World Health Organization

Headquarters in Geneva
Headquarters in Geneva
Alexey Yablokov (left) and Vassili Nesterenko (farthest right) protesting in front of the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in 2008.
Demonstration on Chernobyl disaster day near WHO in Geneva
Three former directors of the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme read the news that smallpox had been globally eradicated, 1980
Countries by World Health Organization membership status
Stairwell, 1969
Internal courtyard, 1969
Reflecting pool, 1969
Exterior, 1969
From Southwest, 2013
Entrance hall, 2013
Main conference room, 2013

Specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.

- World Health Organization

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Occupational safety and health

Multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people at work (i.e. in an occupation).

This painting depicts a woman examining her work on a lathe at a factory in Britain during World War II. Her eyes are not protected. Today, such practice would not be permitted in most industrialized countries that adhere to occupational health and safety standards for workers. In many countries, however, such standards are still either weak or nonexistent.
Harry McShane, age 16, 1908. Pulled into machinery in a factory in Cincinnati and had his arm ripped off at the shoulder and his leg broken without any compensation.
Various health and safety warning campaigns have sought to reduce workplace hazards, such as this one about ladder safety.
Workplace safety notices at the entrance of a Chinese construction site
Construction workers not wearing fall protection equipment
Rollover protection bar on a Fordson tractor
Beekeepers often wear protective clothing, for OHS reasons.
Number of occupational fatal work injuries in the U.S. from 1992 until 2014. Note, 2001 statistics do not include death related to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The rate of fatal work injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers by employee status, 2006–17. Rate = (Fatal work injuries/Total hours worked by all workers) x 200,000,000 where 200,000,000 = base for 100,000 full-time equivalent workers (FTEs) working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year. The total hours worked are annual average estimates from the Current Population Survey (CPS).
Source: official data FSSS, document Socio-economic indicators of the RF 1991-2016 / Социально-экономические показатели РФ в 1991-2016 on FSSS site
Hardware stores in China specializing in safety equipment
Occupational Safety Equipment
A nanomaterial containment hood, an example of an engineering control used to protect workers handling them on a regular basis.

As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) "occupational health deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and has a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards."

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Tedros in 2018
Tedros with American Secretary of State John Kerry at the 50th Anniversary Summit of the African Union/OAU.
Tedros with Houlin Zhao in 2017
Tedros with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev in July 2018
Tedros with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in June 2019

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (ቴዎድሮስ አድሓኖም ገብረኢየሱስ; born 3 March 1965 ) is an Ethiopian public health researcher, and official who has been Director-General of the World Health Organization since 2017.

World Health Assembly

The World Health Assembly meets in the assembly hall of the Palace of Nations, in Geneva (Switzerland).

The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the forum through which the World Health Organization (WHO) is governed by its 194 member states.

Polio eradication

A child receives oral polio vaccine during a 2002 campaign to immunize children in India.
Somali boy receiving injection of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)
Kindergarten children receive a very early oral polio vaccine in 1960 in East Germany.
2002 Global polio incidence map
Map of reported polio cases in 2006
Countries with polio cases in 2011
Polio vaccination in Tehran.
Countries with polio cases in 2015
Polio vaccination in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Polio eradication, the permanent global cessation of circulation by the poliovirus and hence elimination of the poliomyelitis (polio) it causes, is the aim of a multinational public health effort begun in 1988, led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Rotary Foundation.

Pan American Health Organization

International public health agency working to improve the health and living standards of the people of the Americas.

Pan American Health Organization building, Washington, DC
Stage of the Pan-American Health Organization building Auditorium in Washington, DC

It is part of the United Nations system, serving as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization and as the health organization of the Inter-American System.

Food security

Measure of the availability of food and individuals' ability to access it.

A woman selling produce at a market in Lilongwe, Malawi
A farmer holding up onions he has grown on his farm near Gilgil, Kenya
Number of people affected by undernourishment in 2010–12 (by region, in millions)
Number of severely food insecure people by region (2014-2018)
Infographic about food insecurity in the US
Growth in food production has been greater than population growth. Food per person increased since 1961. Data source: Food and Agriculture Organization.
Growth of World Food Supply (caloric base) per capita
Goats are an important part of the solution to global food security because they are fairly low-maintenance and easy to raise and farm.
Children with symptoms of low calorie and protein intake and a nurse attendant at a Nigerian orphanage in the late 1960s
Irrigation canals have opened dry desert areas of Egypt to agriculture.
One of the major environmental problems associated with urban sprawl is land loss
Wood chips and other green wastes are inexpensive resources that enhance soil fertility.
A family planning placard in Ethiopia. It shows some negative effects of having too many children.
World population supported with and without synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.
Bengali famine, 1943. The Japanese conquest of Burma cut off India's main supply of rice imports.
A Kenyan woman farmer at work in the Mount Kenya region
The popularity of the use of genetically modified crops throughout the world.
The image shows a protest taking place in Dublin, Ireland against the use of genetically modified crops during the March Against Monsanto event.
A liquid manure spreader is used to increase agricultural productivity.
Fight Hunger: Walk the World campaign is a United Nations World Food Programme initiative.
A farmer on the outskirts of Lilongwe (Malawi) prepares a field for planting.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) collaborate every year to produce The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, or SOFI report (known as The State of Food Insecurity in the World until 2015).

Substance abuse

Use of a drug in amounts or by methods which are harmful to the individual or others.

A tin containing drugs and drug paraphernalia
A person sniffing an inhalant
A drug user receiving an injection of the opiate heroin
A 2010 study ranking various illegal and legal drugs based on statements by drug-harm experts. Alcohol was found to be the overall most dangerous drug.
1991 Indian postage stamp bearing the slogan – Beware of drugs
Drug use is higher in countries with high economic inequality
Total recorded alcohol per capita consumption (15+), in litres of pure alcohol<ref>Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004</ref>
Total yearly U.S. drug deaths.<ref name=NIDA-deaths>Overdose Death Rates. By National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).</ref>
US yearly overdose deaths, and the drugs involved.<ref name=NIDA-deaths/>

'Drug abuse' is no longer a current medical diagnosis in either of the most used diagnostic tools in the world, the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD).


Long-term infection by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae or Mycobacterium lepromatosis.

Rash on the chest and abdomen caused by leprosy
M. leprae, one of the causative agents of leprosy: As an acid-fast bacterium, M. leprae appears red when a Ziehl–Neelsen stain is used.
Testing for loss of sensation with monofilament
MDT antileprosy drugs: standard regimens from 2010
New cases of leprosy in 2016.
G. H. A. Hansen, discoverer of M. leprae
Distribution of leprosy around the world in 1891
Two lepers denied entrance to town, 14th century
Medieval leper bell
A 24-year-old man with leprosy (1886)
Father Damien on his deathbed in 1889
Paucibacillary leprosy (PB): Pale skin patch with loss of sensation
Skin lesions on the thigh of a person with leprosy
Hands deformed by leprosy
Leprosy in Tahiti, c. 1895
A 26-year-old woman with leprous lesions
A 13-year-old boy with severe leprosy

These treatments are provided free of charge by the World Health Organization.

Bubonic plague

One of three types of plague caused by the plague bacterium .

A bubo on the upper thigh of a person infected with bubonic plague
An Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis) infected with the plague bacterium (Yersinia pestis), which appears as a dark mass in the gut. The foregut of this flea is blocked by a Y. pestis biofilm; when the flea attempts to feed on an uninfected host, Y. pestis from the foregut is regurgitated into the wound, causing infection.
Necrosis of the nose, the lips, and the fingers and residual bruising over both forearms in a person recovering from bubonic plague that disseminated to the blood and the lungs. At one time, the person's entire body was bruised.
Gram-Negative Yersinia pestis bacteria. The culture was grown over a 72-hour time period
Distribution of plague-infected animals, 1998
Spread of the Bubonic Plague Through Time in Europe (2nd Pandemic)
Citizens of Tournai bury plague victims. Miniature from The Chronicles of Gilles Li Muisis (1272–1352). Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, MS 13076–77, f. 24v.
People who died of bubonic plague in a mass grave from 1720 to 1721 in Martigues, France
Contemporary engraving of Marseille during the Great Plague in 1720
Copper engraving of a plague doctor from the 17th century. This is one of the most well-known representations in art of the bubonic plague

While vaccines against the plague have been developed, the World Health Organization recommends that only high-risk groups, such as certain laboratory personnel and health care workers, get inoculated.


Contagious disease caused by a virus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Transmission of COVID‑19
Illustration of SARSr-CoV virion
COVID‑19 pathogenesis
Tropism and multiple organ injuries in SARS-CoV-2 infection
Key components of the adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2
The association between SARS-CoV-2 and the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS)
Mild versus severe immune response during virus infection
Demonstration of a nasopharyngeal swab for COVID‑19 testing
A CT scan of a person with COVID-19 shows lesions (bright regions) in the lungs
CT scan of rapid progression stage of COVID-19
Chest X-ray showing COVID‑19 pneumonia
Without pandemic containment measures – such as social distancing, vaccination, and face masks – pathogens can spread exponentially. This graphic shows how early adoption of containment measures tends to protect wider swaths of the population.
COVID-19 Vaccination Center of the Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland
Different vaccine candidate types in development for SARS-CoV-2
Masks with an exhalation valve. The valves are a weak point that can transmit the viruses outwards.
Students in Rwanda hand washing and wearing face masks during the COVID‑19 pandemic in the country.
An overview of COVID-19 therapeutics and drugs
Mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 cytokine storm and complications
Human antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection
The red line shows the estimate of infection fatality rate (IFR), in percentage terms, as a function of age. The shaded region depicts the 95% confidence interval for that estimate. Markers denotes specific observations used in the meta-analysis.
The same relationship plotted on a log scale
Seven possible drug targets in viral replication process and drugs
Various therapeutic strategies for targeting cytokine storm
Overview of the application and use of convalescent plasma therapy
Total confirmed cases over time
Total confirmed cases of COVID‑19 per million people<ref>{{cite web |title=Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 per million people |url= |website=Our World in Data |access-date=10 April 2020 |archive-url= |archive-date=19 March 2020 |url-status=live}}{{update inline|reason=referenced page and the image updated without coordination, archived version obsolete|month=August 2020|date=August 2020}}</ref>
Total deaths over time
Total confirmed deaths due to COVID‑19 per million people<ref>{{cite web |title=Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 deaths per million people |url= |website=Our World in Data }}</ref>

In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended 2019-nCoV and 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease as interim names for the virus and disease per 2015 guidance and international guidelines against using geographical locations or groups of people in disease and virus names to prevent social stigma.