterize them. They include the following activities:

  • assistance in the elimination and treatment of diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis;
  • assistance in campaigns aimed at improving conditions for pregnant women and children;
  • identification of factors for the development of chronic diseases and prevention of their development;
  • assistance in improving the mental health of the population;
  • cooperation in activities aimed at improving the health of adolescents.

The systematic and constant work of the organization in these areas has been going on for a long time, and, of course, there are achievements. But it’s too early to talk about their successful completion.

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WHO Achievements

Among the already recognized achievements of WHO can be identified:

  • eradication of smallpox in the world;
  • a significant reduction in the incidence of malaria;
  • vaccination campaign against six infectious diseases;
  • HIV detection and control;
  • the establishment of primary health care services.


An important area of ​​WHO's work is the development and improvement of the international classification of diseases (ICD). It is needed in order to be able to collect, systematize and compare data obtained from various regions for a long time. Since 1948, the World Health Organization has been leading and supporting this work. The 10th revision of the ICD is currently in force. One of the main achievements of this revision is the translation of the names of diseases into alphanumeric form. Now the disease is encoded by a letter of the Latin alphabet and three digits after it. This made it possible to significantly increase the coding structure and reserve free places for diseases of unclear etiology and conditions identified in the research process. The modern WHO classification is used in forensic psychiatric examinations, since this is necessary under the legislation of the Russian Federation.

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Statistical data and norms

An important functional part of the organization is statistical observation for the state of public health and compilation of standards based on the results that determine the living conditions for people around the world. For comparability and reliability of data, they are grouped, for example, by age, sex or region of residence, and then processed according to a special methodology developed by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), Eurostat and other UN bodies, including WHO. Definition of norm is based on its statistical content, that is, it is a certain range of values ​​within which lies most of the data specific to a certain group of people. This helps to objectively assess the health status of the population and make appropriate decisions.

It should be noted that WHO standards are periodically reviewed, in connection with the emergence of new conditions or errors in research. So, 9 years ago, tables weight standards and child growth were revised.

Weight and height of the child

Until 2006, data on the development of children were collected without taking into account the type of feeding. However, this approach was considered erroneous, because artificial nutrition greatly distorted the result. Now, according to new WHO standards, growth and baby weight are compared with the reference parameters of children who are breastfed, because in this case the best quality of nutrition is ensured. Special tables and graphs help mothers around the world compare their performance with standards. The World Health Organization has posted the WHO Anthro program on the official website, downloading which you can evaluate the weight and height of the child, as well as examine his nutritional status. Deviation from standard values ​​is an occasion for consultation with your doctor.

The problem of preserving breastfeeding is given a lot of attention. Publishing Activities WHO includes the development of brochures, posters and other materials promoting the child’s natural diet. Printed materials are used in medical institutions and help young mothers to breastfeed for a long time, thereby ensuring the most correct andharmonious development of the child.

Organization of breastfeeding

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Full nutrition of the baby is impossible without breast milk. Therefore, helping the mother in the proper organization of feeding is one of the important tasks of WHO. The guidelines for breastfeeding are as follows:

  • the first time to attach the baby to the chest is necessary within an hour after birth;
  • do not bottle feed the newborn;
  • in the hospital, the mother and baby should be together;
  • apply to breast on demand;
  • Do not tear off from the chest before the child wants to;
  • keep night feedings;
  • do not finish;
  • give the opportunity to completely empty one breast before giving another;
  • do not wash nipples before feeding;
  • do not weigh more than once a week;
  • do not express;
  • do not introduce complementary foods until 6 months;
  • keep breastfeeding up to 2 years.

Individual Standards

If for some reason it is not possible to establish breastfeeding, it should be remembered that artificially children gain weight slightly more than infants. Therefore, comparing normative indicators with your data, you need to take this nuance into account.

In addition, there are some hereditary parameters that do not fit into the standard picture. For example, growth at birth. Most likely, low parents will have a child with an understated level of growth, and for high parents, on the contrary, an overstated one. A slight deviation from the norm should not be cause for concern, in which case additional consultation with the pediatrician is simply necessary.

The World Health Organization believes that genetics does not have a special effect on the development standards of babies up to a year. The main cause of weight deviations is unbalanced nutrition.