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WHO in African Region

The World Health Organization (WHO) is building a better future for people everywhere. Health lays the foundation for vibrant and productive communities, stronger economies, safer nations and a better world. Our work touches lives around the world every day – often in invisible ways. As the lead health authority within the United Nations (UN) system, we help ensure the safety of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the medicines and vaccines that treat and protect us. The Organization aims to provide every child, woman and man with the best chance to lead a healthier, longer life.

WHO has been at the centre of or behind dramatic improvements in public health since it was established in 1948, gathering the world’s top health experts, defining solutions, delivering guidelines and mobilizing governments, health workers and partners to positively impact people’s health. The Organization works in close collaboration with other UN agencies, donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), WHO collaborating centres and the private sector. It contributes to promoting the general health of people across the world. Over 7,000 public health experts from all over the globe work for WHO, in most countries worldwide.

This brief information provides useful insight into WHO's work in collaboration with other stakeholders to improve people's health. WHO in the African Region: Making People Healthier [pdf 2.6 MB]

The WHO African Region is one of the six regions of WHO. The Organization's presence in the region consists of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, a Secretariat for the African region, three Inter-country Support Teams (ISTs) and WHO Country and Liaison Offices located in 47 Member States.

 

Core Functions

The World Health Organization (WHO) is determined to play a transformational role in Africa to change the continent’s future by working towards strengthened global health and economic security and achieving the goals of a new era of sustainable development.

WHO is the United Nations’ specialized agency for health. Its work is founded on the concept of health as a fundamental human right, and the notion that everyone is entitled to the highest possible level of health. Its primary role is to direct and coordinate international health through six core functions:

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

WHO is firmly committed to the principles set out in the preamble to the Constitution Constitution of the World Health Organization (327.11 kB)

Publications

Understanding WHO Business Rules: Handbook For Miistries of Health in the African Region Cover Image

Understanding WHO business rules: Handbook for Ministries of Health in the African Region

The Transformation Agenda of the WHO in the African Region 2015 - 2020

The Transformation Agenda of the WHO in the African Region 2015 - 2020