1. The making of an international health establishment
2. The birth of the World Health Organization, 1945–8
3. The start-up years, 1948–55
4. The Cold War and eradication
5. Overcoming the warming of the Cold War: smallpox eradication
6. The transition from 'family planning' to 'sexual and reproductive rights'
7. The vicissitudes of primary health care
8. The response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic
9. An embattled director-general and the persistence of the WHO
10. The competitive world of global health
11. The World Health Organization in the second decade of the twenty-first century.
According to its Constitution, the mission of the World Health Organization (WHO) was nothing less than the 'attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health' without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic status, or social condition. But how consistently and how well has the WHO pursued this mission since 1946? This comprehensive and engaging new history explores these questions by looking at its origins and its institutional antecedents, while also considering its contemporary and future roles. It examines how the WHO was shaped by the particular environments of the postwar period and the Cold War, the relative influence of the US and other approaches to healthcare, and its place alongside sometimes competing international bodies such as UNICEF, the World Bank, and the Gates Foundation. The authors re-evaluate the relative success and failure of critical WHO campaigns, from early malaria and smallpox eradication programs to struggles with Ebola today.
- Presents a comprehensive narrative history of the major international health agency of the second half of the twentieth century
- Pinpoints two very different perspectives that have long shaped major decisions in international health
- Identifies the past and present problems of global health
Marcos Cueto, Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro
Theodore M. Brown, University of Rochester, New York
Elizabeth Fee, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda