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Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, 2004.  p. (WHO/EPI/TRAM/93.5 (updated 2004); WHO/PBL/93.31)This teaching aid is about measles, and its potentially harmful effects on the eyes of children.1 Understanding the risks of damage to the eye from measles is the first step before learning what action to take to save sight. Measles causes a great amount of unnecessary death and blindness in children, especially in Africa and parts of Asia. Death and loss of sight due to measles are health care disasters that simply should not occur. Measles is a highly infectious disease preventable by immunization. Reducing deaths due to measles is a global health priority. Immunized children rarely get measles and the cost of immunization is low. The road to good health is also the road to good vision. Since the eye problems due to measles are especially dangerous in children who eat less well, this teaching aid also presents good feeding habits and how to improve the diet for the malnourished child. Protein-energy malnutrition is the most widespread form of malnutrition. It is not easily preventable in poor communities or where there is serious shortage of food as in famine situations and civil strife. (excerpt)
The progress of nations, 1998. The nations of the world ranked according to their achievements in fulfillment of child rights and progress for women.
New York, New York, UNICEF, 1998.  p.The Progress of Nations is a clarion call for children. It asks every nation on earth to examine its progress towards the achievable goals set at the World Summit for Children in 1990 and to undertake an honest appraisal of where it has succeeded and where it is falling behind. This year’s report highlights successes attained and challenges remaining in efforts to register each child at birth, to immunize every child on earth and to help adolescents, particularly girls, as they set out on the path towards adulthood. With its clear league tables, The Progress of Nations is an objective scorecard on these issues. Commentaries by leading thinkers and doers stress the need for an approach to development based on child rights, calling on governments to fulfill the promises they made in ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Progress of Nations reminds us annually that rhetoric about children must be backed up with action. I would commend it to anyone concerned about the status of our most vulnerable citizens. (excerpt)
New reference values for thyroid volume by ultrasound in iodine-sufficient schoolchildren: a World Health Organization / Nutrition for Health and Development Iodine Deficiency Study Group Report.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004 Feb; 79(2):231-237.Goiter prevalence in school-age children is an indicator of the severity of iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) in a population. In areas of mild-to-moderate IDDs, measurement of thyroid volume (Tvol) by ultrasound is preferable to palpation for grading goiter, but interpretation requires reference criteria from iodine-sufficient children. The study aim was to establish international reference values for Tvol by ultrasound in 6–12-y-old children that could be used to define goiter in the context of IDD monitoring. Tvol was measured by ultrasound in 6–12-y-old children living in areas of long-term iodine sufficiency in North and South America, central Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, Africa, and the western Pacific. Measurements were made by 2 experienced examiners using validated techniques. Data were log transformed, used to calculate percentiles on the basis of the Gaussian distribution, and then transformed back to the linear scale. Age- and body surface area (BSA)–specific 97th percentiles for Tvol were calculated for boys and girls. The sample included 3529 children evenly divided between boys and girls at each year (x ± SD age: 9.3 ± 1.9 y). The range of median urinary iodine concentrations for the 6 study sites was 118-288 µg/L. There were significant differences in age- and BSA-adjusted mean Tvols between sites, which suggests that population-specific references in countries with long-standing iodine sufficiency may be more accurate than is a single international reference. However, overall differences in age- and BSA-adjusted Tvols between sites were modest relative to the population and measurement variability, which supports the use of a single, site-independent set of references. These new international reference values for Tvol by ultrasound can be used for goiter screening in the context of IDD monitoring. (author's)
Journal of Viral Hepatitis. 2003 May; 10(3):157-158.Though a potent vaccine represents a powerful preventive tool, the policy of its use is governed by epidemiological and economical factors. Hepatitis A, an enterically trasmitted disease shows distinct association with socio-economic status, populations with improvement experiencing lower exposure to the virus. With the availability of vaccine, it is pertinent to consider its use in the effective control of the disease. However, with the varied epidemiological patterns and economical constraints in different countries it does not seem to be possible to evolve universal policy for immunization. Though, universal immunization may be the most effective way of control, the same is not practical for many countries. It is proposed that irrespective of endemicity of hepatitis A, high-risk groups such as travelers to endemic areas, patients suffering from chronic liver diseases, HBV and HCV carriers, tribal communities with high HBV carrier rates, food handlers, sewage workers, recipients of blood products, troops, and children from day-care centers should be immunized with hepatitis A vaccine. In addition, for populations with intermediate prevalence, infants, children from affordable families may be immunized. As coupling the vaccine with EPI schedule would be beneficial, use of combined A & B or A, B & E vaccine may be an attractive alternative. (author's)
HABLEMOS DE VITAMIN A. 1994 Aug-Nov; 3(2):5.Plan International is a nonsectarian, nonprofit international organization that provides assistance to needy children, their families, and their communities through ninety-eight local offices in twenty-seven developing countries. Donors from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Holland, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States sponsor children in the countries. Communication between the child and the sponsor is a vital element of Plan International. Sponsored children always remain with their families, which are fortified by health, educational, community development, and income-generating programs. Plan projects are designed to assure community participation, long-term sustainability, and tangible results. Plan International is a consulting member of UNICEF and is recognized by UNESCO. Plan International was created in 1937 to provide food, housing, and educational services to children victimized by the Spanish Civil War. During World War II the program provided assistance in England to expatriate children from throughout Europe. After the war, the organization extended its assistance to children in several other European countries and for a short time to Poland, Czechoslovakia, and China. As Europe recovered from the war, Plan International gradually withdrew from these countries and began new programs in developing countries. In Guatemala, Plan International began work in Amatitlan in 1979 and in Villa Nueva in 1990. It promotes measures to prevent diarrhea, respiratory disorders, and nutritional problems, and to encourage growth monitoring and vitamin A supplementation. The Child Survival Project provides vitamin A to children under five in educational visits made twice yearly through the community health committees, with participation of health volunteers and promoters and Ministry of Health and Social Security Institute personnel. Home visits are made to provide health information, Mebendozole, ferrous sulfate, and vitamin A.
WORLD HEALTH. 1993 Mar-Apr; 46(2):17-9.The live, oral polio vaccine, introduced in the 196-s, has essentially eliminated poliomyelitis from the US, Canada, Europe, and the industrialized countries of the Pacific. WHO's Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) aims to eradicate poliomyelitis. Many people believe that polio is no longer a problem, however, paralytic polio is quite common in Africa. In 1991 and 1992, outbreaks occurred in polio free countries: Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Jordan, reminding us that polio continues to be risk to all countries. EPI's universal childhood immunization initiative achieved a poliomyelitis vaccination coverage if 84% of children born in 1990. Thus, in 1991, there were just 127,000 paralytic poliomyelitis cases. Nevertheless, 1 case of poliomyelitis is undesirable. Eradication requires disease surveillance to rapidly detect every case and then immunization of people in the highest risk areas to stop transmission of the virus. Eradication of poliomyelitis will save more than US $100 million each year in the US for elimination of the need for vaccine purchases and for medical care. The last case of wild poliovirus-induced poliomyelitis in the Western Hemisphere was in August 1991, thanks to the eradication initiative strategies developed by the WHO Region of the Americas. UNICEF, USAID, and Rotary International are leaders of this Americas initiative for eradication of poliomyelitis. Between 1989 and 1991, eradication strategies have reduced reported polio cases by 58% in China. Polio-free zones exist in North Africa, southern and eastern Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are a significant polio reservoir (they account for 66% of global cases). Major obstacles to the global eradication initiative in Europe, Asia, and Africa are war and political instability. Most of the funding for logistical support of the initiative comes from in-country resources, yet, lack of political will remains the major obstacle for the initiative.
BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 1993; 71(3-4):421-8.Worldwide coverage of measles vaccine is about 80%, but many communities and countries have considerably lower coverage rates. WHO is concerned about measles occurring in infants between 6 and 12 months old, especially in densely populated African cities. Measles rarely occurs in infants under 6 months old, but the measles case fatality rate is greatest in the 1st year of life. WHO aims for an effective measles vaccine to be administered at 6 months old. A high titer vaccine appears to reduce survival among children receiving it. Some countries have reduced measles incidence by as much as 90% by achieving coverage levels greater than 90% with a single dose measles vaccine. Another method to prevent early measles cases and later vaccine failures is administration of the 1st dose around 6 months and a 2nd dose no earlier than 12 months. Measles vaccine policy in the US and some countries in Europe is routine 2-dose measles schedules: 1st dose between 12-19 months and 2nd dose at school entry. This schedule is appropriate in developed countries with good immunization coverage. Other countries schedule the 1st dose anywhere between 6-9 months and the 2nd dose between 12 months and 7 years. All mathematical models of the effects of 2-dose schedules indicate that 2-dose schedule are a great benefit. The literature shows that developing countries with high immunization coverage and well-managed immunization programs can effectively execute and sustain 2-dose measles schedules. Measles vaccination early in life sometimes results in a blunted antibody response. The 2-dose schedules are probably more expensive than 1-dose schedules and require more cold storage space. No field trials have looked at clinical efficacy of 2-dose measles schedules in developing countries. Ideal field trials would be randomized controlled trials. Demonstration projects can evaluate operational issues, e.g., dropout rates, cost, and vaccine usage. Case control studies can address technical and epidemiological issues.
AMERICAN REVIEW OF RESPIRATORY DISEASE. 1992 Oct; 146(4):818-22.In May 1990 in Boston, Massachusetts, in the US, American Thoracic Society, the American Lung Association, and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease hosted the World Conference on Lung Health. At the end of the conference, participants adopted several resolutions calling on WHO and governmental and nongovernmental organizations to take specific actions to prevent and control lung diseases. The Conference adopted 7 resolutions pertaining to tuberculosis (TB) and AIDS, such as governments must ensure high quality care for TB and AIDS patients and strengthen TB and AIDS prevention programs. Since acute respiratory infections (ATIs), the leading cause of death in children, cause considerable suffering and death in children, the Conference asked WHO and government and nongovernment organizations to increase funding for provision, cold storage, and distribution of vaccines in developing countries, and for training care workers, and for programs to help parents recognize the signs and symptoms requiring medical attention. Other ARI-related resolutions included education about the risk and prevention of indoor air pollution and increased funding for research to develop heat-stable vaccines. Resolutions related to air pollution and health embraced tighter controls of emission of air pollutants, development of policies to protect indoor air, and more research into the hazards of indoor and outdoor air pollution. More research and gathering of accurate data on deaths and illness due to asthma were among resolutions related to asthma. Resolutions on smoking included a call for the end of all governmental support for the tobacco industry, including the import and export of tobacco products, and of all advertisements and promotions of tobacco products; for nonsmoking policies in all public places, especially health care facilities and schools; and for health workers to be societal role models by not smoking.
INTER-AMERICAN PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT. BULLETIN. 1991 Dec; 8(11):1-3.The author indicts World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and overall developed country policy as responsible for Latin America's large impoverished and disenfranchised child and adolescent population. As an example of the magnitude of the problem, he notes that 1/3 of Brazil's 150 million population is comprised of youth and children. 8 million live on the streets, of which only 1 million receive official aid. Forced to fend for themselves, these youths fall into drug addiction, prostitution, and crime, suffering poor health, malnutrition, and widespread illiteracy. Many are sold, imprisoned, kidnapped, and exploited. Street children in Rio de Janeiro even suffer the added threat of being killed by the Squadrons of Death who consider the murder of juveniles a solution to delinquency. The state of affairs has deteriorated to such an extent in Peru that abandoned children are considered the most significant social problem. Argentina, Bolivia, Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua all suffer similar problems of impoverished youths, and claim some of the highest infant mortality rates (IMR) in the world. Cuba is the only country in Latin America with an IMR comparable to and often lower than many developed countries. Chile and Costa Rica follow closely behind in their achievements. Where Latin America already holds the largest gap between wealthy and poor, meeting adjustment demands of Northern economies and countries has only made conditions and inequities worse. Recession and poverty have worsened at the expense of youths. Attempting to pay down debt over the 1980s, improvements in Latin America's trade balance have gone unnoticed as the South has grown to be a net exporter of capital. Latin American nations need more than token charitable donations in times of emergency and particular duress. Development programs sensitive to the more vulnerable segments of society, and backed by the political will of developed nations, are called for. Unless constructive, supportive policy is enacted by Northern nations to help those impoverished in the South, social rebellion and continued, enhanced resistance should be expected from Latin American youths in the years ahead.
In: Societe et procreation: les facteurs sociaux qui l'influencent. Edited by Robert Gubbels. Bruxelles, Belgique, Editions de l'Universite de Bruxelles, 1981. 233-291.Add to my documents.
World Health Forum. 1981; 2(2):264-80.This 6th report on the world health situation covers the 1973-1977 period and corresponded to the World Health Organization's (WHO) Fifth General Program of Work. Attention is directed to broad population trends, the socioeconomic situation, poverty, employment, mortality and morbidity, cardiovascular diseases, diseases in developing countries, national mortality projections, special health risks--children, mothers, adolescents--health care delivery infrastructure, reorientation of health services, and awareness of health problems. The population of the world increased in the 1970s at an annual rate of 1.9% and exceeded 4000 million in 1977. By the end of the period under review, the rate of growth seems to have somewhat slowed down. The 1 common feature of recent health trends in all parts of the world appears to be a slow down in progress in the reduction of mortality. Possibly the most interesting recent health trend in the more developed countries concerns the cardiovascular diseases. During recent years, the general trend in the age groups 35 and older has been for mortality from cardiovascular disease to decline. Regarding the many diseases plaguing the developing countries, there appears to have been little or no progress in recent years in reducing either their incidence or their prevalence. Malnutrition is the most widespread condition affecting the health of the world's children, particularly children in the developing countries. In countries that have well developed health care systems and good health statistics, the maternal mortality rate is of the magnitude of 5-30/100,000 live births and is continuously decreasing. The situation is much worse in most of the developing countries.
Standard-setting activities of the United Nations system concerning the relationship between population matters and human rights, 1973-1980.
In: United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population and human rights: proceedings of the Symposium on Population and Human Rights, Vienna, 29 June-3 July 1981. New York, New York, United Nations, 1983. 48-62. (ST/ESA/SER.R/51)During the past decade, within the context of a broad reappraisal of international development programs, the UN has tended to espouse a broad approach to population and human rights issues, relating them to developmental concerns and policies. The UN has adopted new instruments having a bearing of these issues, 2 of which are summarized in the text, the Declaration and the Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order. The background paper submitted by the Division of Human Rights to the 1st Symposium on Population and Human Rights contained a thorough analysis of UN human right norms concerning marriage and the family and the right to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of children, including the provision of information and education in family planning as well as the means. During the International Year of the Child attention was drawn to the rights of children and the family. In 1975, the World Conference of the International Women's Year recognized the necessity, in the process of integrating women in development, of providing them with educational opportunities, adequate maternal-child health services, and family planning services. In the areas of mortality, morbidity, and health, WHO's long-term objective of "Health for all by the Year 2000" is relevant to the rights of an adequate standard of living, adequate food, and adequate health services. The UN has also addressed itself to human rights and international migration adopting a number of resolutions regarding the refugee problem, mass exodus, and migrant workers.