World health report

Executive summary

Setting the standards

The establishment of standards in such fields as vaccines, drugs and laboratory tests has been a permanent part of WHO's work. The WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardization has met every year since 1951 to formulate standards which are recognized worldwide. The scientific credibility of WHO provides a guarantee that everyone accepts.

Training physicians, raising the standards of medical schools in developing countries and helping countries organize schools for nurses and midwives has also been a permanent feature of WHO's work. The concept of primary health care has switched much of the emphasis to training directed towards a wide range of health care workers at community level, particularly in developing countries, rather than towards health professionals as such.