World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO began when its Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948 – a date celebrated every year as World Health Day. It has more than 7000 people working in 150 country offices, in 6 regional offices and at its headquarters in Geneva.

WHO’s primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations’ system.

Main areas of work:

  • Health systems
  • Promoting health through the life-course
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Communicable diseases
  • Corporate services
  • Preparedness, surveillance and response.

WHO support countries as it coordinates the efforts of multiple sectors of the government and partners – including bi- and multilaterals, funds and foundations, civil society organizations and private sector – to attain its health objectives and support national health policies and strategies.

World Health Day


In the midst of a pandemic, a polluted planet, increasing diseases like cancer, asthma, heart disease, on World Health Day 2022, WHO will focus global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being.

Have your say: WHO holds public consultation to reduce alcohol consumption

Countries of the WHO European Region need an effective policy framework to reduce alcohol consumption levels and the associated health harms. WHO is hosting 3 consultations on the draft of the “Framework to strengthen implementation of the WHO European Action Plan to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol (EAPA), 2022–2025”. These consultations are with civil society, Member States and members of the public. In accordance with the regional plan for implementation of the programme budget

Psychological first aid: Facilitator’s manual for orienting field workers

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This manual is designed to orient helpers to offer psychological first aid (PFA) to people following a serious crisis event. PFA involves humane, supportive and practical assistance for people who are distressed, in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities.

The orientation aims to build the capacity of helpers in crisis situations:

  • To approach a situation safely, for themselves and others;

An observational prospective cohort study of naloxone use at witnessed overdoses, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine

Dietze, P., Gerra, G., Poznyak, V., Campello, G., Kashino, W., Dzhonbekov, D., Kiriazova, T., Nikitin, D., Terlikbayeva, A., Krupchanka, D., & Busse, A. (2022). An observational prospective cohort study of naloxone use at witnessed overdoses, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine [Étude de cohorte prospective observationnelle sur l'usage de naloxone en cas d'overdose au Kazakhstan, au Kirghizistan, au Tadjikistan et en Ukraine]. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 100(3), 187–195.
Publication Date



To determine whether participation in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Stop Overdose Safely (S-O-S) take-home naloxone training project in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine resulted in naloxone use at witnessed opioid overdoses.

Two new tobacco cessation medicines added to the WHO essential medicines list

Every two years, the World Health Organization (WHO) publishes its Model List of Essential Medicines (EML), a collection of medicines considered essential by WHO experts. The purpose of the list is to guide national authorities on the type of medicines that should be available in the country. On the 1st of October, the WHO introduced two new medicines classed as essential medicine for people who wish to stop using tobacco. Bupropion and varenicline are medicines