Search Post on this Blog

Role of the World Health Organization (W.H.O) | Indian Polity | General Studies II

Table of Contents.

  • About World Health Organization (W.H.O)
  • Discuss the role of the World Health Organization (W.H.O) in the period of coronavirus (COVID-19). ( UPPSC 2020)
  • Critically examine the role of WHO in providing global health security during the Covid-19 pandemic. ( UPSC 2020)

About World Health Organization (W.H.O):

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. It was established in 1948 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. 

The World Health Organization's (WHO)' s primary goal is to promote and protect global health, providing leadership on international health matters, shaping health research agendas, setting norms and standards, and providing technical assistance to countries.

Some key functions of the World Health Organization (WHO) include:

Disease Surveillance: 

Monitoring and responding to health threats, including outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Health Policy and Guidance: 

Developing and promoting evidence-based health policies and guidelines.

Health Systems Strengthening: 

Assisting countries in building robust healthcare systems.

Research and Innovation: 

Leading research efforts in various health areas and promoting innovation.

Emergency Response: 

Providing support during health emergencies, such as epidemics and disasters.

The World Health Organization (WHO) plays a crucial role in addressing global health challenges, including vaccination campaigns, disease eradication initiatives, and efforts to combat major health issues like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and non-communicable diseases.


Discuss the role of the World Health Organization (W.H.O) in the period of coronavirus (COVID-19).

 (UPPSC, UP PCS Mains General Studies-II/GS-2 2020)


The World Health Organization (WHO) played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic in coordinating the global response and providing guidance to countries to combat the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact on public health and economies. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) response during the COVID-19 pandemic includes the following: 

Information Sharing and Early Warning: 

As the pandemic began to emerge, the World Health Organization (WHO) quickly facilitated information sharing among countries and provided early warnings about the novel coronavirus's potential risks and spread.

Technical Guidance and Recommendations: 

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued technical guidance and recommendations on various aspects of COVID-19 management, including surveillance, testing, contact tracing, treatment protocols, infection prevention, and public health measures.

Crisis Management and Coordination: 

The World Health Organization (WHO) activated its Emergency Operations Center and coordinated with member states to streamline efforts, share data, and deploy resources to support countries facing the outbreak.

Global Research and Data Collection: 

The World Health Organization (WHO) facilitated and supported global research efforts on COVID-19, collaborating with scientists, institutions, and health organizations to gather data on the virus's characteristics, transmission, and impact on vulnerable populations.

Facilitating International Collaboration: 

The World Health Organization (WHO) encouraged international collaboration in research, sharing of medical supplies, and support for countries with weaker health systems, including through the COVAX initiative to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Advocacy for Equity: 

The World Health Organization (WHO) stressed the importance of ensuring equitable access to diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines for all countries, regardless of their economic status.

Continuous Monitoring and Reporting: 

The World Health Organization (WHO) closely monitored the pandemic's development, including tracking new variants of the virus, and provided regular updates through situation reports and press briefings.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO)'s response to COVID-19 also faced criticisms and challenges. Some of the criticisms included concerns about the delay in declaring COVID-19 as a pandemic, early communication issues, and the perceived dependency on timely and transparent data from some member states.


Critically examine the role of WHO in providing global health security during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 (UPSC Mains General Studies-II/GS-2 2020)


The World Health Organization (WHO) played a pivotal role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, but its effectiveness and actions have been subject to both praise and criticism:

Early Warnings and Information Sharing:


World Health Organization (WHO) provided early warnings about the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and shared valuable information with member states.


However, the World Health Organization (WHO) delayed declaring a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), which they did on January 30, 2020.

Technical Guidance:


World Health Organization (WHO) swiftly issued guidelines for testing, treatment, and prevention of COVID-19, helping countries implement evidence-based strategies.


There were occasional shifts in guidance as more was learned about the virus, which led to confusion in some instances.

Coordination and Collaboration:


World Health Organization (WHO) facilitated global cooperation, including the COVAX initiative to ensure equitable vaccine distribution and sharing of research and data.


However, some nations did not adequately share information or coordinate efforts, impacting the global response.

Vaccine Access:


World Health Organization (WHO) promoted global vaccine equity and helped with vaccine distribution to low-income countries through COVAX.


Vaccine distribution disparities persisted, with many countries struggling to secure sufficient doses.

In summary, the World Health Organization (WHO) played a significant role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing guidance, facilitating cooperation, and advocating for equitable access to vaccines. 

However, it also faced challenges and criticism, particularly in its handling of information from China and its ability to enforce international health regulations effectively. 

You may like also:

Next Post »