Friday, March 27, 2020

Feel Good Friday - World Health Organization

In the seven years I've been writing this Feel Good Friday blog, I've never talked about the World Health Organization (WHO). Until today.

You've seen representatives from the World Health Organization in the news sharing information and resources about the COVID-19 outbreak but just who is WHO?

WHO is the United Nations' health agency, created in 1948 to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, WHO works with 194 Member States across six regions and from more than 150 offices.

Their activities address many aspects of health care. For example, WHO staff work alongside governments and healthcare professionals on the ground fighting infectious disease, providing vaccines and ensuring access to safe water and sanitation. Other programs include: producing international reference materials and making recommendations to bring people better health, running global health campaigns on prevention of diabetes and high blood pressure, extending mental health care in 110 countries, highlighting the consequences of maltreatment of children, sexual violence and elder abuse, tracking and analyzing data in all of these areas, and responding to humanitarian emergencies. Whew! If you're looking for details, the full list of programs can be found here.

The work WHO does makes an impact. Globally, life expectancy has increased by 25 years since 1950. Smallpox has been defeated and polio is on the verge of eradication. Between 2000 and 2015, malaria deaths dropped by 60% and tuberculosis deaths by 37% because of expanded prevention, diagnosis and treatment. A current goal of WHO is "to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and well-being." All of this by 2023! Learn more about these triple billion targets in this short video.

To support the World Health Organization and their work, use the many resources on their website, celebrate World Health Day, make a donation to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and share the social media love by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @WHO. Now that you've finished reading - go wash your hands.

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