Education And Debate

The World Health Organisation: Vital signs of WHO

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 04 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:586

FG: I have a list from an American business school of 15 vital signs of organisational health. Could you give me a quick response to each with respect to WHO? Firstly, does WHO have strong values and beliefs?

HN: We have strong values and beliefs. But the value issue is very difficult. We are a global organisation so ideally we must have universal values, but today we must accept so called relative value, and this is represented in our regional structure.

FG: Common purpose?

HN: The common purpose is very well spelt out in Health for All. But common purpose needs common vision. WHO must have a common vision with member states, and so member states must also have a common vision, and this vision must be revised from time to time.

FG: Commitment, conviction, confidence, and pride?

HN: We are very proud. We are one of the four largest UN organisations. We have a very strong professional pride, at least I do.

FG: Exceptional people? …

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