World Health Organization

Acronym:
WHO
Address:
Avenue Appia 20 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations, whose role is to direct and coordinate international health within the UN system.

The WHO's main areas of work are health systems, promoting health through the life-course, noncommunicable diseases, communicable diseases, corporate services, preparedness, and surveillance and response. The organisation supports countries as they coordinate the efforts of multiple sectors of the government and partners – including bi- and multilaterals, funds and foundations, civil society organisations and private sector – to attain their health objectives and support their national health policies and strategies.

The organisation carries work in the field of e-health and digital health, and has programmes and projects covering areas such as: policy and governance, standardizsation and interoperability, research and global surveys, eLearning and capacity building, as well as e-health applications. The WHO has established the International Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Project, with the aim to assess the scientific evidence of possible health effects of EMF in the frequency range from 0 to 300 GHz. As part of this project, a Model Legislation for Electromagnetic Field Protection has been developed, and it provides the legal framework for implementing protection programmes against non-ionizing radiation.

The organisation has also been involved in the discussions related to the launch of new generic top level domains, and has advocated for a cautionary approach with regard to the delegation of health-related domain names. The Resolution WHA66.24 adopted in May 2013 emphasized that health-related global top-level domain names in all languages, including “.health”, should be operated in a way that protects public health, including by preventing the further development of illicit markets of medicines, medical devices and unauthorized health products and services.

The Wold Health Organization is one of the facilitators of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) action lines, in the areas of: e-health, e-environment, e-science, and ethical dimensions of the information society.

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