The World Health Organization assists during natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Haiti, as well as targets the spread of communicable diseases such as malaria and AIDS.

Photograph by Carrie Evans, MyShot
  • On April 7, 1948, the United Nations established the World Health Organization (WHO) with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO was the first UN agency to which every member-state subscribed. The health-care professionals and managers of the WHO are recognized for providing emergency medical assistance in times of natural or man-made disasters, as well as administering programs that have helped lead to the eradication of smallpox and a radical reduction in worldwide cases of polio.
    Today, the World Health Organization has targeted the spread of communicable diseases such as malaria and AIDS. To combat these diseases, the WHO works with local health-care providers, research scientists, and drug manufacturers. This cooperation recognizes that “health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defense against transnational threats.”
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    combat Verb

    to fight.

    cooperation Noun

    the act of working together.

    disaster Noun

    terrible and damaging event.

    eradicate Verb

    to destroy or remove.

    malaria Noun

    infectious disease caused by a parasite carried by mosquitoes.

    manufacture Verb

    to make or produce a good, usually for sale.

    reduction Noun


    research Noun

    scientific observations and investigation into a subject, usually following the scientific method: observation, hypothesis, prediction, experimentation, analysis, and conclusion.

    smallpox Noun

    very contagious, often fatal disease wiped out with vaccination programs.

    transnational Adjective

    having to do with issues, people, or organizations from different countries.

    United Nations Noun

    international organization that works for peace, security and cooperation.

    World Health Organization (WHO) Noun

    United Nations agency responsible for health.