What Does "WHO" Stand For?

"WHO" stands for World Health Organization. This specialized agency within the United Nations is a leader in issues of global health, setting international standards for health care. The World Health Organization provides policy guidance to governing bodies, monitors trends in global health and assists countries in response to health crises.

The WHO formally came into existence on April 7, 1948, which was the first World Health Day. It initial priorities were to check the spread of tuberculosis, malaria and sexually-transmitted diseases and to improve the health of mothers and children. Since its founding, WHO has been at the forefront of several important health initiatives, issuing the first report on diabetes mellitus and playing a key role in the eradication of smallpox. In 2014, WHO has more than 147 country offices and 8,000 employees, including medical professionals, statisticians, public health experts and economists, who work together to improve public health and address emergent diseases.