World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations' system. The World Health Organization does this by:

  1. Providing leadership on matters critical to health and engaging in partnerships where joint action is needed
  2. Shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge.
  3. Setting norms and standards and promoting and monitoring their implementation.
  4. Articulating ethical and evidence-based policy options.
  5. Providing technical support, catalysing change, and building sustainable institutional capacity.
  6. Monitoring the health situation and assessing health trends.

The Twelfth General Programme of Work for the six-year period 2014–2019 sets out a vision for WHO, describing the six leadership priorities that define the areas in which WHO influences the world of global health.

The Six Leadership Priorities

  1. Advancing universal health coverage.
  2. Health-related Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  3. Addressing the challenge of non-communicable diseases including disability, mental health, violence and injury.
  4. Implementing the provisions of the International Health Regulations (2005).
  5. Increasing access to essential, high-quality, safe, effective and affordable medical products.
  6. Addressing the social, economic and environmental determinants of health.

The following six categories describe the scope of WHO’s work in supporting the country:

  1. Communicable diseases
  2. Non-communicable diseases
  3. Promoting health through the life-course
  4. Health systems
  5. Preparedness, surveillance and response
  6. Corporate services/enabling functions.

WHO in the African region has a vision and a strategy for change aimed at facilitating the emergence of the WHO that the staff and stakeholders want. This Transformation Agenda of the World Health Organization Secretariat in the African Region covers the period 2015 – 2020. The Transformation Agenda covers four focus areas:

  1. Pro-results values
  2. Smart technical focus
  3. Responsive strategic operations
  4. Effective communications and partnerships

The Transformation Agenda is bold, ambitious and seeks to engender a regional health organization that is foresighted, proactive, responsive, results-driven, transparent, accountable, appropriately resourced and equipped to deliver on its mandate; an organization that meets the needs and expectations of its stakeholders.