“On guard of the health of the inhabitants of the whole world”
Since its inception, the United Nations has been active in the field of health worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO), whose Constitution entered into force on April 7, 1948, is the leader in these activities within the UN system , on which day we celebrate World Health Day every year . From the very beginning, the priority areas in the work of WHO were the fight against malaria, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases, the health of women and children , nutritionand environmental sanitation. Many of these issues remain on the WHO agenda, with the addition of relatively new diseases such as HIV / AIDS, diabetes, cancer, and outbreaks of viral infections such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, Ebola haemorrhagic fever, Zika or Middle East respiratory syndrome. (MERS).
In 1948, WHO took the lead in developing the International Classification of Diseases, which has become the international standard for defining and describing diseases and general health. Since its inception, WHO has contributed to many historic advances in global health, such as:
- Antibiotics: (1950) The era of the discovery of modern antibiotics begins, and WHO develops guidelines for countries on their use.
- Poliomyelitis: (1988) The Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988 when the number of people paralyzed by poliomyelitis reached 350,000 annually. Thanks to the worldwide spread of vaccinations, the number of polio cases has decreased over the past period by more than 99%.
- Smallpox: (1979) Smallpox has been completely eradicated through a 12-year global vaccination campaign led by WHO.
- Tuberculosis: (1995) A campaign to combat tuberculosis launched. Thanks to early diagnosis and treatment, the campaign had saved more than 37 million lives by the end of 2013.
- AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: (2001) The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is being established with other UN agencies and major donors, becoming a new partnership and funding mechanism initially supported by WHO.
- Child mortality: (2006) The number of children dying before the age of five was less than 10 million for the first time in history.
- Heart disease, diabetes, cancer: (2012) For the first time, WHO Member States set global targets for the prevention and treatment of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease and other noncommunicable diseases.
- Ebola virus outbreak: (2014) West Africa is hit by the largest Ebola virus disease epidemic. The WHO Secretariat is launching an unprecedented campaign to combat the epidemic, dispatching thousands of experts and medical equipment to the region; attracting foreign medical workers and setting up mobile laboratories and treatment centers. In 2016, WHO declares no Ebola cases in West Africa at all, but warns that outbreaks are likely to continue and that countries in the region must remain vigilant and prepared.
WHO staff, including doctors, public health professionals, scientists, epidemiologists and other experts, work in 150 countries around the world. They advise ministries of health on technical issues and provide support for prevention, treatment and care.
WHO’s work covers all areas of global health, including emergency relief; response to humanitarian emergencies; establishing the International Health Regulations to be followed by countries when detecting disease outbreaks and controlling their spread; prevention of chronic diseases; and achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals .
World health statistics: monitoring the health situation in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals, which spanned the time span until 2015, included a limited set of disease-specific targets; their successor, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, are significantly broader in scope. In particular, they include the broad goal of “ Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages ” and call for universal health coverage.
In Dr. salary WHO’s “World Health Statistics” for 2018 noted that despite significant progress towards the achievements of the LRC in some areas, a number of areas there is stagnation and there is a threat of loss achievements. According to the latest data, the following situation has developed:
∙ Less than half of the world’s people today receive all the health services they need.
∙ In 2010, almost 100 million people found themselves in extreme poverty as they had to pay for health care on their own.
∙ 13 million people die each year before age 70 from cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes and cancer – most in low- and middle-income countries. The risk of dying from such diseases before the age of 70 among 30-year-old people is 22% among men and 15% among women.
∙ In 2016, 15,000 children under the age of five died every day. One in 14 children dies before the age of 5. Significant progress has been made in tackling infant mortality among children under 5 years of age – a 49% drop since 2000.
Other UN agencies and funds active in the field of health
It would be wrong to assume that the entire work of the UN system to support the health of the world’s population is entrusted to the World Health Organization. On the contrary, many UN agencies are active in this critical area. Many health issues are addressed directly by the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, as well as through the efforts of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS, the United Nations Popula