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BMJ. Dec 3, 1994; 309(6967): 1491–1495.
PMCID: PMC2541606

WHO in retreat: is it losing its influence?


WHO says it has three main functions: to set normative standards; to provide technical advice and assistance on medical matters; and to advocate changes in health policy. During its 46 year history the first two functions have been a constant and uncontroversial backbone through which WHO has earned its reputation for scientific excellence. The third function, advocacy, came to the fore with the launch of Health for All in 1977, after which WHO took a key role in influencing international health policy. WHO's friends and critics alike now say that the organisation is losing its influence and retreating into its technical and biomedical shell. This article maps the changes in WHO's approach over the past 46 years and considers whether fears about its loss of influence are justified.

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These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Walt G. WHO under stress: implications for health policy. Health Policy. 1993 May;24(2):125–144. [PubMed]

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