The World Health Organization (WHO) is the United Nations' specialized agency for health. It was established on 7 April 1948. WHO's objective, as set out in its constitution, is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. The famous, if unachievable, WHO concept of health in its constitution is 'a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity'.
WHO is governed by 192 member states through the World Health Assembly, which comprises representatives from WHO's member states. The main tasks of the World Health Assembly are to approve the WHO programme and the budget for the following biennial and to decide major policy questions. WHO member states are grouped into six regions, each with a regional office: Africa, the Americas, South-East Asia, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific.
The WHO is responsible for a host of statistical services; advice, support and training services for member states; international agreements; and broad area strategies for achieving its aims. Its web address is: www.who.int/en/.
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