Vol. 3 Núm. 1 (2023): Studia Humanitatis Journal
Artículos: miscelánea

The policy responses of the League of Nations Health Organization (LNHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to pandemic and major epidemic crises since 1921

Stylianos Ioannis Tzagkarakis
Adjunct Lecturer
Stamatina Douki
University of Athens, Greece
Symeon Sidiropoulos
University of Piraeus, Greece

Publicado 2023-01-30

Palabras clave

  • cooperación internacional,
  • política sanitaria,
  • pandemias,
  • protección de la salud
  • international cooperation,
  • health policy,
  • pandemics,
  • health protection


International cooperation in dealing with epidemics and pandemics was developed significantly during the 20th century. In 1921, following the Spanish influenza pandemic, the League of Nations Health Organization (LNHO) was created, a precursor to the World Health Organization (WHO) which was subsequently established in 1948. The purpose of these international efforts was to coordinate actions in order to improve citizens’ health as well as to prevent and constrain the transmission of dangerous diseases. Their contribution has been particularly important in preventing and protecting against pandemic crises through specific interventions-regulations which set limits and rules. This paper focuses on the contribution of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the League of Nations Health Organization (LNHO) in preventing and responding to major epidemic and pandemic crises over the last hundred years. A focus will be placed on the management of pandemic crises or risks, specifically HIV, cholera (in Yugoslavia in the 1970s), SARS-CoV, H1N1, Ebola, Zika and SARS-CoV2. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the contribution of the WHO and the LNHO in responding to pandemics and dangerous epidemics, by focusing on the political-organizational framework they adopted in terms of international health cooperation and of individual responses-policy measures.