What is WHO ?
- WHO Director-General
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defence against transnational threats. WHO provides leadership to support countries as they implement the Sustainable Development Goals, 2016-2030.
Message from WHO Kobe Centre
Sarah Louise Barber
The WHO Centre for Health Development (also known as the ‘WHO Kobe Centre’ or ‘WKC’) is part of WHO’s Headquarters and was established in 1995. Located in Kobe, Hyogo, WKC is a global WHO think tank and centre for excellence conducting research on cutting edge issues.
Rapid population ageing is an unprecedented global phenomena. As the world’s leading aged society, Japan presents many lessons for all countries to achieve healthy longevity, as well as successes and challenges in transforming health and social delivery systems, and to promote social, technological and systems innovations. Japan’s leadership in universal health coverage (UHC) (launched in 1961) and long term care insurance (2000) are just a few of ground breaking achievements.
WHO/WKC supports multi-disciplinary research and development of policy options for countries and communities to design sustainable and resilient health systems for UHC and promoting innovations for ageing populations. WHO/WKC works very closely with a wide variety of Japanese and international academia, government authorities, non-governmental organizations and civil society, international organizations, as well as with WHO offices around the world. An important goal for WHO is to help translate Japanese experiences to the world, and vice versa.
WHO/WKC’s work promotes the core principles of the new Sustainable Development Goals. These include to create synergies of action across sectors, promote health equity, and to discover and intervene on the determinants of inequities. Drawing from Japan’s many experiences in health and disaster risk management, WHO/WKC further works to identify best practices from Japan and from around the world to protect vulnerable populations in support of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the International Health Regulations.
For a decade, WHO/WKC led WHO’s work on another, significant global trend – rapid, unplanned urbanization. In particular, we documented health inequities and their social determinants, developed tools for cities, identified interventions to redress inequities, and synthesized strategies for better urban health governance and working across sectors.
At WHO, our vision is for countries to expand healthy life expectancy for all their people, while building systems that are community-based, sustainable, and promote dignity, quality of life and wellbeing.