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    073072
    Peer Reviewed

    WHO: World Health Assembly.

    McGregor A

    Lancet. 1992 May 23; 339(8804):1287.

    1200 delegates from 175 member countries attended the 45th World Health Assembly in Geneva. Everyone at the Assembly ratified measures to prevent and control AIDS. 12 countries intended to do long term planning for community based care for AIDS patients. Further the Assembly denounced instances where countries and individuals denied the gravity of the AIDS pandemic. In fact, it expressed the importance for urgent and intensive action against HIV/AIDS. The assembly backed proposals to prevent and control sexually transmitted diseases that affect AIDS patients, especially hepatitis B. For example, in countries with hepatitis B prevalence >8% (many countries in Sub-Sahara Africa, Asia, the Pacific region, and South America), health officials should introduce hepatitis B vaccine into their existing immunization programs by 1995. By 1997, this vaccine should be part of all immunization programs. The Assembly was aware of the obstacles of establishing reliable cold chains for nationwide distribution, however. Delegates in Committee A objected to the fact that >50% of the populations of developing countries continued to have limited access to essential drugs. They also expressed disapproval in implementation of WHO's 1988 ethical criteria for promotion of drugs which WHO entrusted to the Council for International Organisations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS). CIOMS lacked WHO's status and thus could not effectively monitor drug advertising. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry as well as WHO provided the funds for a meeting of 25 experts to discuss principles included in the ethical criteria. At least 4 countries insisted that WHO have the ultimate authority in monitoring drug advertising. Delegates did adopt a compromise resolution on this topic which required that industry promotion methods be reported to the 1994 Assembly via the Executive Board. The Assembly requested WHO to establish an international advisory committee on nursing and midwifery and to improve the network of WHO collaborating centers which help national nursing groups.
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