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Alternative approaches to meeting basic health needs in developing countries: a joint UNICEF/WHO study.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 1975. 116 p.Based on the failure of conventional health services and approaches to make any appreciable impact on the health problems of developing populations, this study examined successful or promising systems of delivery of primary health care to identify the key factors in their success and the effect of some of these factors in the development of primary health care within various political, economic, and administrative frameworks. In the selection of new approaches for detailed study, emphasis was placed on actual programs that are potentially applicable in different sociopolitical settings and on programs explicitly recognizing the influence of other social and economic sectors such as agriculture and education on health. Information was gathered from a wide range of sources; including members, meeting reports, and publications of international organizations and agencies, gathered country representatives, and field staff. The 1st section, world poverty and health, focuses on the underprivileged, the glaring contrasts in health, and the obstacles to be overcome--problems of broad choices and approaches, resources, general structure of health services, and technical weasknesses. The main purpose of the case studies described in the 2nd part was to single out, describe, and discuss their most interesting characteristics. The cases comprised 2 major categories: programs adopted nationally in China, Cuba, Tanzania, and, to a certain extent, Venezuela, and schemes covering limited areas in Bangladesh, India, Niger, and Yugoslavia. Successful national programs are characterized by a strong political will that has transformed a practicable methodology into a national endeavor. In all countries where this has happened, health has been given a high priority in the government's general development program. Enterprise and leadership are also found in the 2nd group of more limited schemes. Valuable lessons, both technical and operational, can be derived from this type of effort. In all cases, the leading role of a dedicated individual can be clearly identified. There is also evidence that community leaders and organizations have given considerable support to these projects. External aid has played a part and apparently been well used. Every effort should be made to determine the driving forces behind promising progams and help harness them to national plans.
Washington, D.C., U.S. Agency for International Development, May 1982. 12 p. (A.I.D. Policy Paper)Estimates indicate that 600 million people in less developed countries (LDCs) are in danger of not getting enough to eat. This policy paper reviews the justifications for US investment in improving nutrition in LDCs and sets out some policy guidelines for USAID programs. The objective of the nutrition policy is to maximize the nutritional impact of USAID's economic assistance. The policy recommendations are to place the highest priority on alleviating undernutrition through sectoral programs which incorporate nutrition as a factor in decision making. This can be effected through identifying projects based upon analysis of food consumption problems; this is especially appropriate in formulating country development strategies, especially in the areas of agriculture, rural development, education and health. USAID will give increasing attention, through research, analysis, experimental projects, and programs, to improve the ability to utilize the private sector whenever feasible to implement the policy, and to target projects to at-risk groups with the design of overcoming or minimizing constraints to meeting their nutritional needs. It will also monitor the impacts of development projects and strengthen the capacity of indigenous organizations to analyze and overcome nutrition problems.