The World Health Organization has been awarded the prestigious annual award of International Cooperation by the Prince of Asturias Foundation in Spain

27 May 2009 -- Geneva -- Prince of Asturias Foundation awards are intended to acknowledge scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanistic work carried out at an international level by individuals, institutions, groups of people or groups of institutions whose achievements are exemplary at an international level.

In its statement about WHO's selection, the Foundation said that "WHO is considered one of the most respected international institutions for its efforts towards the coordination and cooperation between countries in health matters. Since its establishment, it has contributed towards the eradication of pandemic diseases such as smallpox, the reduction of cases of poliomyelitis by more than 99%, the prevention and control of infectious diseases such as aids, tuberculosis and malaria; the reduction of child mortality rate; and the detection and management of epidemic outbreaks worldwide."