All Member States of WHO in the European Region share the common value of the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental human right.All of WHO’s actions are based on this and rooted in the underlying value of equity as described in the General Programme of Work.
The 13th General Programme of Work defines the mission of WHO as one to promote health, to keep the world safe, and to protect the vulnerable. The GPW calls for heightened accountability, prioritizing impact and outcome at country level, and to improve the lives of three billion people, through universal health coverage, through addressing health emergencies, and promoting healthier populations.
WHO’s mandate revolves around six core functions: (i) providing leadership on global health matters; (ii) shaping the health research agenda; (iii) setting norms and standards; (iv) articulating evidence-based policy options; (v) providing technical support to countries; and (vi) monitoring and assessing health trends.
The European Region (EURO) of WHO is made up of 53 countries, with over 880 million people. The diversity of people and health situations requires, on the demand side, a solid understanding of the emerging socio-economic, epidemiologic and demographic patterns and trends at both aggregate as well as national and sub-national levels, with due sensitivity to disadvantaged populations and vulnerable segments of the society. On the supply side, it is equally crucial to have a solid understanding of the commonalities and divergences of the health systems, the circumstances and political economy under which they have evolved and operate and, more specifically, how these bear upon the way the health system stewardship function of health ministries is carried out.
The WHO Country Office supports the Member State to shape its health policy in line with WHO’s principles and values and advocates for an integrated approach to health development. By means of a single, unified and functionally integrated country representation, WHO facilitates the implementation of the BCA with the Member State and its corresponding country work plan. WHO helps the country to improve its health system and provides technical support as necessary.
The WHO Country Office administers, consolidates, manages and enhances WHO collaboration in the country including all resources deployed in the country either permanently or temporarily to maximize WHO impact. The Country Office also has a representational, fund-raising and resource steering function, as needed.
The Division of NCDs and Promoting Health through the Life-Course (DNP) aims at improving health during all stages of life by addressing the social, environmental, behavioural and biological determinants of chronic diseases. The Division achieves this aim by applying the principles and practice of health promotion as well as integrating the prevention, control and management of disease in order to:
(a) assist countries in the Region to design, establish and run effective health and intersectoral programmes that are able to tackle the burden of chronic diseases and conditions, particularly focusing on:
(i) noncommunicable diseases (cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases) as well as related conditions and risk factors (harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs, tobacco use, overweight and obesity, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity);
(ii) mental health and neuro-degenerative disorders;
(iii) violence and injuries.
(b) assist countries to promote health across the life course, particularly focusing on:
(i) child and adolescent health;
(ii) sexual and reproductive health, including making pregnancy safer, women’s health and rights;
(iii) healthy ageing;
(c) maintain regional integrated surveillance systems and assisting countries in developing disease and risk factor surveillance systems, to determine and monitor burden of disease, risks factors and health determinants, and to propose relevant applied research projects, health interventions and partnerships to tackle the acute and long-term health impact of those diseases and risk factors.