WHO is a specialised agency of the UNITED NATIONS.
The Constitution of WHO defines health "As a state
of complete, physical, mental and social well-being
and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".
WHO currently has 192 member states. WHO has been working
in Bangladesh since 1972 under an agreement signed with
the Government of Bangladesh (GoB). The objective of
WHO is the attainment of highest possible level of health
by all people.
To realise the objective, WHO has identified corporate
strategy consisting four strategic directions and
six core functions which provide a broad framework
for focusing WHO's collaboration with countries.
Strategic directions are as follows:
direction 1: Reducing excess mortality, morbidity
and disability, especially in poor and marginalised
Strategic direction 2: Promoting healthy lifestyles
and reducing risk factors to human health that arise
from environmental, economic, social and behavioural
Strategic direction 3: Developing health systems
that equitably improve health outcomes, respond to
people's legitimate demands and are financially fair.
Strategic direction 4: Framing an enabling
policy and creating an institutional environment for
the health sector and promoting an effective health
dimension to social, economic, environmental and development
The core functions include the following:
- Articulating consistent, ethical and evidence-based
policy and advocacy positions
- Managing information by assessing trends and comparing
performance; setting the agenda for and stimulating
research and development
- Catalysing change through technical and policy
support, in ways that stimulate cooperation and
action and help to build sustainable national and
- Negotiating and sustaining national and global
- Setting, validating, monitoring and pursuing proper
implementation of norms and standards stimulating
development and testing of new technologies, tools
and guidelines for disease control, risk reduction,
health care management, and service delivery.
- Monitoring the health
situation and assessing health trends
WHO's core functions provide a focus for planning
the work of the Secretariat. They have been helpful
in finding about where WHO's advantages lie, and are
particularly useful in appraising whether the balance
of functions is right in relation to specific areas
of work. The core functions also guide in formulating
expected results of the plan of action.
broader framework of corporate strategy, WHO prepares
country specific cooperation strategy. Country Cooperation
Strategy (CCS) for Bangladesh was developed in consultation
with GoB and DPs. CCS Bangladesh has identified following
strategic areas for prioritising WHO collaboration
in Bangladesh. These include -
- Macroeconomics and Health
- Developing a pro-poor health system
- National Surveillance System and rapid response
to communicable diseases
- Protecting and improving women's health, especially
- Initiative on environmental crisis affecting children's
- Initiating action on new, emerging health issue
WHO collaborates with GoB through its Programme Budget
and Biennial Plan of Action jointly developed by GoB
The 2002-2003 budget was set within the policy framework
provided by the General Programme of Work for 2002-2005.
The budget is prepared in such a way that the three
levels of the Organization-global, regional and country-are
integrated with the same overall objectives, expected
results and indicators. These activities of WHO are
centered around 24 areas of work. Out of which 14
have been identified as organization wide priorities.
These include -
The Organization-wide priorities are covered by activities
under the following 14 areas of work: Malaria, Tuberculosis,
Surveillance, Prevention and Management of Non-communicable
Diseases; Tobacco; Mental Health and Substance Abuse;
Child and Adolescent Health; Making Pregnancy Safer;
HIV/AIDS; Health and Environment; Food Safety; Essential
Medicines: Access, Quality and Rational Use; Blood
Safety and Clinical Technology; Evidence for Health
Policy; and Health Systems.
Collaboration with UN System in Bangladesh/MDG
WHO has actively collaborated and contributed to
UNDAF 2001-2005 exercise in Bangladesh. WHO collaboration
contributes to achieving UNDAF subgoal of "Promoting
right to survival." These relate to MDG relating
to reduction of poverty, improvement of health, ensure
access to essential drugs, reduce child and maternal
mortality and reduce communicable disease like Malaria,
TB and HIV.
In addition to UNDAF, WHO works very closely with
other UN Agencies in specific areas. Examples include
collaboration with UNICEF in child health, particularly
polio eradication, routine immunisation and IMCL.
WHO collaborates with UNFPA in reproductive health
and safe motherhood and in SBA, particularly promoting
its core functions, evidence based policy and advocacy
positions, and developments of tools, guidelines and
norms and standards, which are used by UNFPA. WHO
also collaborates with FAO in the area of food safety,
arsenic in food chain and implementation of codex
alimentarius in Bangladesh. WHO works with UNDP in
promoting health and controlling Malaria and other
diseases in CHT. WHO is one of the cosponsors of UNAIDS,
and thus contributes and participates in various Theme
Groups, expanded theme groups and taskforces.
COLLABORATION WITH BILATERAL AGENCIES
WHO is an active member of HPN consortium, as well
as water supply sanitation subgroup of LCG, and also
LCG task force of CHT. WHO chaired health subgroup
in 2002, and water supply sanitation subgroup in 2003.
Currently WHO chairs taskforce on Malaria for CHT
subgroup. Through this mechanism WHO promotes donor
coordination as well as coordination with GoB, civil
society and other actors. WHO promotes evidence based
best practice in health policy and in donor assistance,
and facilitates policy dialogue with GoB and DPs.
In addition to LCG mechanism, WHO also enjoys bilateral
collaboration and support from donors in Bangladesh.
Major examples include WHO-DFID, Netherlands collaboration,
WHO-USAID collaboration in Polio Eradication. WHO-CIDA
collaboration in Tuberculosis.
COLLABORATION WITH NGO, PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES
AND UNIVERSITIES AND RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS
WHO collaborates with professional societies, universities,
NGOs and civil societies in specific and selected
areas under the frame work of Plan of Action jointly
developed and agreed along with Government. Accordingly,
WHO currently works with BMA, Private Practitioners'
Association, BSMMU, Chittagong, Dhaka and Rajshahi
Medical Colleges. Regarding NGOs, WHO collaborates
with BRAC, ICDDR,B, Damien Foundation etc. and research
institutions like BIDS etc.