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  1. 1

    Global battle cry: health is a right, not a commodity.

    Fernandez I

    Canadian HIV / AIDS Policy and Law Review. 2002 Dec; 7(2-3):80-84.

    Health is a fundamental right, not a commodity to be sold at a profit, argues Irene Fernandez in the second Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture delivered on 8 July 2002 to the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona. Ms Fernandez had to obtain a special permit from the Malaysian government to attend the Conference because she is on trial for having publicly released information about abuse, torture, illness, corruption, and death in Malaysian detention camps for migrants. This article, based on Ms Fernandez presentation, describes how the policies of the rich world have failed the poor world. According to Ms Fernandez, the policies of globalization and privatization of health care have hindered the ability of developing countries to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic-The article decries the hypocrisy of the industrialized nations in increasing subsidies to farmers while demanding that the developing world open its doors to Western goods. It points out that the rich nations have failed to live up their foreign aid commitments. The article concludes that these commitments - and the other promises made in the last few years, such as those in the United Nations' Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS - can only become a reality if they are translated into action. (author's)
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Called to account.

    Aldhous P

    Nature. 2004 Jul 8; 430:133.

    Next week, some 15,000 delegates will converge on Bangkok, Thailand, for the XV International AIDS Conference. It is appropriate, given the meeting's location in a fast-developing country that has done much to protect its citizens from HIV, that its theme is 'access for all'. For the poor countries hit hardest by AIDS, this is the crucial issue -- they need access to lifesaving drugs, to interventions that can limit the spread of HIV, and to the money to pay for it all. At the last international conference, in Barcelona in 2002, hopes were high that the rich world would begin to provide the cash to allow developing nations, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, to fight back against HIV. "Bangkok will be a time of accountability," observed Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (see Nature 418, 115;2002). Now it is time to take stock. Today's balance sheet reveals a mixed picture. On the plus side, more people than ever before are being treated with cocktails of antiretroviral drugs. According to UNAIDS, 230,000 AIDS patients in developing countries were getting these drugs at the end of 2001; two years later, this figure had risen to 400,000. Price reductions have driven this progress -- negotiations by philanthropic organizations have helped to lower costs from a minimum of US $300 per person, per year in 2002 to today's figure of $140. (excerpt)
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  3. 3
    Peer Reviewed

    Access to essential drugs prevented by pharmaceutical multinationals.

    Developing World Bioethics. 2001 May; 1(1):1-6.

    Many governments in developing countries, faced with millions of avoidable deaths of their citizens, have tried to import cheaper generic drugs from countries such as Thailand, Brazil and India. Invariably their attempts to save their citizens' lives has been met with lawsuits by pharmaceutical multinationals. Here are just a few examples of cases reported in local media in various developing countries. The picture that emerges is that of a global confrontation between pharmaceutical companies and the governments of developing countries. (author's)
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  4. 4

    The role of health centres in the development of urban health systems: report of a WHO Study Group on Primary Health Care in Urban Areas.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Study Group on Primary Health Care in Urban Areas


    The WHO Study Group on Primary Health Care (PHC) in Urban Areas has written a report after examining the development of reference health centers in urban areas in various parts of the world. It considers such centers to be a potentially important way to improve urban health services. Reference health centers, with real roots in the community and good links to first level and referral level care, can address the problems of access to health care and intersectoral collaboration. Each center should be based on a general model, but its exact operation depends on local conditions and on a comprehensive situation analysis that considers social and financial factors and the level of organizational development. Each reference center should determine what needs to be done locally with local and national resources. Outside donors should only provide assistance for operational costs and a last resort. To plan services adequately, decision makers must define geographical catchment areas and travel times. These definitions must see to it that services integrate with each other vertically (with services at health post and hospital levels), and horizontally (with government, and nongovernmental, and community projects). A solid epidemiological understanding of major local health problems is essential for expanding PHC through reference health centers. This knowledge comes from an assessment of demographic, morbidity, mortality, and social data an evaluation of coverage of underserved and marginal groups. Reference health centers would be in an ideal position to gather and analyze these data. Innovative ways to obtain the resources for urban PHC are collection of user fees and close supportive links with universities and nongovernmental organizations. The Study Group looks at how reference health centers in Cali, Colombia; Manila, the Philippines; and Newark, New Jersey in the US, developed.
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  5. 5

    Haiti. Project paper. Family planning outreach.

    United States. Agency for International Development [USAID]. International Development Cooperation Agency

    [Unpublished] 1981 Aug 28. 222 p. (AID/LAC/P-085)

    The background, goals, projected activities and beneficiaries, financial requirements, and implementation plans for a Family Planning Outreach Project in Haiti are detailed. The project is intended to assist the Government of Haiti to establish a cost-effective national family planning program. Population growth continues to accelerate in Haiti, despite high infant and child mortality, significant emigration, and declining fertility. The government does not have an articulated population policy. Although family planning and maternal and child health services have been in existence since 1971, there is no effective access to these services. This project is viewed as a means of achieving a substantial and sustained reduction in family size and improving health status. It is also a means of strengthening the Haitian family so it can participate more directly in the national development process. The purpose of the project will be accomplished through the following activities: 1) improvement of the organization and management of the national family planning program; 2) improvement of the quality and quantity of maternal and child health and family planning services; 3) expansion of the participation of private and voluntary organizations, other governmental, and local community groups in service provision; 4) increase in the availability of contraceptives at reasonable prices through rural and urban commercial channels; and 5) formulation of appropriate population and family planning policies. By the end of the project, all government health facilities and 75% of private facilities will actively counsel and provide family planning services; integrated models of community health and family planning services will have been developed to serve 60% of the population; basic drugs and contraceptives will be available at reasonable subsidized prices throughout the country; and 25% of women ages 15-45 at risk of pregnancy will be continuing users of effective contraceptive methods. The project will be implemented by the existing infrastructure of private and public organizations, primarily by the Department of Public Health and Population and its Division of Family Hygiene. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing US$9.615 million (54%) toward the estimated US$17.980 million cost of the 5-year project. An additional US$6.555 million (36%) will be provided by the Government of Haiti.
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  6. 6

    Annual report of the director, 1984.

    Pan American Health Organization [PAHO]

    Washington, D.C., PAHO, Pan American Sanitary Bureau/Regional Office of the World Health Organization, 1985. xix, 265 p. (Official Document No. 201)

    Efforts to meet the goal of health for all by the year 2000 have been hampered by the internal and external problems faced by many countries of the Americas. The pressures of external debt have been accompanied by a reduction in the resources allocated to social sector programs, including health programs. In addition, the conflict in Central America has constrained solutions to subregional problems. The health sector suffers from uncoordinated services, lack of trained personnel, and waste. Thus 30-40% of the population do not have access to basic health services. In 1984, the governments in the region, together with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), undertook projects in 5 action areas: new approaches and technology, development, intra- and intersectoral linkages, joint activities by groups of countries, mobilization of national resources and external financing, and preparation of PAHO to meet the needs of these processes. New approaches include the expansion of epidemiological capabilities and practices, the use of low-cost infant survival strategies, the improvement of rural water supplies, and the development of domestic technology. Interorganizational linkages are aimed at eliminating duplication and filling in gaps. Ministers of health and directors of social security programs are working together to rationalize the health sector and extend coverage of services. Similarly, countries have grouped to deal with common problems and offer coordinated solutions. The mobilization of national resources involves shifting resources into the health field and increasing their efficiency and effectiveness by setting priorities. External resources are recommended if they supplement national efforts and are short-term in nature. In order to enhance these strategies, PAHO has increased the managerial and operating capacity of its central and field offices. This has required consolidating programs, retraining staff, and instituting information systems to monitor activities and budgets. The report summarizes health indicators and activities by country, for all nations under PAHO.
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  7. 7

    The potential of national household survey programmes for monitoring and evaluating primary health care in developing countries. L'apport potentiel des enquetes nationales sur les menages a la surveillance et a l'evaluation des soins de sante primaires dans les pays en developpement.

    Carlson BA

    World Health Statistics Quarterly. Rapport Trimestriel de Statistiques Sanitaires Mondiales. 1985; 38(1):38-64.

    National programs of household sample surveys, such as those being encouraged through the National Household Survey Capability Program (NHSCP), are a principal source of information on primary health care in developing countries. Being representative of the total population, the major population subgroups and geographic subdivisions, they permit calculation of health status and utilization of health services. Household surveys have an important role to play in monitoring and evaluating primary health care since they sample directly the intended beneficiaries, and so can be used to judge the extent to which programs are meeting expected goals. Caution is necessary, however, since methodological problems have been experienced for many evaluation surveys. National surveys are especially appropriate for measuring many indicators of progress towards national goals within a broad socioeconomic perspective. Future directions in making the optimum use of household surveys for health program purposes are indicated. The NHSCP is a major undertaking of the UN system including WHO to collaborate with developing countries to establish a continuing flow of integrated statistics on a recurrent basis to support the national development process and information priorities. It brings together the principal users and producers of data to plan and conduct surveys which respond to national needs and priorities. The NHSCP encourages countries to employ a permanent national field organization for data collection. Areas of discussion are: the potential for monitoring and evaluation, the household survey as a source of health indicators, the demand for household surveys of health, followed by a summary of the health and health-related topics covered by 6 national health and nutrition surveys conducted in several developing countries. The special themes of infant and child mortality, morbidity and nutritional surveillance are also considered. The experience of many developed countries has been very positive with the use of nonmedically organized health surveys. Although the sample survey can be used in many settings to obtain population-based data, it must be carefully designed and implemented according to scientific procedures in order for the results to be validly extrapolated to the population or subgroups of primary concern.
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  8. 8

    The experience of the Association for Voluntary Sterilization in supporting vasectomy programs.

    Jezowski TW; Ahmad JS

    [Unpublished] 1982. Paper prepared for Conference on Vasectomy, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Oct. 4-7, 1982. 21 p.

    Discusses the factors responsible for the decline of male acceptance of vasectomy over the past decade. The Association for Voluntary Sterilization (AVS) is a nonprofit organization working in the United States which helps funding of similar programs in other developed and developing countries. Reasons for the decline of vasectomy acceptance include the lack of attention paid to male sterilization in countries with family planning programs, the introduction of new technology for female sterilization, the introduction of new effective methods of contraception, and the exaggerated sexual role of the male and the need to protect his virility. The author reviews successful vasectomy programs and finds that, to be successful, a program should have strong leadership, a focussed design, clinic hours that would not interfere with patients' working schedules, and should pay attention to the needs of men, e.g., emphasizing that vasectomy does not cause impotency. The program should also have a community-based orientation, since all the services are not hospital-based and can be brought to the client's home, thereby emphasizing the minor nature of the surgery. AVS believes that vasectomy as a means of family planning can be effective. It is safe, inexpensive, simple, and deliverable. A special fund was allocated in 1983 to stimulate the development of several pilot and demonstration projects in a variety of countries.
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