18 February 2013

The Role of the World Health Organization in the International System

  • Since the World Health Organization (WHO) was founded in 1948, the development of many new institutions in the field challenges its original vision as the 'directing and coordinating body on international health work'.
  • WHO evolved from a body principally aimed at the control of infectious diseases to a more holistic approach to the improvement of health characterized in the 1970s by the slogan 'Health for All'.
  • The entry of the World Bank as a major health funder in the 1980s and a proponent of market-based health policies challenged WHO's pre-eminent position in the field.
  • Under Director-General Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland in the 1990s a serious attempt was made to refocus WHO and raise its status as a player in the development policy arena, but with mixed success and limited sustainability.
  • More recently WHO's chronic financial problems, characterized by excessive dependence on voluntary short-term funding by donors, have precipitated another round of reform.
  • The question is whether WHO member states and its secretariat are asking sufficiently searching questions about WHO's place in the international system and what might need to be done to put its future on a more secure footing.    
This is the first paper in a series related to the Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security which are aimed at improving global health security.
              The series consists of papers prepared for the Centre’s Working Groups on Governance and Financing, which are aimed at improving global health security through examining the way global and national institutions related to health are governed and financed. 
                The publication is now available at the following link and the summary points can also be found below: http://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/papers/view/189351

                15 February 2013

                Seminar and Webcast - Thu 7th Mar 2013: Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy on the island of Ireland

                What do we know about the gap between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy on the island of Ireland? Report Launch

                The Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH) in association with the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) will launch a report which focuses on what we can learn from the data on the island of Ireland about health expectancies. Attendance is free and the launch will also be available as a live webcast.

                7 March 2013


                Institute of Public Health in Ireland, Forestview, Belfast BT8 7ZX

                Professor Bob Stout


                Registration with tea and coffee

                Professor Bob StoutCo-Chair of CARDI

                Policy context with respect to healthy ageing
                Dr Roger O’Sullivan, CARDI

                Presentation of results and findings
                Ms Lorraine Fahy, IPH


                End with light lunch.

                Register your interest in attending this event or participating in the webcast by
                Monday 4 March 2013 to either:

                Suzanne Kirk
                The Institute of Public Health in Ireland
                Telephone: +353 1 478 6300
                Fax: + 353 1 478 6319

                Leah Friend
                The Institute of Public Health in Ireland
                Telephone: +44 28 9064 8494
                Fax: +44 28 9064 6604

                Click here to find us - http://www.publichealth.ie/belfastmap

                Further information can be found on the websites www.thehealthwell.info and www.publichealth.ie