Representatives of 61 states adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) Constitution in 1946. The Organization formally came into existence on 7 April 1948 and became a UN specialized agency on 10 July 1948. Article 1 of the Constitution defines the WHO's objective as "the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health". The detailed functions are set out in article 2 of the Constitution.
The WHO is composed of the World Health Assembly, the Executive Board and the Secretariat. The Executive Board is composed of 34 individuals technically qualified in the health field, each one designated by a Member State elected to do so by the World Health Assembly.
As of May 2011, there were 193 Member States.
Africa (46 members) Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Comoros Congo Cote d'Ivoire DR Congo Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea Kenya Lesotho Liberia Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone South Africa Swaziland Togo Uganda UR of Tanzania Zambia Zimbabwe
The Americas (35 members) Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Bahamas Barbados Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Chile Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador Grenada Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad and Tobago USA Uruguay Venezuela
Eastern Mediterranean (21 members) Aghanistan Bahrain Djibouti Egypt Iran Iraq Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Libyan AJ Morocco Oman Pakistan Qatar Saudi Arabia Somalia Sudan Syrian AR Tunisia UAE Yemen
Europe (53 members) Albania Andorra Armenia Austria Azerbaijan Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Isral Italy Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Monaco Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Republic of Moldova Romania Russian Federation San Marino Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Tajikistan The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Turkey Turkmenistan Ukraine UK Uzbekistan
South-East Asia (11 members) Bangladesh Bhutan DPRK Indonesia Maldives Myanmar Nepal Sri Lanka Thailand Timor-Leste
Western Pacific (27 members) Australia Brunei Darussalam Cambodia China Cook Islands Fiji Japan Kiribati Lao PDR Malaysia Marshall Islands Micronesia Mongolia Nauru New Zealand Niue Palau Papua New Guinea Philippines ROK Samoa Singapore Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu Viet Nam
Associate Members Puerto Rico Tokelau
The World Health Assembly takes place annually, usually in Geneva, Switzerland. The Board meets at least twice a year in Geneva.