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World Health Organization

Pronunciation: world helth or'ga-ni-za'shun

Definition: An organization of the United Nations having as its aim "the attainment of all peoples of the highest possible level of health" (Article 1, UN Charter). It is concerned in particular with major health problems the solutions for which warrant the cooperation of many countries, such as campaigns against transmissible diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. It establishes international standards for biologic preparations and norms for substances such as insecticides, maintains a current international pharmacopeia and international health regulations, collects and disseminates epidemiologic information, and encourages the exchange of scientific knowledge. Regional programs promote mental health, maternal and child care, dental health, public health administration, and education of both the health care professions and the public in health matters. It conducts an extensive research program, convenes numerous international scientific meetings, and publishes periodicals and reports in several languages. It also plays an important role in the standardization of medical terminology.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.