World Health Reports Series

The World Health Report 2003

Shaping the Future

November 2003
More details
  • Publisher
    World Health Organization
  • Published
    1st November 2003
  • ISBN 9789241562430
  • Language English
  • Pages 210 pp.
  • Size 8.75" x 11.75"

The World Health Report 2003: Shaping the Future predicts that major global health improvements will be achieved in the next few years. Dr Jong-Wook Lee, Director-General of WHO, describes WHO's ambition, to help all people, but especially the poorest among them, to shape a better future. The report advocates a new drive for equitable health improvement as a vital part of global efforts for justice and security.

Drawing on lessons of the past, in particular the Health for All movement that was launched 25 years ago, this year's report focuses on the major health gains that are possible in the coming years and shows how WHO and the global health community can achieve these objectives.

Against a backdrop of the ambitious targets of the Millennium Development Goals, The World Health Report 2003 presents a comprehensive vision encompassing an analysis of today's major health challenges and an action programme for global health improvement. The section on infections singles out for special attention HIV/AIDS, poliomyelitis - whose elimination is within reach - and new infections including SARS. Another important section deals with the health of women and children. The focus of the non-communicable diseases section is on road traffic injuries and the continuing work on tobacco control.

In order to achieve the health improvements that are within their grasp, countries need well-functioning health systems. The report shows how systems can be strengthened, combining both primary care facilities and higher-level services linked by an efficient and integrated referral network. In this, as in all its work, WHO renews its commitment to working with countries in responding to national and local health challenges.

"We have a real opportunity now to make progress that will mean longer, healthier lives for millions of people. Sustained effort, increased resource commitments, and intensified collaboration among partners will be required."

- Dr Jong-Wook Lee, Director-General WHO

World Health Organization

World Health Organization is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, charged to act as the world's directing and coordinating authority on questions of human health. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries, and monitoring and assessing health trends.