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At 75, U.N. health agency is lightning rod for equity and cooperation

As the World Health Organization celebrated its 75th anniversary – commemorating World Health Day and the day its constitution took effect, recognizing health as a human right – the COVID-19 pandemic's lessons were inescapable.

The World Health Organization's headquarters in Geneva.
The World Health Organization's headquarters in Geneva. (AN/J. Heilprin)

The challenges that the World Health Organization faced when it was founded in 1948 are a world away from those it confronts at its three-quarters of a century mark.

In the wake of World War II, WHO worked with nations to tackle the most pressing public health issues such as malaria, tuberculosis and communicable diseases, along with women and children’s health, nutrition and sanitation.

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