WHO and the developing world
The contest for ideology
in Western medicine as contested knowledge
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This chapter traces the international political and professional agendas, which have shaped WHO ideology regarding the developing world, from its foundation to the late 1970s. The WHO constitution provided for the creation of three major organs: an Assembly of delegates from each member nation, the Executive Board, and the Secretariat, under the head of a Secretary General. In terms of immediate action, WHO's earliest, highest priority was to engage in a war on disease. The WHO sent its specialists around the world, bringing Western medical and public health techniques to bear wherever they went. The assumption of diffusion underlying WHO policy was to be reinforced by the pressures applied by the young African states. From the founding of the UN and WHO, the delegate representing China had hailed from the Republic of China, based on the island of Formosa.

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