About WHO in the Western Pacific
Keeping people and countries at the centre of everything we do is our guiding principle in the Western Pacific Region.
Together with 37 Member States and areas, we fight infectious diseases like dengue and malaria, and noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Through immunization campaigns and initiatives such as First Embrace, we help mothers and children survive and thrive. We ensure the safety of our environment, our air, our water and our food – all of which impact our health every day.
We prepare for and rapidly respond to disasters and emergencies, never losing sight of the fact that we are dealing with issues of life and death. With the stakes so high, we strive for excellence in working to bring better health and well-being to the nearly 1.9 billion people of the Western Pacific Region.
How we work
We work to translate global health initiatives into regional plans that respond to the specific needs and challenges of countries in the Region. Our main areas of work are communicable diseases, health security and emergencies, noncommunicable diseases and health through the life-course, health sector development, and pacific technical support.
Where we work
With our Regional Office in Manila, Philippines and offices in 15 countries, we work with health authorities and partners in 37 countries and areas with more than one quarter of the world’s population. Our reach extends from the Mongolian steppes in central Asia, east to the Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific Ocean and south to New Zealand.
With more than 600 staff in the Western Pacific, we support countries to achieve better health outcomes through technical and policy advice, developing norms and standards, generating and sharing knowledge and convening health partners. Together with countries, we attain health objectives by supporting national health policies and strategies.
The Western Pacific Region is one of six WHO regions. The Regional Committee for the Western Pacific is the decision-making body, which comprises representatives of each Member State in the Region. It meets yearly to formulate policies, review regional programmes, and consider and endorse new initiatives.
WHO was established on 7 April 1948. That same year the World Health Assembly called for WHO in the Western Pacific Region. Two years later, our office was established, first in Bangkok and then in Hong Kong. Today, we are located in the Philippines, where we have been since 1951.
Partnerships and collaboration
Our core role is to direct and coordinate the health sector work in the Region. We work hand-in-hand with Member States and multiple stakeholders including governments, communities, UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions and the private sector to achieve the highest attainable level of health for all people.