World Health Organization

Outline of the organisation

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the UN specialised agency for health. It was established on 7 April 1948. WHO’s objective, as set out in its Constitution, is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Health is defined in WHO’s Constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Therefore, WHO deals with a broad range of issues (such as clean water supply) which may not have traditionally been considered part of ‘health’.

WHO is governed by 194 Member States through the World Health Assembly, which comprises of representatives from Member States. The main tasks of the World Health Assembly are to approve the WHO programme and the budget for the following biennium and to decide major policy questions.

Positions available

WHO's Internship Programme places postgraduate students in various health-related programmes so as to enhance their educational experience through practical assignments; expose them to the work of WHO; and provide WHO programmes with input from postgraduate students specialising in various fields.


Applicants must:

  • be at least twenty years of age on the date of application;
  • be enrolled in a course of study at a university or equivalent institution leading to a formal qualification (graduate or postgraduate) (applicants who have already graduated may also qualify for consideration provided that they start the internship within six months after completion of their formal qualification);
  • have completed three years of full-time studies at a university or equivalent institution prior to commencing (bachelor's level or equivalent) the assignment;
  • possess a first degree in a public health, medical or social field related to the technical work of WHO or a degree in a management-related or administrative field;
  • are not related to a WHO staff member (e.g., son/daughter, brother/sister, or mother/father);
  • are fluent at least in one of the working language of the office of assignment; and
  • have not previously participated in WHO’s Internship Programme.

Application process

Applications must be submitted on-line. Further information is available here.