World health report

Executive summary

The need for a world health organization

At the end of the second world war the majority of the world's people were still living in extreme poverty and suffering from chronic malnutrition, communicable diseases and parasitic infections to name a few. Many existing health services were severely disrupted and huge segments of the population were excluded from them. The imperative need was therefore recognized for a new world body capable of grouping resources for health, concerting health goals and providing a forum for the exchange of health information. The result was the setting up by the United Nations of a specialized agency to fulfil that need - the World Health Organization.