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WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1988; 9(2):143-6.This article summarizes the activities and the philosophy of WHO in its effort to improve worldwide health care since its inception some 40 years ago. At the 1st World Health Assembly in 1948 it was pointed out that little could be achieved by medical services unless the existing economic, social and other relations among peoples have been improved. The immediate priorities of the new Organization were more limited: to build up health services in the areas destroyed by the war, and to fignt the spread of the big infectious killer diseases. It took almost 30 years before the WHO really got down to trying to do something about the economic, social and other conditions which lie at the heart of most health problems. The Alma-Ata Declaration in 1978 heralded a new era in health. The concept of primary health care and the global health-for-all strategy to implement it are now rapidly gaining ground. In villages, towns and districts, people are waking up to the fact that they can contribute to their own health destiny. As WHO embarks on its 5th decade, there are grounds for optimism: health is moving in the right direction in spite of major obstacles.
Berkeley, Calif./London, England, University of California Press, 1981. xii, 173 p. (In series: Royer Lectures)This work, intended for a general as well as professional audience, argues that the acquired abilities of people including education, experience, skills, and health, are basic in achieving economic progress in the developing world. The 1st section examines the phenomenon of poverty in the developing world and stresses the contributions of human capital to productivity and human welfare in the lower income countries. Possible investments in human quality are surveyed, and theoretical and empirical observations concerning education and health are presented. A separate chapter assesses the role of higher education in developing countries, arguing that although governments in many countries impair the role of higher education, achievements have been substantial in a number of them. The next section examined economic consequences of the increases in the value of time that occur with development. A discussion of methodological and conceptual difficulties in measuring the value of time is included. The final section analyzes some serious economic distortions that result from government policies in developed as well as developing countries and that prevent the potential economic productivity of the poor from being realized. Distortions in the school systems of large cities, in allocation of funds for research, and in various aspects of life in developing countries that are affected by the international donor community are examined. Some implications of the findings are suggested in a brief concluding chapter.
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. 3-22.The Population Division of the Department of International Economic and Social Affairs of the UN in cooperation with the Division of Human Rights organized a 2nd Symposium on Population and Human Rights. The purpose was to review developments in the formulation and implementation of human rights as they related to population trends and policies in the context of changing economic and social conditions. Human Rights were discussed in relation to the following topics: 1) fertility 2) mortality and morbidity 3) the status of women 4) aging 5) internal migration 6) international migration. This paper serves to introduce the general proposals that were made in regard to the areas that were considered, and also reviews the new institutional functions in the area of human rights and population. Annex I contains the agenda of the Symposium, and Annex II lists the participants.
Aging: a matter of international concern, statement made to the world Assembly on Aging, Vienna, Austria, 27 July 1982.
New York, N.Y., UNFPA, . 9 p. (Speech Series No. 78)This statement discusses the rising proportion of the aged in the total population of both developed and developing countries, causing psychological, economic, social and spiritual needs. The aging of the population is the consequent phenomenon of the demographic transition, that is the reduction of fertility and prolongation of life expectancy. People aged 60 or over constitute 15% of the population of developed nations in 1975. It is expected that by the year 2000, they will constitute 18% of the population. This transition called for programs for the welfare, health and protection of the aged. One of the most important issues facing both developed and developing countries is to insure that, in the process of industrialization, urbanization and social change, the valuable aspects of village and extended family life are not lost. UNFPA's agenda for the aging include data collection, research, support communication, collaboration with concerned institutions, and policy consultations.
[Unpublished] . Presented at the Western Hemisphere Conference of Parliamentarians, 4 December 1982, Brasilia. 11 p.In this address to Western hemisphere parlimentarians, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) urged conference participants from Latin American countries to serve as advocates for the children in their countries by 1) promoting national policies to reduce infant and child mortality through the implementation of oral rehydration therapy and nutrition surveillance programs; 2) encouraging their respective countries to implement and maintain the International Code on Marketing of Breastmilk Substitues; and 3) lending their support to UNICEF's newly proposed programs to help abandoned children. UNICEF's mission is to help the millions of children trapped by proverty. In line with this goal, UNICEF urges the Latin American countries to focus attention on 1) the 20 million Latin American children, aged 0-4 years, living in poverty and at high risk of death, malnutrition, and serious mental and physical disability; and 2) on the 30 million Latin American street children who have either no ties or only weak family ties. In reference to the 1st group of children, UNICEF urges countries which have not already done so to implement low cost oral rehydration therapy and nutritional surveillance programs and to adopt policies which will reverse the trend toward bottlefeeding. These activities cost little and involve little or no political risk, however, they can siginificantly reduce infant and child death rates. Reductions in the death rate will not, as some fear, increases the population growth problem; indeed, the opposite is true. Historically it has been demonstrated that in countries with an overall death rate of 14-15/1000 population, for each subsequent decline in the death rate there is a larger decline in the birth rate. For example, in Brazil between 1960-80 a 5 point decline in the death rate was accompanied by a 13 point decline in the birthrate. In reference to the 30 million street children, UNICEF is currently developing special programs aimed at providing care and training for these children. Institutionalizing street children is costly and does not provide the home-like environment these children require. Innovative programs, such as group homes, children's cooperative villages, and other community based approaches are less costly and provide the type of support these children need to become productive and adjusted members of society. UNICEF is undertaking a cost benefit analysis of these alternative strategies. UNICEF expects to present a proposal at the 1983 session of the Executive Board to develop a major regional program in Latin America to assist street children and to prevent child abandonment. The program will require siginificant financial support and government support if it is to achieve its goals.