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The World Health Organization

History, mandate and targets.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations whose mandate is to protect and promote international public health. It was established on 7 April 1948, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

The WHO’s Constitution states that its objective “is the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health”, defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

It carries out mainly regulatory activities, definition of public health standards and the prevention and coordination of the response to health related emergencies of global or regional importance. It also plays an essential role in monitoring global public health and provides assistance to countries in implementing strategies and action plans defined by the organization to address major diseases and humanitarian emergencies.