WHO 60th anniversary

WHO60 activities

WHO60 guidebook

This guidebook is intended to support event organizers in developing materials and in planning and conducting events to mark WHO's 60th anniversary. It will be regularly updated based on the feedback from users via the WHO60 web site.

International photo exhibit

As part of WHO’s 60th anniversary celebrations, a photo exhibit is being featured around the world in 2008. Based on the anniversary theme of "Our health, our future", the exhibit tells the story of WHO and public health over the last 60 years, highlighting major milestones and challenges for the future. The exhibit will be available for countries and regions to use during key regional/country activities and events from June 2008 to December 2008. Other related products will include a brochure and poster in all the six UN languages. These will be copied onto a CD to facilitate production.

Global snapshot of public health

This is an ambitious project where for the first time in history, people all over the world will be invited during the same hour, to take a photo that captures their health. Within the same 60 minutes, people will document their personal wellbeing, the health of their families, their communities, the people who provide their care and the places where they receive it, as well as the difficulties many face in accessing essential health services. The resulting products will include a brochure and a unique interactive web site.

World Health Day 2008

The theme of World Health Day this year is "Protecting health from climate change". This theme was selected recognizing that global climate change is posing ever-growing threats to public health security. World Health Day will consist of a press briefing in Geneva by the WHO Director-General. The global event will be supported by other activities and events in regions, countries and communities around the world.

Historical podcast

A compilation of historical audio and interviews will feature the founding of WHO and other public health milestones. This podcast will be available for download on this web site.

Faces and wishes for the future of global health

A video presentation will be featured at the World Health Assembly in May to pay a fitting tribute to WHO’s 60th anniversary. The video will bring together leading figures, as well as people of all ages, race, gender and countries to breathe life into the WHO Constitution and offer inspiring views, perspectives and wishes for the future of health. It will be available for countries and regions for their use during key regional/country activities and events.

Global Health Histories seminars

A new series of Global Health Histories lunchtime seminars for 2008 has been arranged with support from the Wellcome Trust and the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. The seminars are being held in the WHO library’s main meeting room from March 2008. For more information, please refer to:

How public health changed the world: 60 years of WHO

This 150-page book, to be published in December 2008, will tell the story of public health achievements in eight major areas from the eradication of smallpox to outbreak response. It will also highlight WHO's role in these achievements.

Getting the message across: 60 years of public health campaigns

This coffee-table book, to be published in mid-2008, will present public health posters over the last 60 years from across the world with outstanding graphics and brief explanatory texts in all six UN languages.

A history of WHO

This independent work by three historians will be published outside of WHO in late 2008.

Public health classics

These will consist of a series of groundbreaking public health papers, each accompanied by commentary on the significance of the paper today. Taken form the Bulletin of the World Health Organization over the last few years, this special publication will be published in late 2008.

Third 10 years of WHO

The official history of WHO in the 1970s (1968-1977), to be published in 2008, will sequel the existing official volumes that cover the first two decades of the World Health Organization. An eminent historian, Socrates Litsios, who is a retired WHO senior scientist, has been commissioned to write this history.

World Health Report 2008 on primary health care

The World Health Report 2008, with the title "Now more than ever" will call for a renewal and reinvigoration of primary health care (PHC), 30 years after the historic Declaration of Alma Ata on PHC. The report will highlight key reasons why this is more important now, and has a greater chance of success than at any time since. The report will also offer a diagnosis of global health today, and explain how primary health care - with a renewed emphasis on the values of equity and social justice - offers the best response to the complex combination of challenges and opportunities that exist today. The report is scheduled to be launched in mid-October 2008.

Memorabilia and souvenirs

A collection of memorabilia and souvenirs commemorating WHO's 60th anniversary will be available at the World Health Assembly in May 2008.