What we do

These are the areas in which we work

Health systems

WHO’s priority in the area of health systems is moving towards universal health coverage. WHO works together with policy-makers, global health partners, civil society, academia and the private sector to support countries to develop, implement and monitor solid national health plans. In addition, WHO supports countries to assure the availability of equitable integrated people-centred health services at an affordable price; facilitate access to affordable, safe and effective health technologies; and to strengthen health information systems and evidence-based policy-making.

Noncommunicable diseases

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, and mental health conditions - together with violence and injuries - are collectively responsible for more than 70% of all deaths worldwide. Eight out of 10 of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. The consequences of these diseases reach beyond the health sector and solutions require more than a system that prevents and treats disease.

Promoting health through the life-course

Promoting good health through the life-course cuts across all work done by WHO, and takes into account the need to address environment risks and social determinants of health, as well as gender, equity and human rights. The work in this biennium has a crucial focus on finishing the agenda of the Millennium Development Goals and reducing disparities between and within countries.

Communicable diseases

WHO is working with countries to increase and sustain access to prevention, treatment and care for HIV, tuberculosis,malaria and neglected tropical diseases and to reduce vaccine-preventable diseases. MDG 6 (combat HIV/AIDS,malaria and other diseases) has driven remarkable progress but much work remains.

Preparedness, surveillance and response

During emergencies, WHO’s operational role includes leading and coordinating the health response in support of countries, undertaking risk assessments, identifying priorities and setting strategies, providing critical technical guidance, supplies and financial resources as well as monitoring the health situation. WHO also helps countries to strengthen their national core capacities for emergency risk management to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies due to any hazard that pose a threat to human health security.

Corporate services

Corporate services provide the enabling functions, tools and resources that makes all of this work possible. For example, corporate services encompasses governing bodies convening Member States for policymaking, the legal team advising during the development of international treaties, communications staff helping disseminate health information, human resources bringing in some of the world’s best public health experts or building services providing the space and the tools for around 7000 staff to perform their work in 1 of WHO’s more than 150 offices.