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Lancet. 2007 Jul 28; 370(9584):297-298.Several affluent countries have announced donations totalling US$1.5 billion to buy new vaccines that will help eradicate pneumococcal diseases in the world's poorest children. Donations from the UK, Italy, Canada, Russia, and Norway launch what many hope will be a new era to ease the burdens of disease and foster economic growth. Yet only a quarter of the money will be spent on covering the costs of vaccines-three-quarters will go towards extra profits for vaccines that are already profitable. The Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), to which the G8 leaders and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have committed, is the difficulty. An AMC is a heavily promoted but untried idea for inducing major drug companies to invest in research to discover vaccines for neglected diseases by promising to match the revenues that companies earn from developing a product for affluent markets. By committing to buy a large volume of vaccine at a high price, an AMC creates a whole market in one stroke. However, no moneyis spent until a good product is fully developed. (excerpt)
Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2007 Jul; 7(7):439.The 2007 Group of Eight (G8) summit, which took place in Heiligendamm, Germany, on June 6-8, has been described by John Kirton (G8 Research Group, University of Toronto, Canada) as an "emerging centre of democratic global governance". Like many self-appointed elites, the G8 is an idiosyncratic club. The eight started as six in 1975 with a meeting in Rambouillet, France, of the heads of government of France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the USA-the most economically powerful democratic nations. This annual forum for discussion of matters of mutual interest was joined by Canada in 1976, by the European Union in 1977, and by Russia in 1997. Although the G8 nations account for nearly two-thirds of world economic output, the Russian economy is not among the world's top eight, whereas China with the fourth largest economy remains outside the G8 club. (excerpt)
Perspectives in Health. 2004; 9(2):14-21.Number 8 of the Millennium Development Goals calls on the world’s countries to “develop a global partnership for development.” Like the other seven, this is a worthy goal. But Goal 8 is special: It addresses not only what needs to be done to improve quality of life in the developing world, but also how rich countries can help. Boiled down, Goal 8 calls on rich countries to give more aid, cancel more debt, and reduce the trade barriers that shut out crops, clothing, and other exports from poor countries. It is a welcome innovation in the discourse on development, because it recognizes the important ways that rich countries influence the economic and physical environment in which poorer countries operate. Rich countries largely set the rules that govern flows of trade, investment, and migration, and they are the major sources of development aid. At the same time, their environmental policies affect the world, including poor countries, disproportionately. (excerpt)
To cure poverty, heal the poor. WHO study finds investments in health pay big development dividends.
Africa Recovery. 2002 Apr; 16(1):22-3.Research conducted by the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, established by the WHO and headed by Harvard University economist Jeffrey Sachs, found that the economic impact of ill health on individuals and societies is far greater than previous estimates. Providing basic health care to the world's poor, the commission asserted, is both technically feasible and cost effective. However, the price tag is high, with the annual spending on health care in the least developed countries and other low-income states increased from US$53.5 billion to US$93 billion by 2007, and to US$119 billion per year by 2015. These amounts are intended to finance essential services required to meet the minimum health goals adopted by world leaders at the September 2000 UN Millennium Assembly. These objectives can be achieved by forging a new global partnership between developed and developing countries for the delivery of health care. Moreover, donor countries and multilateral agencies would have to increase their overall support for health programs in all developing countries.
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 1993 Sep 18; 307(6906):723-6.The Catholic Church approves the use of natural family planning (NFP) methods. Many people think only of the rhythm method when they hear NFP so they perceive NFP methods to be unreliable, unacceptable, and ineffective. They interpret the Catholic Church's approval of these methods as its opposition to birth control. The Billings or cervical mucus method is quite reliable and effective. Rising estrogen levels coincide with increased secretion of cervical mucus, which during ovulation is relatively thin and contains glycoprotein fibrils in a micelle like structure aiding sperm migration. Ultrasonography confirms that the day of most abundant secretion of fertile-type eggs white mucus is the day of ovulation. Once progesterone begins to be secreted, cervical mucus becomes thick and rubbery and acts like a plug in the cervix. Other symptoms associated with ovulation include periovulatory pain and postovulatory rise in basal body temperature. A WHO study of 869 fertile women from Australia, India, Ireland, the Philippines, and El Salvador found 93% could accurately interpret the ovulatory mucus pattern, regardless of education and culture. The probability of pregnancy among women using the cervical mucus method and having intercourse outside the fertile period was .004. The probability of conception increased the closer couples were to the fertile period when they had intercourse (.546 on -3 to -1 peak day and .667 on peak day 0), regardless of education and culture. The failure rate of NFP among mainly poor women in Calcutta, India, equal that of the combined oral contraceptive (0.2/100 women users yearly). Poverty was the motivating factor. NFP costs nothing, is effective (particularly in poverty stricken areas), has no side effects, and grants couples considerable power to control their fertility, indicating the NFP may be the preferred family planning method in developing countries. Prejudices about NFP should be dropped and worldwide dissemination of NFP information should occur.
NURSING JOURNAL OF INDIA. 1992 Apr; 83(4):82-90.Heart attacks and stroke kill about 12 million people each year or 25% of all deaths. No other single disease takes so many lives or disables so many people each year. Besides many of these dead are <65 years old resulting in considerable premature deaths. Heart attacks and stroke caused by life style choices even affect people living in developing countries as these countries reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases and develop socioeconomically with their concomitant increase in life expectancies. People in these countries still develop heart diseases that almost do not even exist in developed countries including rheumatic heart disease and heart disease caused by Chagas' disease. Crowded living conditions caused by poverty and limited medical services cause strep throat which left untreated can turn into rheumatic fever and then to heart disease. Yet treatment with penicillin protects against all 3 conditions. About 300,000 new rheumatic heart disease cases arise each year. Yearly deaths from rheumatic heart disease equals about 60,000. Poverty is also responsible for Chagas' disease of which about 17 million suffer in Latin America. In developing countries, the middle class is at highest risk of hypertension. Health promotion activities have resulted in a decline in cardiovascular diseases in developed countries in Western Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. These activities include health education, diet changes, exercise, and no tobacco use. These activities also reduce the prevalence of other diseases thus keeping populations healthier longer. It is important that the healthy life styles begin when children are young. WHO dedicated World Health Day 1992 to heart health to promote heart healthy activities which can save 6 million lives yearly.
[The Church, the Family and Responsible Parenthood in Latin America: a Meeting of experts] Iglesia, Familia y Paternidad Responsable en America Latina: Encuentro de Expertos.
Bogota, Colombia, CELAM, 1977. (Documento CELAM No. 32.)This document is the result of a meeting organized by the Department of the Laity of the Latin American Episcopal Council on the theme of the Church, Family, and Responsible Parenthood. 18 Latin American experts in various disciplines were selected on the basis of professional competence and the correctness of their philosophical and theological positions in the eyes of the Catholic Church to study the problem of responsible parenthood in Latin America and to recommend lines of action for a true family ministry in this area. The work consists of 2 major parts: 12 presentations concerning the sociodemographic, philosophical-theological, psychophysiological, and educational aspects of responsible parenthood, and conclusions based on the work and the meetings. The 4 articles on sociodemographic aspects discuss the demographic problem in Latin America, Latin America and the demographic question in the Conference of Bucharest, maturity of faith in Christ expressed in responsible parenthood, and social conditions of responsible parenthood in Peruvian squatter settlements. The 3 articles on philosophical and theological aspects concern conceptual foundations of neomalthusian theory, pastoral attitudes in relation to responsible parenthood, and pastoral action regarding responsible parenthood. 2 articles on psychophysiological aspects discuss the couple and methods of fertility regulation and the gynecologist as an advisor on psychosexual problems of reproduction. Educational aspects are discussed in 3 articles on sexual pathology and education, education for responsible parenthood, and the Misereor-Carvajal Program of Family Action in Cali, Colombia. The conclusions are the result of an interdisciplinary effort to synthesize the major points of discussion and agreements on principles and actions arrived at in each of the 4 areas.
Assignment Children. 1984; (65/68):267-72.The Regional Program on Early Stimulation, initiated by UNICEF in Central America and later extended to Latin America, was designed as an educational child rearing program for families in the lowest income group and based on nonformal methods to be used outside the scope of official education programs. The program started with the preparation of a series of booklets with information on illnesses, immunization, nutrition and on the stimulation children require at each stage of their development if they are to achieve their maximum potential. A simple, universal, easy-to-read vocabulary was used. The next step was to introduce some of the concepts contained in the booklets into newspapers and radio programs. In Guatemala, a phone-in program was broadcast with enormous success by a commercial radio station. As a result, a television program was planned. It was decided that a film should be made to illustrate the basic concepts underlying the integral development of the child. In Costa Rica, the film was broadcast by a national television station and seen by almost the entire country. With the help of these materials, and the use of teacher-training courses, group dynamics and special techniques, over 6000 people were trained in early stimulation in Central America. A more comprehensive strategy was devised to make further use of the mass media in Central America. A number of film scripts, television and radio programs were developed in El Slavador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. In other countries radio and television have been used to teach the care required to improve children's biological, psychological and social development. Throughout Central and Latin America, use of the mass media for educational purposes is welcomed. Many of the projects undertaken during the International Year of the Child have been established on a peermanent basis in Central American countries.
Grass roots, herbs, promoters and preventions: a reevaluation of contemporary international health care planning. The Bolivian case.
Social Science and Medicine. 1983; 17(17):1281-9.In evaluating a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project in Bolivia, the author argues that the program unwittingly contributed to the situation that created Bolivia's political problems. A 5-year pilot project which covered 39 villages and colonies in the Montero district in the state of Santa Cruz began in 1975 and was completed in 1980. In 1980 the project was "deobligated" when all but essential economic aid to Bolivia was halted following a political coup. The pilot project was based on 1) community participation through health care; 2) a referral system from health post of the promotor to the center with an auxiliary nurse midwife, to secondary and tertiary care in hospitals by physicians; 3) an emphasis on preventive medicine; and 4) the use of traditional medicine along with other therapy by the promotor. Although these concepts sound appropriate, they are in fact derived from contemporary thought in advanced industrial societies. The assumptions about social reality that are inherent in these plans actually misconstrue Bolivian society. The unintended consequences of the project actually diminish rural health care. A difference between the Western health planner's conception and the Bolivian conception--of community, of effective referral systems, of preventive and indigenous medicines--can have the effect of producing a health care program that has little resemblance to what was originally intended. The Bolivian elite actually manipulated the USAID health care programs through hegemony in the villages. The Jeffersonian concept of community is not applicable in Bolivia where resources are only exchanged through personal contacts. In villages of multiple class or ethnic groups or both or in villages with close ties or histories of ties with larger, more cosmopolitan groups, multiple different interests exist. These work against each other to prevent the very cooperation envisioned by the health care programs. The author suggests that developed countries should consider native ideologies, native social relations, and indigenous medicine more sensitively in design.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1980 Aug. 166 p.This report examines some of the difficulties and prospects faced by developing countries in continuing their social and economic development and tackling poverty for the next 5-10 years. The 1st part of the report is about the economic policy choices facing both developing and richer countries and about the implications of these choices for growth. The 2nd part of the report reviews other ways to reduce poverty such as focusing on human development (education and training, health and nutrition, and fertility reduction). Throughout the report economic projections for developing countries have been carried out, drawing on the World Bank's analysis of what determines country and regional growth. Oil-exporting countries will face greater economic growth; their average GNP per person could grow 3-3.5% in the 1980s. Oil-importing countries will develop slower or fall to 1.8%/year. Poverty in oil-importing developing countries could grow at about 2.4% GNP/person and by 1990 there would be 80 million fewer people in absolute poverty. Factors which will contribute to the economic problems of developing countries are trade (import/export), energy, and capital flow. The progress of developing countries depends on internal policies and initiatives concerning investment and production efficiency, human development and population. Not only can human development increase growth but it can help to reduce absolute poverty.