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Throughout the history of human development, human life has been one of the central values. As a result, a significant number of activities and events have been carried out every year to improve the quality of life and increase its duration. As a rule, the recommendations or instructions created are supported in other countries if they are considered adequate. This is how global cooperation between states on the health of the world’s population takes place. The World Health Organization, established in the middle of the last century to regulate and coordinate actions of different countries, enjoys the highest authority and respect. On the other hand, there is now a growing body of negative feedback about WHO’s work on various conspiracy theories. The author of this work is deeply convinced that the activity of the global health control body is beneficial and helps humankind to solve serious medical problems. The purpose of this position paper is to identify the importance of an institution such as WHO and its strengths and weaknesses.
Prerequisites for the Creation
In the history of humanity, there have been many preconditions for the creation of a global body to monitor the level of world medicine and health care. The emergence of a comprehensive cooperation between different countries in the field of health is due to the need for international coordination of actions to sanitize the territories of states in connection with periodically occurring epidemics and pandemics (Medcalf, 2018). This was most clearly manifested during the classical Middle Ages when specific measures against epidemics in Europe began to be applied (Cueto, Brown, & Fee, 2019). Such measures included all kinds of quarantines, infirmaries, and isolation of sick people or animals. The low effectiveness of sanitation and epidemiological measures at the national level has led to a search for solutions on an interstate basis.
After World War II, the United Nations (UN), established in 1945 on the initiative of the winning countries, became the leading organization of the international community. In February 1946, the UN conference decided on the need to create a specialized UN agency for health (Cueto et al., 2019). This led to the formation of the World Health Organization — WHO, in April, 1948 (Medcalf, 2018). The Constitution of WHO proclaimed the basic principles of cooperation among its Member States, which are necessary for harmonious relations among all peoples and for their security (Medcalf, 2018). It is worth mentioning that people all over the world have always supported different points of view on any issue. This is also true of the need for an organization such as WHO.
On the one hand, the importance of WHO’s work is beyond any doubt: its activities have an impact on all people living on our planet. It starts with the food that people eat and the water that they drink and ends with the safety of medicines that are used to treat and prevent diseases that threaten humanity. In the absence of global authority, no single country alone can solve all the health problems facing the world, the list of which is continually growing (Cueto et al., 2019). In this case, WHO comes to the rescue: the international organization links medical advances from different cultures and helps countries achieve medical well-being.
Moreover, another function of the organization is to inform the public about the current world situation and potential scenarios from a scientifically proven point of view — every year, WHO publishes medical statistics and recommendations for people to improve their quality of life. For example, according to a report released for 2019, male mortality worldwide is 7.6 percent higher than female, and several factors contribute to this (WHO, 2019). WHO states that the main threats affecting male mortality are coronary heart disease and road traffic injuries. These annual reports provide a different way of looking at one’s lifestyle and perhaps even abandoning bad habits in favor of longer life expectancy.
An undeniably important mission that reaffirms the importance of the global health authority is to maintain social justice in health care. In less developed countries, where racism, chauvinism, and xenophobia still exist, not everyone has access to medicine and treatment. The objective of WHO is to achieve improvements in health care and more equitable access to health care in all countries. The organization is convinced that wherever people live, they need equal health care.
The organization’s work takes the form of annual World Health Assemblies, where representatives from different countries discuss the most critical health issues. They are chaired by a Director-General chosen by an executive committee that includes representatives from 30 countries. The functions of the CEO are to provide annual estimates and financial statements to the organization. He or she has the authority to obtain necessary health-related information directly from government and private institutions. Also, he or she is obliged to keep regional offices informed of all territorial issues.
Several of the most important activities carried out by the World Health Organization can be highlighted today: the so-called Millennium Development Goals (Cueto et al., 2019). The goals of particular interest to WHO include the elimination of the most dangerous diseases, the improvement of conditions for pregnant women and children, the prevention of chronic diseases, the promotion of human mental health, and the development of adolescent-friendly lifestyle ideas. WHO’s work has already been recognized as having reached some of the most significant targets (WHO, 2019). These include eliminating smallpox, controlling the spread of HIV, and reducing deaths due to malaria.
Counter-Arguments for WHO
It is worth noting, however, that the opposite view on this problem exists. A large part of the world’s population is convinced that this global health body has wrong priorities and aims to destroy humanity in veiled ways. The author of this document does not support this view because he believes that the WHO provides an incredible increase in the global quality of life. In response to the question about the need for a global health authority, some people believe that WHO exceeds its stated mandate. They see such organizations as a conspiracy to exterminate humanity. These same people tend to pursue conspiracy theories that call for the abandonment of vaccines and all treatments. A critical analysis of WHO’s work may indeed reveal some of the control that the organization exercises over the world’s population. However, it should be understood that this control is necessary for the provision of improved health services (Cueto et al., 2019). For example, WHO’s recommendations for combating the most dangerous diseases, such as cancer, HIV, or tuberculosis, are designed to help as many people as possible to stay well and prevent the disease from spreading in time.
In conclusion, despite the seeming conspiracy mission that WHO allegedly follows, the organization does have essential functions. WHO’s work has eliminated diseases that were once deadly, such as smallpox. Moreover, this organization has reduced the HIV pandemic and reduced mortality from infectious diseases, including malaria. The importance of the global health watchdog has also been demonstrated by the availability of annual web-based statistics that show global trends in mortality and fertility, as well as the necessary steps to prevent deadly diseases. Based on the above, the author of this paper tends to view the existence and work of WHO as fundamental to global health.
Cueto, M., Brown, T. M., & Fee, E. (2019). The World Health Organization: A History. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Medcalf, A. (2018). Between art and information: Communicating world health, 1948–70. Journal of Global History, 13(1), 94-120.
WHO. (2019). Life expectancy and causes of death. Web.