WHO and SARS

As Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) broke out in China in 2002, some of the earliest alerts were provided by the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), an automated system that WHO uses to scan Web sites and electronic discussion groups for signs of disease outbreaks that could lead to epidemics. Another WHO system, the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GORAN) links 112 existing networks to monitor and respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases. As SARS came to light, WHO drew on these resources to establish a virtual network of eleven leading laboratories. Using a shared Web site and daily teleconferences to pool information and coordinate activities, they worked to identify the cause of the disease and develop a diagnostic test. WHO's quick response in issuing global alerts and travel advisories and in coordinating international resources have been credited with helping to efficiently contain the spread of the disease.

—Paula Kepos malaria: disease caused by infection with Plasmodium, a single-celled protozoon, transmitted by mosquitoes tuberculosis: bacterial infection, usually of the lungs, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis nutrition: the maintenance of health through proper eating, or the study of same parasitic: feeding off another organism viral disease: disease caused by viruses, including flu, colds, AIDS, hepatitis, and others drugs: substances whose administration causes a significant change in the body's function

In May 2002, 192 nations gathered as the World Health Organization held its 55th annual World Health Assembly. One of the key resolutions to emerge from the assembly was a commitment to help poorer nations obtain needed medicines at discounted rates. [Copyright World Health Organization (WHO)/P. Virot]

In May 2002, 192 nations gathered as the World Health Organization held its 55th annual World Health Assembly. One of the key resolutions to emerge from the assembly was a commitment to help poorer nations obtain needed medicines at discounted rates. [Copyright World Health Organization (WHO)/P. Virot]

improvement of undernutrition of infants, deficiencies of iodine, vitamin A, and thiamine; anemia, and other nutritional concerns.

Together with UNICEF, the WHO has been successful in overseeing programs to promote breastfeeding and improve the health and nutritional status of pregnant women, infants, and mothers with young children. Hospitals and regional centers have played an important part in the success of this endeavor.

Finally, programs aimed at improving the land and planting crops such as cereals, rice, corn, and potatoes have been introduced in all regions. These programs include production of nutritionally adequate foods to feed those undernutrition: food intake too low to maintain adequate energy expenditure without weight loss anemia: low level of red blood cells in the blood in each region, while also providing education and work opportunities for the people of each region.

Ruth Waibel

Bibliography

Sze, Seming (1982). The Origins of the World Health Organization: A Personal Memoir 1945-1948. Boca Raton, FL: LISZ.

Sze, Szeming (1988). "WHO: From Small Beginnings." World Health Forum 9(1):29-34.

Internet Resources

World Health Organization (1988). "Fifty Years of the World Health Organization in the Western Pacific." Available from <http://www.wpro.who.int/public pol-icy/50th>

World Health Organization (2001). "Report of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health 2001." Available from <http://www.cmhealth.org>

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