The day was 25 April 1945; the resistance anthem Bella Ciao rang through the streets of Italy and the U.S. and Soviet troops had just met at the Elbe River, near Torgau, effectively cutting Germany in two and marking an important step towards the end of the Second World War.
Unaware of the arrangement between U.S. and UK delegates to ignore deliberation in the field of health at the conference for international organizations, Chinese diplomat Szeming Sze, backed by his Norwegian and Brazilian counterparts, called for the establishment of an international health organization. His call was answered, and 3 years later, the World Health Organization (WHO)was born.
Had Dr. Szeming Sze heard of the agreement between the U.S. and UK delegates, he probably would have done them the courtesy of leaving the matter for another day. As fate had it, he did not, and the world did not have to wait for U.S. and UK to be ready or willing before establishing an international health watchdog to begin the fight against the threats posed by diseases across the globe at the time.
Since its creation, the WHO had gone on to serve humanity in various capacities. It played a leading role in the eradication of smallpox and the near-eradication of polio.
Its current priorities are communicable diseases likeebola, malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis. It has also invested in the betterment of sexual and reproductive health, aging, nutrition, food security, clean water, occupational health,and substance abuse.