About WHO's Human Genetics
WHO's Human Genetics is housed in the department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion (CHP), Noncommunicable diasease and Mental Health (NMH) cluster.
Taking into account the rapid advances in genetic technology and human genome research, WHO recognizes the potential of genetic technologies and their applications for achieving public health goals. Genomics and related biotechnologies have the potential to reduce global health inequalities by providing developing countries with efficient, cost effective and robust means of preventing, diagnosing and treating major diseases that burden their populations. At the same time, the ethical, legal and social implications of genomics have come into sharper focus. In 2002, WHO held a meeting entitled "Collaboration in Medical Genetics" in Toronto, Canada. The goal of the meeting was to define a strategy relevant to the goals of the Non-communicable disease and mental health (NMH) cluster which will promote genetic services and collaboration with national centres with special emphasis on developing countries. In response to the recommendations of this meeting, Human Genetics has realized several achievements.
Human Genetics aims to support international activities on the development of medical genetics services in countries, the development of genetic approaches to the prevention and control of common hereditary and noncommunicable diseases as well as on establishing networks of international experts, programmes and centres in the field of medical genetics.