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  1. 1

    Drugs in the management of acute diarrhoea in infants and young children.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Diarrhoeal Diseases Control Programme

    [Unpublished] 1986. 6 p. (WHO/CDD/CMT/86.1)

    This article presents an overview of current therapeutic practice as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) Diarrheal Disease Control Program. The recommendations apply solely to acute diarrheal disease in infants and children. Therapy for such cases is primarily concerned with the prevention or correction of dehydration, the maintenance of nutrition, and the treatment of dysentery. The various approaches to treatment considered are: 1) oral rehydration, which is highly effective for combating dehydration and its serious consequences, but does not diminish the amount or duration of diarrhea; 2) antimotility drugs, none of which are recommended for use in infants and children because the benefits are modest and they may cause serious side effects, such as nausea and vomiting; 3) antisecretory drugs, only a few of which have been properly studied in clinical trials, virtually all of which have important side effects, a low therapeutic index, and/or only modest efficacy. Consequently, none can at present be recommended for the treatment of acute infectious diarrhea in infants and children. 4) aciduric bacteria, on which conclusive evidence is still lacking; 5) adsorbents: kaolin and charcoal have been proposed as antidiarrheal agents in view of their ability to bind and inactivate bacterial toxins, but the results of clinical studies have been disappointing. 6) improved Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS): this may turn out to be the most effective and safest antidiarrheal drug. 7) antibiotics and antiparasitic drugs for a few infectious diarrheas (e.g., cholera). Antibiotics can significantly diminish the severity and duration of diarrhea and shorten the duration of excretion of the pathogen. No antibiotic or chemotherapeutic agent has proven value fort the routine treatment of acute diarrhea; their use is inappropriate and possibly dangerous. It is concluded that oral that oral rehydration is the only cost-effective method of treating diarrhea among infants and children.The Inter-African Committee's (IAC) work against harmful traditional practices is mainly directed against female circumcision. Progress towards this aim is achieved mostly through the efforts of th non governmental organizations (NGO) Working Group on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children and the IAC. In 1984 the NGO Working Group organized a seminar in Dakar on such harmful traditional practices in Africa. The IAC was created to follow up the implementation of the recommendations of the Dakar seminar. The IAC has endeavored to strengthen local activities by creating national committees in Benin, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Togo. IAC activities in each country are briefly described In addition, the IAC has created an anatomical model, flannelgraphs, and slides to provide adequate educational material for the training of medical staff in teaching hospitals and to make village women aware of the harmful effects of female circumcision. The IAC held 2 African workshops at the Nairobi UN Decade for Women Conference. The African participants recognized the need for international solidarity to fight female circumcision and showed a far more definite and positive difference in their attitude towards the harmful practice than was demonstrated at the Copenhagen Conference/ Forum of 1980. At the United Nations level, female circumcision is receiving serious consideration. A special Working Group has been set up to examine the phenomenon. Finally, this article includes a statement by a sheikh from the Al Azhar University in Cairo about Islam's attitude to female circumcision.
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  2. 2

    Cooperation by UNICEF in the elimination of traditional practices affecting the health of women and children in Africa (Extract).

    Ngom MT

    In: Report on a Seminar on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa, organized by the Senegal Ministry of Public Health and the NGO Working Group on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children. Dakar, Senegal, Ministry of Public Health and NGO Working Group on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women adn Children, 1984. 182-4.

    This contribution begins with a statement of praise for the efforts of the Senegal conference, complimenting the conference's recognition of positive and negative influencing practices. Positive practices should be encouraged with arguments and striking examples. Attention is drawn to UNICEF document PRO-71, the product of the 1980 Inter-Organization Consultation Meeting on Combating the Practice of Female Circumcision (FC), through the improvement of women's status, and the elimination of false ideologies such as those related to the necessity of FC for the preservation of female modesty, virginity, and chastity. Further attention is drawn to the efforts of a multi-disciplinary study group on FC set up in Ivory coast. Finally, the readiness of UNICEF to further female and child health development, and growth chart, oral rehydration, breastfeeding immunization, food supplementation, family spacing, and female education developments, are discussed.
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  3. 3

    Female circumcision and women's health.

    Baasher T

    Draper Fund Report. 1980 Oct; (9):19-20.

    WHO (World Health Organization) and a number of professional, national, regional, and other international organizations recently intensified efforts to discourage the practice of female circumcision still extant in several African countries and in isolated areas of the Arabian Peninsula, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Female circumcision is an operation frequently performed on females, between the ages of 5-10, in accordance with religious and cultural traditions. The operaton involves the complete or partial removal of either the clitoris prepuce, glans clitoridis, the clitoris, the labia minora, and labia majora. The operation can result in serious psychological and health problems for the young girls. Immediate complications include surgical shock, hemorrage, infection, tetanus, and damage to the urethera or anus. Late complications include infertility, keloid formation, dermoid Cyst dyspareunia, pelvic infection, and pregnancy complications. In 1976 WHO focused special attention on the problem and in 1979 the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of WHO included a discussion of the problem in the agenda of a Seminar on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children. Seminar participants recommended that countries where female circumcision was still practiced should 1) abolish the practice by statute if necessary; 2) establish national commissions to deal with the problem; and 3) educate the public about the dangers of female circumcision. Somalia recently established a national commission on the problem, and the Cairo Society of Family Planning developed a set of recommendations for combating the practice.
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  4. 4

    Mutilation [letter]

    Lecoultre D; Leyland G; Hughes J

    PEOPLE. 1980; 7(1):2.

    The widespread practice of female circumcision in Africa is opposed by some women's groups, specifically the Women's Federation of Upper Volta and a private group of the OECD staff in Paris, but their opposition is not supported by the government. An educational campaign was launched in Ouagadougou with a series of 52 educational radio talks but the programs were stopped by the government. According to Dr. Jean Taoko of the Yalgado Hospital in Ougadougou, 70% of women admitted are excised. Many women need 2 episiotomies, a cut above and below the vagina, to be able to give birth. They have been almost closed up by infibulation after circumcision. It is hoped that respected international organizations, e.g., WHO and UNICEF, will be able to bring enough pressure to bear on African governments to relieve the problem of female mutilation.
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  5. 5

    [Clitorectomy: female circumcision] Klitorektomie: weibliche Beschneidung.

    Homuth I; Rethemeier A

    Pro Familie Informationen. 1979 Dec; 5:19-21.

    The Pro Familia organization published a declaration that the International Planned Parenthood Federation do all it could to prevent the incidence of female circumcision. Studies showed that this practice is followed in Africa, Asia, and Latin America by Muslims as well as members of animist religions. The clitoris and part of the labiae minorae are removed; this is meant to remove the source of sexual pleasure and prevent premarital and extramarital sexual intercourse. In some cultures the labiae minorae are sewn together, with a small opening left to accommodate menstrual bleeding. This practice has caused death by bleeding and blood poisoning and today is sometimes performed in clinics to avoid these dangers, often without success. Male and female circumcision are still seen in many cultures as necessary prerequisities to the maturation process.
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  6. 6

    Female circumcision.

    Taba AH

    World Health. 1979 May; 8-13.

    Female circumcision is still performed in African countries, and to a lesser extent in southern parts of the Arabian Peninsula, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The origins of the practice are unknown, but the custom is routinely performed as an integral part of social conformity and community identity. It is conceived as an essential element of the code of modesty. The age of the girl who is circumcised can be anywhere from 1 week to 10 years. The operation (clitoridectomy, mutilation of the labia minora and majora of the female genitalia) is often performed by nonskilled practitioners under adverse hygenic conditions. Serious complications, e.g., surgical shock, bleeding, infection, tetanus, and retention of urine, are common. In 1976 the World Health Organization's Director General issued a statement on the need to combat superstitions and practices such as female circumcision. In 1979 all the participants from countries of WHO's African and Eastern Mediterranean Regions unanimously resolved that the practice should be abolished. The public will need an intensified education program, including health education, and traditional healers will need demonstrations of the harmful effects of female circumcision, to overcome a deeply entrenched cultural practice.
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  7. 7

    Seminar on traditional practices affecting the health of women and children, Khartoum, Sudan, February 10-15, 1979.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean

    Alexandria, Egypt, WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, 1979 Mar. 43 p.

    The papers presented at this seminar were "Nutritional Taboos and Traditional Practices in Pregnancy and Lactation Including Breast-feeding Practice"; "Dietary Practice and Aversions during Pregnancy and Lactation Among Sudanese women"; "Traditional Feeding Practices in Pregnancy"; "Nutritional Taboos and Traditional Practices in Pregnancy and Lactation Including Breast-feeding Practices"; "Traditional Practices on Confinement and After Childbirth"; "Traditional Practices in Relation to Childbirth in Kenya"; "Traditional Practices in Child Health in Sudan"; Traditional Practices in Pregnancy and Childbirth in Ethiopia"; "Tobacco and Reproduction Health: Practices and Implications in Traditional and Modern Societies"; "Female Circumcision in the World of Today: a Global Review"; "Mental Aspects of Circumcision"; "Female Circumcision in Egypt"; and papers on female circumcision from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Other papers included "Psycho-Social Aspects of Female Circumcision"; "Sudanese Children's Concepts About Female Circumcision"; "A Study on Prevalence and Epidemiology of Female Circumcision in Sudan Today"; "Early Teenage Childbirth and its Consequences for both Mother and Child"; "Child Marriage and Early Teenage Pregnancy"; and, "Early Marriage and Teenage Deliveries in Somalia". Recommendations included breast-feeding for the health of the child and day nurseries for the mothers who work.
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  8. 8

    Excision condemned (at the Meeting on Traditional Practices affecting the Health of Women, Khartoum, Sudan, February 10-15, 1979).


    People. 1979; 6(2):40.

    Female circumcision was condemned at a WHO meeting in Khartoum, February 1979. 60 participants from Democratic Yemen, Djibouti, Egypt, Oman, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Upper Volta, plus UN, UNICEF, and WHO officials attended. Although excision is prevalent in West African countries, few were represented. Egypt, Ivory Coast, Somalia, and Sudan have outlawed excision and infibulation. The group also recommended further studies on child marriage and adolescent pregnancies, and for health policies and legislation to discourage child marriages.
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  9. 9

    Biological approaches to ovulation detection.

    Bonnar J

    In: Jeffcoate SL, ed. Ovulation: methods for its prediction and detection. Chichester, England, John Wiley, 1983. 33-47. (Current Topics in Reproductive Endocrinology Volume 3)

    This chapter reviews certain recognizable biological effects that occur due to the major changes in the circulating blood levels of estrogen and progesterone and discusses the ongoing use of these biological signals for the self detection of ovulation and the fertile phase of the cycle. These biological changes include the basal body temperature, changes in the cervix and its mucus secretion, mittelschmerz, and the menstrual cycle molimina. The calculation or calendar method is the oldest technique for determining the fertile period and followed the work of Ogino (1930) and Knaus (1933). The fertile phase of the cycle was identified from the records of the previous 6-12 menstrual cycles. The potential fertile period was then calculated on the following basis: define the shortest and the longest menstrual cycle over the preceding 6 and preferable 12 cycles; the 1st day of the potentially fertile phase is the longest cycle minus 11 days. For a women whose menstrual cycles have varied between 26-31 days, the potential fertile period would be days 8-20 of the cycle. The greatest weakness of the calendar calculation is that it depends on a prediction, based on the menstrual history, of what is likely to occur and not on what is actually taking place. Very rapid electronic thermometers are now available which offer considerable advantages over the clinical thermometer. The daily taking and charting of the basal body temperature (BBT) is the simplest and most widely used method for detecting ovulation. To overcome the drawbacks of the calendar method and the BBT method for identifying the fertile period, John and Evelyn Billings of Melbourne in the early 1970s developed the ovulation method. Self recognition of cervical mucus symptoms provides the woman with a simple means of detecting the fertile phase of her cycle and the likely time of ovulation. Individual cycle variation in the preovulatory duration of the symptoms limits the position of the prediction, yet the "peak" day correlates better with the time of ovulation than the shift in BBT. In addition to effects on cervical mucus, estrogen also changes the morphology of the cervix. The preovulatory rise in estrogensoftens the tissues of the cervix and opens the cervical os. The softened cervix and gaping os with a cascade of clear mucus is a sign of optimal estrogen response and of imminent ovulation. A World Health Organization (WHO) multicenter study of the ovulation method provided a substantial amount of information of the normal menstrual cycle of a large number of women of proven fertility in the age group 18-39 years whose cycles were not influenced by the use of hormonal or other contraceptive methods.
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  10. 10

    Progress report: world campaign against female genital mutilation.

    Women's International Network

    Win News. 1983 Autumn; 9(4):27-30.

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