WHO and Vaccines – A Collaboration For a Safer World
WHO is an agency of the United Nations designed to provide reliable information on health and its prevention and control. WHO is also known as the World Health Organization. The WHO has been synonymous with world health and its care since its inception in 1948. WHO is responsible for the general surveillance of disease and of its epidemiology.
WHO was established by the United Nations so that an annual global reporting could be made on the state of health of all people, and to protect them against health threats. It is an intergovernmental organization governed by a World Health Assembly. The WHO is divided into regional offices with a representative in each country. The headquarters of WHO is Geneva and the other locations are in Geneva, New York, Tokyo and Brisbane.
WHO began working on the Global Immunization Program in w Decades past. At that time there were only a few vaccines available to prevent disease. Currently there are more than 60 vaccines available to prevent illness. Over the years WHO has worked hard to keep the costs down of the vaccines. The organization has also maintained a moratorium on producing vaccines for the deadly diseases smallpox and poliovirus.
There have been many concerns about the risks of immunizations. Children who have not received the required doses of the vaccines may develop severe illness or even death. In most of these cases the deaths could have been prevented if the child had received the adequate doses. One concern with the current vaccines is the fact that the majority of them contain a bacterial agent and this can cause severe adverse reactions in developing countries.
WHO has also worked hard to reduce the number of doses that need to be administered for a series of vaccines. When there are a large number of deaths or major health problems due to the shortage of boosters the cost of treatment can become unaffordable for countries. In most cases where there is an outbreak of any disease WHO is the first organization that comes to the rescue. It has also worked hard to make sure that the stocks of the vaccines used in emergencies are well maintained.
However, some believe that it is the rich countries who are really bearing the brunt of any outbreaks. The United Kingdom for example has faced an epidemic after its last dose of vaccine was last distributed. The United States also had a shortage after their last dose of whooping cough vaccine. There have been rumors that rich countries buy cheap vaccines to avoid giving poor countries the booster shots.