Our work

We put science to work to build a healthier, safer world

The World Health Organization leads and champions global efforts to achieve better health for all. By connecting countries, people and partners, we strive to give everyone, everywhere an equal chance at a safe and healthy life.

From emerging epidemics such as COVID-19 and Zika to the persistent threat of communicable diseases including HIV, malaria and tuberculosis and chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, we bring together 194 countries and work on the frontlines in 150+ locations to confront the biggest health challenges of our time and measurably advance the well-being of the world’s people.





Triple Billion Targets

WHO's agenda for progress

As part of our Thirteenth General Programme of Work, a five-year strategy to improve people’s health at the country level, WHO tracks the world’s progress toward the three Triple Billion targets.

WHO Public Health Goods Technical Products on norms and standards, data and research or TPs (formerly Global Public Health Goods)  are products and services, delivered by WHO for the benefit of all countries, that are essential to achieving the GPW13 Triple Billion targets.




One billion more people benefit from universal health coverage

Good health care is needed at all stages of life. That’s why universal health coverage (UHC) is vital to WHO's efforts to ensure access to health as a human right. Our programmes and partnerships emphasize:
  • access to primary and preventative health care;
  • ensuring access to the medicines and health products that people need;
  • sustainable financing and financial protection for people and communities; and
  • workforce training and labour protection for health workers.



One billion more people are better protected from health emergencies

WHO plays an essential role supporting countries to prepare for, detect, respond to and recover from health emergencies, including pandemics, disease outbreaks, natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Amid a growing need for rapid response, we build global systems that:
  • predict, prevent and contain emerging risks;
  • support countries and communities to respond to disease outbreaks, disasters and humanitarian crises;
  • rapidly assess the availability, safety, and efficacy of emergency health products;
  • marshall resources and health services for fair global access to vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and supplies; and
  • support on-the-ground care in fragile settings to protect the most vulnerable.



One billion more people enjoy better health and well-being

Because good health goes beyond treating illness, WHO mobilizes all sectors of society to address the root causes of health problems, promote wellness and address physical, psychosocial and environmental health risks. WHO’s healthier populations target tracks the social and environmental factors that play a pivotal role in shaping health, such as: 
  • clean air and water;
  • safe roads;
  • healthy eating and exercise; and
  • violence and injury prevention.

Key areas of work

Every day, WHO's experts are dedicated to creating a world free from disease and addressing the social conditions that influence human health and well-being. There are six key programmatic divisions at the WHO headquarters that drive action towards the Triple Billion targets.

Universal health coverage

Currently, at least half of the world’s people do not receive the health care they need, and out-of-pocket health care costs push about 100 million into extreme poverty every year. Universal health coverage ensures health as a human right.


Old man in the hospital with a health worker

WHO aims to improve the health and well-being of populations through the life course with a special focus on women, children and adolescents.



From policy development to on-the-ground care delivery, WHO responds to the world’s most pressing health issues.


Mother watching her baby from outside of an infant incubator.

WHO’s programmes and partnerships seek to help people enjoy better health and well-being by reducing social, environmental and behavioural risks.


Health Emergencies Programme

WHO plays an essential role in supporting countries to respond to and recover from health threats. We unite the world in battling the most pressing health emergencies, including disease outbreaks, natural disasters, humanitarian crises and pandemics.

Access to Medicines and Health Products

Safe, effective and quality medicines and health products are critical to protecting people’s health. WHO addresses rising prices, shortages of essential medicines and the growing problem of substandard and falsified medical products.

Antimicrobial Resistance

WHO works to define and advance comprehensive policies and strategies that prevent, reduce and mitigate drug-resistant infections and the global impact of antimicrobial resistance.

Science Division

WHO harnesses the power of science to anticipate global health needs, validate public health guidance and translate innovation into real-world solutions that everyone can rely on to improve their lives.

Data, Analytics and Delivery for Impact

To make progress, we must measure progress. WHO produces leading reports on data trends and analysis related to global health.

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World Health Organization

WHO Headquarters in Geneva
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva