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  1. 1
    374728

    Basic newborn resuscitation: highlights from the World Health Organization 2012 guidelines.

    Maternal and Child Survival Program [MCSP]

    [Washington, D.C.], MCSP, 2017 Jun. 5 p. (USAID Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-14-00028)

    This brief complements the 2012 WHO Guidelines on Basic Newborn Resuscitation, and highlights key changes and best practices for newborn resuscitation in resource-limited settings. Successful implementation of these recommendations at the time of birth is intended to improve the quality of care for newborns, and contribute to better health outcomes and reduce preventable newborn deaths and disabilities due to birth asphyxia.
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  2. 2
    323651

    The importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights to prevent HIV in adolescent girls and young women in eastern and southern Africa.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Department of Reproductive Health and Research

    Geneva Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2017. 24 p. (Evidence Brief; WHO/RHR/17.05)

    Over the last several years, countries in the eastern and southern Africa (ESA) region have made significant and commendable progress in preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and in scaling up HIV treatment efforts. However, despite these gains, there have been no significant reductions in new HIV infections and the region continues to be the hardest hit by the epidemic, highlighting the need to place stronger emphasis on HIV prevention. The risk of HIV infection among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in the ESA region is of particular concern. The 2016 UNAIDS World AIDS Day report, Get on the Fast-Track – The life-cycle approach to HIV, stated that efforts to reduce new HIV infections among young people and adults have stalled, threatening to undermine progress towards ending AIDS as a global public health threat by 2030.
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  3. 3
    323650

    Sexually transmitted infections: Implementing the Global STI Strategy.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Department of Reproductive Health and Research

    Geneva Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2017. 8 p. (Evidence-to-Action Brief; WHO/RHR/17.18)

    This policy brief is designed to help countries implement the Global STI Strategy. By taking action to build sustainable national and institutional capacity for addressing STIs, countries can ensure that key cost- effective interventions reach the greatest number of people in need.
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  4. 4
    320196

    Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women. WHO clinical and policy guidelines.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2013. 68 p.

    A health-care provider is likely to be the first professional contact for survivors of intimate partner violence or sexual assault. Evidence suggests that women who have been subjected to violence seek health care more often than non-abused women, even if they do not disclose the associated violence. They also identify health-care providers as the professionals they would most trust with disclosure of abuse. These guidelines are an unprecedented effort to equip healthcare providers with evidence-based guidance as to how to respond to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women. They also provide advice for policy makers, encouraging better coordination and funding of services, and greater attention to responding to sexual violence and partner violence within training programmes for health care providers. The guidelines are based on systematic reviews of the evidence, and cover: 1) identification and clinical care for intimate partner violence; 2) clinical care for sexual assault; 3) training relating to intimate partner violence and sexual assault against women; 4) policy and programmatic approaches to delivering services; and 5) mandatory reporting of intimate partner violence. The guidelines aim to raise awareness of violence against women among health-care providers and policy-makers, so that they better understand the need for an appropriate health-sector response. They provide standards that can form the basis for national guidelines, and for integrating these issues into health-care provider education.
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  5. 5
    378148
    Peer Reviewed

    Expanding the evidence base for global recommendations on health systems: strengths and challenges of the OptimizeMNH guidance process.

    Glenton C; Lewin S; Gulmezoglu AM

    Implementation Science. 2016 Jul 18; 11:98.

    BACKGROUND: In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) published recommendations on the use of optimization or "task-shifting" strategies for key, effective maternal and newborn interventions (the OptimizeMNH guidance). When making recommendations about complex health system interventions such as task-shifting, information about the feasibility and acceptability of interventions can be as important as information about their effectiveness. However, these issues are usually not addressed with the same rigour. This paper describes our use of several innovative strategies to broaden the range of evidence used to develop the OptimizeMNH guidance. In this guidance, we systematically included evidence regarding the acceptability and feasibility of relevant task-shifting interventions, primarily using qualitative evidence syntheses and multi-country case study syntheses; we used an approach to assess confidence in findings from qualitative evidence syntheses (the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation-Confidence in Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative Research (GRADE-CERQual) approach); we used a structured evidence-to-decision framework for health systems (the DECIDE framework) to help the guidance panel members move from the different types of evidence to recommendations. RESULTS: The systematic inclusion of a broader range of evidence, and the use of new guideline development tools, had a number of impacts. Firstly, this broader range of evidence provided relevant information about the feasibility and acceptability of interventions considered in the guidance as well as information about key implementation considerations. However, inclusion of this evidence required more time, resources and skills. Secondly, the GRADE-CERQual approach provided a method for indicating to panel members how much confidence they should place in the findings from the qualitative evidence syntheses and so helped panel members to use this qualitative evidence appropriately. Thirdly, the DECIDE framework gave us a structured format in which we could present a large and complex body of evidence to panel members and end users. The framework also prompted the panel to justify their recommendations, giving end users a record of how these decisions were made. CONCLUSIONS: By expanding the range of evidence assessed in a guideline process, we increase the amount of time and resources required. Nevertheless, the WHO has assessed the outputs of this process to be valuable and is currently repeating the approach used in OptimizeMNH in other guidance processes.
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  6. 6
    372957

    Characterizing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa: time for strategic action.

    Abu-Raddad LJ; Akala FA; Semini I; Riedner G; Wilson D; Tawil O

    Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2010. [304] p. (World Bank Report No. 54889)

    This study is a continuation of the previous sector review, conducted in 2004. The 2008 review had two main objectives. This review is primarily an update on the situation. In its development strategy, Benin gave considerable importance to the health of its population. This effort is part of the long-term vision of the country. Improving health status, especially for the poor, is one of eight strategic directions for that vision. Similarly, on a more operational level, this objective is reflected in the current Growth Strategy for Poverty Reduction (GPRS 2007-2009). Benin is particularly committed towards the Millennium Development Goals, including 3 on the health sector. This review was also an opportunity to further analyze the constraints in the health system, consistent with the new strategy Health Nutrition and Population World Bank, Strategy adopted in 2007. But this exercise was not intended merely to be analytical. It also aimed to enrich the political dialogue between, on one hand, the actors in health and, secondly, the World Bank and other development partners. This effort relates more specifically to some themes such as governance, private sector involvement and alignment of partners' efforts (called technical and financial partners in Benin or PTFs). From this perspective, the journal is also a contribution to Benin's efforts to advance the IHP (International Health Partnership Plus). This initiative is now the main tool for implementing the Paris Declaration. In practice, the journal has sought to contribute to the consensus between the Ministry of Health and the donor group on the diagnosis of the health system and the changes needed to strengthen it. Several guidelines have emerged stronger from this discussion, particularly in the area of governance of the health system. Beyond the reinforcement of the various components of the health system, two fundamental principles should guide the transformation of this system: 1) A principle of corporate governance: through decentralization of the health system, health facilities must have their basic needs better taken into account (hence the need for bottom-up planning) and especially as more independent financially administrative; and 2) A principle of individual governance: health workers should be strongly encouraged to improve their performance (competence, productivity and compliance of patients). Given the limited success of measures to strengthen inspections and other controls "top-down, this incentive can only come from clients, either directly (i.e., bonuses based on cost recovery), or preferably indirectly with a mechanism for payment by results funded by the state and possibly partners.
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  7. 7
    338994
    Peer Reviewed

    The World Health Organization and the Globalization of Chronic Noncommunicable Disease.

    Weisz G; Vignola-Gagne E

    Population and Development Review. 2015 Sep 15; 41(3):507-532.

    Chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries have recently provoked a surge of public interest. This article examines the policy literature-notably the archives and publications of the World Health Organization (WHO), which has dominated this field-to analyze the emergence and consolidation of this new agenda. Starting with programs to control cardiovascular disease in the 1970s, experts from Eastern and Western Europe had by the late 1980s consolidated a program for the prevention of NCD risk factors at the WHO. NCDs remained a relatively minor concern until the collaboration of World Bank health economists with WHO epidemiologists led to the Global Burden of Disease study that provided an “evidentiary breakthrough” for NCD activism by quantifying the extent of the problem. Soon after, WHO itself, facing severe criticism, underwent major reform. NCD advocacy contributed to revitalizing WHO's normative and coordinative functions. By leading a growing advocacy coalition, within which The Lancet played a key role, WHO established itself as a leading institution in this domain. However, ever-widening concern with NCDs has not yet led to major reallocation of funding in favor of NCD programs in the developing world.
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  8. 8
    337718

    WHO recommendations for augmentation of labour.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014. [64] p.

    Optimizing outcomes for women in labour at the global level requires evidence-based guidance of health workers to improve care through appropriate patient selection and use of effective interventions. In this regard, WHO published recommendations for induction of labour in 2011. The goal of the present guideline is to consolidate the guidance for effective interventions that are needed to reduce the global burden of prolonged labour and its consequences. The primary target audience includes health professionals responsible for developing national and local health protocols and policies, as well as obstetricians, midwives, nurses, general medical practitioners, managers of maternal and child health programmes, and public health policy-makers in all settings. Augmentation of labour is the process of stimulating the uterus to increase the frequency, duration and intensity of contractions after the onset of spontaneous labour. It has commonly been used to treat delayed labour when poor uterine contractions are assessed to be the underlying cause. The WHO technical consultation adopted 20 recommendations covering practices relating to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of delayed progress in the first stage of labour, and supportive care for women undergoing labour augmentation. For each recommendation, the quality of the supporting evidence was graded as very low, low, moderate or high. The contributing experts qualified the strength of these recommendations (as strong or weak) by considering the quality of the evidence and other factors, including values and preferences of stakeholders, the magnitude of effect, the balance of benefits versus harms, resource use and the feasibility of each recommendation. To ensure that each recommendation is correctly understood and used in practice, additional remarks and an evidence summary have also been prepared, and these are provided in the full document, below each recommendation. Guideline users should refer to this information in the full version of the guideline if they are in any doubt as to the basis for any of the recommendations. (Excerpts)
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  9. 9
    337655

    Dissemination of WHO guidelines and recommendations on micronutrients: policy, practice and service delivery issues. Report of a regional meeting, Bangkok, 14-16 October 2014.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Regional Office for South-East Asia

    New Delhi, India, WHO, Regional Office for South-East Asia, 2015. [86] p. (SEA-NUT-195)

    The public health implications of micronutrient deficiencies are very important since these deficiencies adversely affect fetal and child growth, cognitive development of infants, children and adolescents, women of reproductive age and the elderly, and lower their resistance to infection. Of all the micronutrient deficiencies, anaemia is the most common in the South-East Asia Region and an estimated 55% of preschool children, 45% of pregnant women and 40% of women of child-bearing age are anaemic. Low intake of iron and other important nutrients in the diet, parasitic infections and low bioavailability of iron from plant-based diets are considered to be the causative factors. In recent years, WHO has produced or updated several evidence-based guidelines and recommendations on a large number of nutrients of public health importance. These evidence-based guidelines for nutrition action will assist the Member States to focus on key areas of intervention and develop a harmonized monitoring framework to assess the impact of such interventions on the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies. A regional meeting on dissemination of WHO guidelines and recommendations on micronutrients: policy, practice and service delivery issues, was organized by the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for South-East Asia in collaboration with the Department of Nutrition for Health & Development, WHO Headquarters, the Institute of Nutrition – Mahidol University, Thailand and the Micronutrient Initiative, in Bangkok, Thailand from 14-16 October 2014. The overall objective of the meeting was to discuss the effective dissemination and incorporation of WHO guidelines and recommendations on micronutrients in national control and prevention programmes highlighting the following topics: i) dissemination of current WHO guidelines and recommendations on micronutrients; ii) overview of recent strategies and approaches for addressing anaemia in different population groups; and iii) review of national protocols for the control and prevention of micronutrients deficiencies, with particular focus on anaemia.
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  10. 10
    337373

    Global nutrition targets 2025: Policy brief series.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014. [2] p. (WHO/NMH/NHD/14.2)

    Recognizing that accelerated global action is needed to address the pervasive and corrosive problem of the double burden of malnutrition, in 2012 the World Health Assembly Resolution 65.6 endorsed a Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, which specified a set of six global nutrition targets that by 2025 aim to: achieve a 40% reduction in the number of children under-5 who are stunted; achieve a 50% reduction of anaemia in women of reproductive age; achieve a 30% reduction in low birth weight; ensure that there is no increase in childhood overweight; increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months up to at least 50%; reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%. As part of its efforts, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a series of six policy briefs, linked to each of the global targets, to guide national and local policy-makers on what actions should be taken at scale, in order to achieve the targets. Recognizing that the six targets are interlinked, many evidence-based, effective interventions can help make progress toward multiple targets. The purpose of these briefs is to consolidate the evidence around which interventions and areas of investment need to be scaled up, and to guide decision-makers on what actions need to be taken in order to achieve real progress toward improving maternal, infant and young child nutrition. (Excerpts)
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  11. 11
    337377

    Global nutrition targets 2025: Stunting policy brief.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014. [9] p. (WHO/NMH/NHD/14.3)

    In 2012, the World Health Assembly Resolution 65.6 endorsed a Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, which specified six global nutrition targets for 2025. This policy brief covers the first target: a 40% reduction in the number of children under-5 who are stunted. The purpose of this policy brief is to increase attention to, investment in, and action for a set of cost-effective interventions and policies that can help Member States and their partners in reducing stunting rates among children aged under 5 years. (Excerpts)
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  12. 12
    337376

    Global nutrition targets 2025: Breastfeeding policy brief.

    World Health Organization [WHO]; UNICEF

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014. [8] p. (WHO/NMH/NHD/14.7)

    In 2012, the World Health Assembly Resolution 65.6 endorsed a Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, which specified six global nutrition targets for 2025. This policy brief covers the fifth target: Increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months up to at least 50%. The purpose of this policy brief is to increase attention to, investment in, and action for a set of cost-effective interventions and policies that can help Member States and their partners in improving exclusive breastfeeding rates among infants less than six months. (Excerpts)
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  13. 13
    337375

    Global nutrition targets 2025: Childhood overweight policy brief.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014. [8] p. (WHO/NMH/NHD/14.6)

    In 2012, the World Health Assembly Resolution 65.6 endorsed a Comprehensive implementation plan for maternal, infant and young child nutrition, which specified six global nutrition targets for 2025. This policy brief covers the fourth target: No increase in childhood overweight. The purpose of this policy brief is to increase attention to, investment in, and action for a set of cost-effective interventions and policies that can help Member States and their partners prevent continued increases in overweight in children and ensure that the target is met. (Excerpts)
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  14. 14
    337374

    Global nutrition targets 2025: Low birth weight policy brief.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014. [6] p. (WHO/NMH/NHD/14.5)

    In 2012, the World Health Assembly Resolution 65.6 endorsed a Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, which specified six global nutrition targets for 2025. This policy brief covers the third target: a 30% reduction in low birth weight. The purpose of this policy brief is to increase attention to, investment in, and action for a set of cost-effective interventions and policies that can help Member States and their partners in reducing rates of low birth weight. (Excerpts)
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  15. 15
    337372

    Global nutrition targets 2025: Anaemia policy brief.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014. [6] p. (WHO/NMH/NHD/14.4)

    In 2012, the World Health Assembly Resolution 65.6 endorsed a Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, which specified six global nutrition targets for 2025 . This policy brief covers the second target: a 50% reduction of anaemia in women of reproductive age. The purpose of this policy brief is to increase attention to, investment in, and action for a set of cost-effective interventions and policies that can help Member States and their partners in reducing the rates of anaemia among women of reproductive age. (Excerpts)
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  16. 16
    337371

    Global nutrition targets 2025: Wasting policy brief.

    World Health Organization [WHO]; UNICEF; World Food Programme

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014. [8] p. (WHO/NMH/NHD/14.8)

    In 2012, the World Health Assembly Resolution 65.6 endorsed a Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, which specified six global nutrition targets for 2025. This policy brief covers the sixth target: reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%. The purpose of this policy brief is to increase attention to, investment in, and action for a set of cost-effective interventions and policies that can help Member States and their partners to reduce and maintain the rate of childhood wasting. (Excerpts)
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  17. 17
    335992
    Peer Reviewed

    Appraisal of guidelines developed by the World Health Organization.

    Burda BU; Chambers AR; Johnson JC

    Public Health. 2014; 128:444-474.

    Objective: To appraise the quality of guidelines developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) that were approved by its Guidelines Review Committee (GRC) and identify strengths and weaknesses in the guideline development process. Study design: Cross-sectional. Methods: Three individuals independently assessed GRC-approved WHO guidelines using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II instrument (AGREE II). Scores were standardized across domains and overall quality was determined through consensus. Results: 124 guidelines met inclusion criteria and were assessed. 58 guidelines were recommended for use, 58 were recommended with modifications and eight were not recommended. The highest scoring domains across guidelines were scope and purpose, and clarity of presentation. The recommended guidelines had higher rigor of development and applicability domain scores in comparison to other guidelines. 77% of the guidelines referenced an underlying evidence review and 49% used GRADE to assess the body of evidence or the strength of the recommendation. The domains in need of improvement included stakeholder engagement, editorial independence, and applicability. Guidelines not recommended for use were generally insufficient in their rigor of development. Conclusions: WHO guidelines need further improvement, most importantly in the rigor of their development (i.e., use of evidence reviews). Other areas for improvement include increased stakeholder engagement, a more explicit process for recommendation formulation and disclosure of interests, discussion of the facilitators, barriers, resource implications, and criteria for monitoring the outcomes of guideline implementation. WHO guidelines can improve through increased transparency, adherence to the WHO Handbook for Guideline Development, and better oversight by the GRC.
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  18. 18
    335827

    Health for the world’s adolescents: A second chance in the second decade. Summary.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, 2014. [20] p. (WHO/FWC/MCA/14.05)

    The report summarized in this document brings together all WHO guidance concerning adolescents across the full spectrum of health issues. It offers a state-of-the-art overview of four core areas for health sector action: providing health services; collecting and using the data needed to plan and monitor health sector interventions; developing and implementing health-promoting and health-protecting policies; and mobilizing and supporting other sectors. The report concludes with key actions for strengthening national health sector responses to adolescent health. The website will be the springboard for consultation with a wide range of stakeholders leading to a concerted action plan for adolescents.
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  19. 19
    352170
    Peer Reviewed

    REACH: an effective catalyst for scaling up priority nutrition interventions at the country level.

    Pearson BL; Ljungqvist B

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2011 Jun; 32(2 Suppl):S115-27.

    BACKGROUND: Renewed Efforts Against Child Hunger (REACH) is the joint United Nations initiative to address Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 10, Target 3, i.e., to halve the proportion of underweight children under 5 years old by 2015. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) developed and tested a facilitation mechanism to act as a catalyst for scaling up multisectoral nutrition activities. OBJECTIVE: The UN-REACH partners developed pilot projects in Mauritania and Lao PDR from 2008 to 2010 and deployed facilitators to improve nutrition governance and coordination. Review missions were conducted in February 2011 to assess the REACH approach and what it achieved. METHODS: The UN review mission members reviewed documents, assessed policy and management indicators, conducted qualitative interviews, and discussed findings with key stakeholders, including the most senior UN nutrition directors from all agencies. RESULTS: Among other UN-REACH achievements, the Prime Minister of Mauritania agreed to preside over a new National Nutrition Development Council responsible for high-level decision-making and setting national policy objectives. REACH facilitated the completion of Lao's first national Nutrition Strategy and Plan of Action and formation of the multistakeholder Nutrition Task Force. During the REACH engagement, coordination, joint advocacy, situation analysis, policy development, and joint UN programming for nutrition were strengthened in Lao PDR and Mauritania. CONCLUSIONS: Improvements in the nutrition governance and management mechanisms in Mauritania and Lao PDR were observed during the period of REACH support through increased awareness of nutrition as a key development objective, establishment of governmental multisectoral coordinating mechanisms, improved government capacity, and new joint UN-government nutrition programming.
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  20. 20
    333078

    Priorities for research on equity and health: Implications for global and national priority setting and the role of WHO to take the health equity research agenda forward. Final report.

    Ostlin P; Schrecker T; Sadana R

    Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2010 Nov. [43] p.

    The current issues paper was commissioned by the Equity Analysis and Research Unit of WHO, Geneva, to update the advice provided in 2005. It sets forth the broad parameters for a global research agenda on equity and health, taking stock of contemporary efforts, stakeholder discussions, relevance to Member States and expected innovations. Organised in three sections (Background, Research priorities, and Next steps), this paper aims to stimulate further thinking, debate and refinement of strategic approaches focussing WHO support and collaborations to advance global research on equity and health. It is not a comprehensive review of research in the area of equity and health, nor of approaches to support research policies and their implementation in this area. Key strategic issues on which this paper aims to stimulate discussion are: 1. Based on recommendations and learning from the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, the Knowledge Networks set up to support the CSDH, and other contemporary efforts, what areas of research could WHO concentrate support on to best advance greater health equity? 2. What aspects of research, including the development of concepts, methods, norms and standards, and synthesis approaches could best benefit from global collaboration? 3. How can WHO support and guide collaborations to maximise the relevance of global research on equity and health to specific countries and sub-populations; and 4. What core strategies and innovative opportunities could increase research collaborations and the uptake of research, involving a wider range of investigators, institutions and civil society organisations from low- and middle-income countries? (Excerpts)
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  21. 21
    333068

    Systems thinking for health systems strengthening.

    de Savigny D; Adam T

    Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, 2009. [112] p.

    Over 2008, wide global consultation revealed considerable interest and frustration among researchers, funders and policy-makers around our limited understanding of what works in health systems strengthening. In this current Flagship Report we introduce and discuss the merits of employing a systems thinking approach in order to catalyze conceptual thinking regarding health systems, system-level interventions, and evaluations of health system strengthening. The Report sets out to answer the following broad questions: What is systems thinking and how can researchers and policy-makers apply it? How can we use this perspective to better understand and exploit the synergies among interventions to strengthen health systems? How can systems thinking contribute to better evaluations of these system-level interventions? This Report argues that a stronger systems perspective among designers, implementers, stewards and funders is a critical component in strengthening overall health-sector development in low- and middle-income countries. (Excerpt)
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  22. 22
    333062

    A conceptual framework for action on the social determinants of health.

    Solar O; Irwin A

    Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2010. [79] p. (Discussion Paper Series on Social Determinants of Health No. 2)

    Complexity defines health. Now, more than ever, in the age of globalization, is this so. The Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) was set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) to get to the heart of this complexity. They were tasked with summarizing the evidence on how the structure of societies, through myriad social interactions, norms and institutions, are affecting population health, and what governments and public health can do about it. To guide the Commission in its mammoth task, the WHO Secretariat conducted a review and summary of different frameworks for understanding the social determinants of health. This review was summarized and synthesized into a single conceptual framework for action on the social determinants of health which was proposed to and, largely, accepted by, the CSDH for orienting their work. A key aim of the framework is to highlight the difference between levels of causation, distinguishing between the mechanisms by which social hierarchies are created, and the conditions of daily life which then result. This paper describes the review, how the proposed conceptual framework was developed, and identifies elements of policy directions for action implied by the proposed conceptual framework and analysis of policy approaches. (Excerpt)
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  23. 23
    346649
    Peer Reviewed

    The FIGO initiative for the prevention of unsafe abortion.

    Shaw D

    International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2010 Jul; 110 Suppl:S17-9.

    Unsafe abortion is a recognized public health problem that contributes significantly to maternal mortality. At least 13% of maternal mortality is caused by unsafe abortion, mostly in poor and marginalized women. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) launched an initiative in 2007 to prevent unsafe abortion and its consequences, building on its work on other major causes of maternal mortality. A Working Group was identified with collaborators from many international organizations and terms of reference provided direction from the FIGO Executive Board as to possible evidence-based interventions. A total of 54 member associations of FIGO, representing almost half its member societies, requested participation in the initiative, with 43 subsequently producing action plans that are country specific and involve the national government and multiple collaborators. Obstetrician/gynecologists have demonstrated the importance of the initiative by an unprecedented level of engagement in efforts to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in country and by sharing experiences regionally. (c) 2010 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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  24. 24
    345010

    Quality - an essential dimension of sexual and reproductive health services.

    Hafner V

    Entre Nous. 2009; (68):8-9.

    The availability of effective sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) has major implications on health in the European context. Low natural growth, epidemiological challenges generated often by sexually transmitted infections, increasing cross-border movement and inequalities in quality standards and safety requirements in health services all impact the SRH of populations in the Region. Integration of health system functions is critical to efficiently address the evolving issue of SRH at national level, and to ponder system’s capacity for delivery with the fluctuating clinical demand and public expectations. In the national context, the main challenge lies in the interventions of choice and in the degree to which these are prioritized, linked and disseminated, in terms of value, resources and policies.
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  25. 25
    308514

    Addressing gender-based violence: A critical review of interventions.

    Morrison A; Ellsberg M; Bott S

    Research Observer. 2007 Spring; 22(1):25-51.

    This article highlights the progress in building a knowledge base on effective ways to increase access to justice for women who have experienced gender-based violence, offer quality services to survivors, and reduce levels of gender-based violence. While recognizing the limited number of high-quality studies on program effectiveness, this review of the literature highlights emerging good practices. Much progress has recently been made in measuring gender-based violence, most notably through a World Health Organization multicountry study and Demographic and Health Surveys. Even so, country coverage is still limited, and much of the information from other data sources cannot be meaningfully compared because of differences in how intimate partner violence is measured and reported. The dearth of high-quality evaluations means that policy recommendations in the short run must be based on emerging evidence in developing economies (process evaluations, qualitative evaluations, and imperfectly designed impact evaluations) and on more rigorous impact evaluations from developed countries. (excerpt)
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