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Lancet. 2006 Nov 25; 368(9550)The first African Regional Health Report, finally released this week more than a year after its initial launch target, is one of the first products to emerge from Luis Sambo's Directorship of WHO's African Regional Office. In his inaugural speech on Feb 1, 2005, Sambo urged his colleagues, in country offices and regional headquarters, to "intensify efforts at identifying the best practices in health" and "document and disseminate" them so they can be replicated. This regional health report is, he believes, a key step in upgrading WHO AFRO's stewardship role in the region. It is a disappointing effort, one that reveals WHO's weaknesses rather than its strengths. It is clearly intended as an overview rather than as a detailed analysis, but even so it still suffers from being light on facts and heavy on well-rehearsed rhetoric. Much is simply lifted from past World Health Reports that have emerged from Geneva headquarters, supplemented by data from the World Bank and other institutions. There are some useful asides: briefly reported successes, such as a remarkable reduction in road traffic deaths in Rwanda and improvements to health-service access in South Africa's rural areas. However, it will take much more than an assemblage of isolated anecdotes to create a strategy for Africa's renaissance. (excerpt)
Bangkok, Thailand, United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 1987. xii, 282 p. (ST/ESCAP/434.)Growing worldwide recognition of the unequal participation of women in development culminated in the declaration of 1975 as International Women's Year and of the subsequent 10 years as the UN Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace (1976-1985). The present report summarizes the progress achieved for and by women in Asia and the Pacific during the UN Decade for Women. This report should be read critically since the coverage of the country responses to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) questionnaires was uneven. The international attention directed to the issue of women and development spurred the establishment of national machineries for the promotion of women's interests in many of the Asian and Pacific countries where none had existed, and the strengthening of those already active. In Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand, the national machinery was formed at the ministerial level. In other countries, a ministry already has the task of advancing women. In other countries, focal points are positioned directly under the leadership of the head of the executive branch. In Afghanistan, China, Mongolia, and Viet Nam the responsibility has been given to the national women's organizations that emerged after radical socio-political transformations. Countries of a 4th group have attached their machineries to a sectoral ministry or organization. During the UN Decade for Women, India, Nepal, Samoa, and Thailand included for the 1st time in their planning history a separate chapter in their national development plans on the integration of women into the development process. India, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Thailand formulated separate national plans of action for the advancement of women. In other countries, including Fiji and Vanuatu, national plans of action were drafted and submitted to their governments by non-governmental women's organizations. 17 ESCAP member countries have signed, ratified, or acceded to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1987. vi, 45 p. (Population Policy Paper No. 14; ST/ESA/SER.R/80)The formulation, implementation and evaluation of population policies in Malaysia is the focus of this case study by the Population Division of the Department of International Economic and Social Affairs of the UN. The introduction presents the historical background and socioeconomic conditions of Malaysia, with explanations of past and present population and development policy. The demographic setting is examined in the next section, which explains historical and current demographic trends based on fertility, age, birth, death, and nuptiality rates. Population policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation up to 1984 comprises the 2nd section of the report. Tables provide statistical information regarding birth rates, types of evaluation tools, and trends in family planning knowledge, attitudes, and practices. The final section addresses population policy and program direction since 1984. A rationale for a new policy is offered, as well as demographic targets, reactions to the new policy, and suggestions for coordination and monitoring plans. The concluding section summarizes the goals of the comprehensive population policy, and outlines the government's efforts toward that objective.
In: Impact, effectiveness and efficiency of the AFPH programs on family planning status in 20 provinces, [compiled by] Mahidol University. Institute for Population and Social Research [IPSR]. Bangkok, Thailand, Mahidol University, IPSR, 1983. 3-9. (IPSR Publication No. 76)The Population Project, implemented by the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand, has as its goal the integration of family planning with existing public health services. 20 provinces were selected for the project from 1979-1982. Thailand's population policy, instituted in 1970, was aimed at reducing the growth rate, which had inhibited national development. The plan featured 2 5-year plans, and the Population Project was designed to meet the goals of these plans. The strategies to achieve these goals include: expansion and improvement of family planning services; training of public health personnel; expansion of information services; and increased evaluation and research on family planning. Financial aid for the project came from the World Bank, as well as various international governmental aid agencies. It was estimated that to achieve the reduced growth rate goal, 3 million new contraceptive acceptors and 1.6 million continuing users were required. The project operated on 2 levels, national and provincial. On the national level, training of non-medical personnel and expansion of family planning services were the aims. On the provincial level, the project's objective was to accelerate the expansion of family planning services in rural areas of 20 provinces that were characterized by low rates of family planning practice. The project was administered by the ministry of Public Health, with operation of the project under the Central Operation Unit, Provincial Operation Unit, and the Central Coordination Unit. The 5 levels of operation were: village; tambon; district; provincial; and national. Activities included service, training, communication, evaluation and research, and administrative management. By September 1981, the project realized an increase in health centers in rural areas, an increase in non-medical personnel, and the provision of additional vehicles. These inputs were realized across all 20 provinces participating in the project.