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WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience: Ultrasound examination. Highlights and key messages from the World Health Organization’s 2016 Global Recommendations.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2018 Jan. 4 p. (WHO/RHR/18.01; USAID Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-14-00028)This brief highlights the WHO recommendation on routine antenatal ultrasound examination and the policy and program implications for translating this recommendation into action at the country level.
Tracing Africa's progress towards implementing the Non-Communicable Diseases Global action plan 2013-2020: a synthesis of WHO country profile reports.
BMC Public Health. 2017 Apr 05; 17(1):297.BACKGROUND: Half of the estimated annual 28 million non-communicable diseases (NCDs) deaths in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are attributed to weak health systems. Current health policy responses to NCDs are fragmented and vertical particularly in the African region. The World Health Organization (WHO) led NCDs Global action plan 2013-2020 has been recommended for reducing the NCD burden but it is unclear whether Africa is on track in its implementation. This paper synthesizes Africa's progress towards WHO policy recommendations for reducing the NCD burden. METHODS: Data from the WHO 2011, 2014 and 2015 NCD reports were used for this analysis. We synthesized results by targets descriptions in the three reports and included indicators for which we could trace progress in at least two of the three reports. RESULTS: More than half of the African countries did not achieve the set targets for 2015 and slow progress had been made towards the 2016 targets as of December 2013. Some gains were made in implementing national public awareness programmes on diet and/or physical activity, however limited progress was made on guidelines for management of NCD and drug therapy and counselling. While all regions in Africa show waning trends in fully achieving the NCD indicators in general, the Southern African region appears to have made the least progress while the Northern African region appears to be the most progressive. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that Africa is off track in achieving the NCDs indicators by the set deadlines. To make sustained public health gains, more effort and commitment is urgently needed from governments, partners and societies to implement these recommendations in a broader strategy. While donors need to suit NCD advocacy with funding, African institutions such as The African Union (AU) and other sub-regional bodies such as West African Health Organization (WAHO) and various country offices could potentially play stronger roles in advocating for more NCD policy efforts in Africa.
Postnatal care for mothers and newborns: Highlights from the World Health Organization 2013 guidelines.
[Geneva, Switzerland], World Health Organization [WHO], 2015 Apr.  p. (WHO/RHR/15.05; USAID Leader with Associates Cooperative Agreement No. GHS-A-00-08-00002-00; USAID Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-14-00028)This evidence brief provides highlights and key messages from World Health Organization’s 2013 Guidelines on Postnatal Care for Mothers and Newborns. These updated guidelines address the timing and content of postnatal care for mothers with a special focus on resource-limited settings in low- and middle-income countries. This brief is intended for policy-makers, programme managers, educators and providers who care for women and newborns after birth.
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.
Indoor residual spraying: an operational manual for indoor residual spraying (IRS) for malaria transmission control and elimination.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2013.  p.This manual has been created to enhance existing knowledge and skills, and to assist malaria programme managers, entomologists and vector control and public health officers to design, implement and sustain high quality IRS programmes. Though comprehensive, this manual is not intended to replace field expertise in IRS. The manual is divided into three chapters: IRS policy, strategy and standards for national policy makers and programme managers; IRS management, including stewardship and safe use of insecticides, for both national programme managers and district IRS coordinators; IRS spray application guidelines, primarily for district IRS coordinators, supervisors and team leaders. This manual will enable national programmes to: develop or refine national policies and strategies on vector control; develop or update existing national guidelines; develop or update existing national training materials; review access and coverage of IRS programmes; review the quality and impact of IRS programmes.
The World Health Organization-United Nations Population Fund Strategic Partnership Programme's implementation of family planning guidelines and tools in Asia-Pacific countries.
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research. 2013 Apr; 39(4):825-830.AIM: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the Strategic Partnership Programme, a collaboration between the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund to improve evidence-based guidance for country programs through the introduction of selected practice guidelines to improve sexual and reproductive health. METHODS: Information for this report is from questionnaires sent to Ministries of Health in 2004 (baseline assessment) and in 2007 (assessment of outcome), annual country reports and personal communication with focal points from Ministries of Health and World Health Organization regional and country offices. RESULTS: Following the Strategic Partnership Programme, family planning guidance was used extensively to: formulate and update reproductive health policy; update standards and guidelines; improve training curricula; conduct training activities; develop advocacy and communication materials; and promote change in service. CONCLUSION: The Strategic Partnership Programme was successful in promoting the introduction of evidence-based guidelines for reproductive health in several Asian countries. The countries that adapted the family planning guidance observed an increase in demand for contraceptives commodities. (c) 2012 The Authors. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research (c) 2012 Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Southern Med Review. 2011 Dec; 4(2):15-21.Objectives: Although poor reproductive health constitutes a significant proportion of the disease burden in developing countries, essential medicines for reproductive health are often not available to the population. The objective was to analyze the guiding principles for developing national Essential Medicines Lists (EML). The second objective was to compare the reproductive health medicines included on these EMLs to the 2002 WHO/UNFPA list of essential drugs and commodities for reproductive health. Another objective was to compare the medicines included in existing international lists of medicines for reproductive health. Methods: The authors calculated the average number of medicines per clinical groups included in 112 national EMLs and compared these average numbers with the number of medicines per clinical group included on the WHO/UNFPA List. Additionally, they compared the content of the lists of medicines for reproductive health developed by various international agencies. Results: In 2003, the review of the 112 EMLs highlighted that medicines for reproductive health were not consistently included. The review of the international lists identified inconsistencies in their recommendations. The reviews' outcomes became the catalyst for collaboration among international agencies in the development of the first harmonized Interagency List of Essential Medicines for Reproductive Health. Additionally, WHO, UNFPA and PATH published guidelines to support the inclusion of essential medicines for reproductive health in national medicine policies and EMLs. The Interagency List became a key advocacy tool for countries to review their EMLs. In 2009, a UNFPA/WHO assessment on access to reproductive health medicines in six countries demonstrated that the major challenge was that the Interagency List had not been updated recently and was inconsistently used. Conclusion: The addition of cost-effective medicines for reproductive health to EMLs can result in enhanced equity in access to and cost containment of these medicines, and improve quality of care. Action is required to ensure their inclusion in national budget lines, supply chains, policies and programmatic guidance.
Future Oncology. 2011 Oct; 7(10):1213-1222.Cancer is a global problem accounting for almost 13% of all deaths worldwide. This equates to over 7 million people a year, more than is caused by HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined. Now is the time to strengthen the health systems of developing countries to deal with cancer, to avoid a future crisis similar to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In this article we discuss the current state of cancer in the developing world, how we need to advocate for a change in cancer control policy with the governments of developing nations/transnational governmental bodies (e.g., the UN and WHO etc) and how we think cancer care could be improved in developing countries. We feel the only way to overcome the growing burden of cancer in the developing world is working in partnership with, nongovernmental organizations, international nongovernmental organizations, transnational governmental bodies and governmental bodies.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2011.  p.This tool, developed in collaboration between WHO, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is designed to support countries to strengthen national health strategies by applying human rights and gender equality commitments and obligations. The tool poses critical questions to identify gaps and opportunities in the review or reform of health sector strategies.
Geneva, Switzerland, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR], 2008 Apr. 20 p.This Guidance on Infant feeding and HIV aims to assist UNHCR, its implementing and operational partners, and governments on policies and decision- making strategies on infant feeding and HIV in refugees and displaced populations. Its purpose is to provide an overview of the current technical and programmatic consensus on infant feeding and HIV, and give guidance to facilitate elective implementation of HIV and infant feeding programmes in refugee and displaced situations, in emergency contexts, and as an integral element of coordinated approach to public health, HIV and nutrition programming. The goal of this guidance is to provide tools to prevent malnutrition, improve the nutritional status of infants and young children, to reduce the transmission of HIV infection from mother to child after delivery, and to increase HIV-free survival of infants.
Introducing WHO's sexual and reproductive health guidelines and tools into national programmes. Principles and processes of adaptation and implementation.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], Department of Reproductive Health and Research, 2007. 25 p. (WHO/RHR/07.4)The Departments of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) and Making Pregnancy Safer (MPS) at the World Health Organization (WHO) have developed a series of guidelines and tools to promote evidence-based practices in sexual and reproductive health within programs. The guidance developed by WHO/RHR and WHO/MPS includes: norms, standards and protocols designed to inform the development and revision of national policies and standards; programmatic guides to inform the development of sexual and reproductive health programs; tools and clinical guides designed to be used by health-care providers in clinical setting, according to evidence-based norms. The guidance covers a range of themes, including maternal and neonatal health, family planning, prevention and control of reproductive tract infections and sexually transmitted infections (RTIs/STIs) and the prevention of unsafe abortion. The various documents are based on scientific evidence and have been developed by WHO/RHR and WHO/MPS as generic global materials that are not specific to any one national context. (excerpt)
Traditional health practitioner and the scientist: Bridging the gap in contemporary health research in Tanzania.
Tanzania Health Research Bulletin. 2007 May; 9(2):115-120.Traditional health practitioners (THPs) and their role in traditional medicine health care system are worldwide acknowledged. Trend in the use of Traditional medicine (TRM) and Alternative or Complementary medicine (CAM) is increasing due to epidemics like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases like cancer. Despite the wide use of TRM, genuine concern from the public and scientists/biomedical heath practitioners (BHP) on efficacy, safety and quality of TRM has been raised. While appreciating and promoting the use of TRM, the World Health Organization (WHO), and WHO/Afro, in response to the registered challenges has worked modalities to be adopted by Member States as a way to addressing these concerns. Gradually, through the WHO strategy, TRM policy and legal framework has been adopted in most of the Member States in order to accommodate sustainable collaboration between THPs and the scientist/BHP. Research protocols on how to evaluate traditional medicines for safety and efficacy for priority diseases in Africa have been formulated. Creation of close working relationship between practitioners of both health care systems is strongly recommended so as to revamp trust among each other and help to access information and knowledge from both sides through appropriate modalities. In Tanzania, gaps that exist between THPs and scientists/BHP in health research have been addressed through recognition of THPs among stakeholders in the country's health sector as stipulated in the National Health Policy, the Policy and Act of TRM and CAM. Parallel to that, several research institutions in TRM collaborating with THPs are operating. Various programmed research projects in TRM that has involved THPs and other stakeholders are ongoing, aiming at complementing the two health care systems. This paper discusses global, regional and national perspectives of TRM development and efforts that have so far been directed towards bridging the gap between THPs and scientist/BHP in contemporary health research in Tanzania. (author's)
Non-communicable diseases and global health governance: Enhancing global processes to improve health development.
Globalization and Health. 2007 May 22; 3(1):2.This paper assesses progress in the development of a global framework for responding to non-communicable diseases, as reflected in the policies and initiatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and the UN: the institutions most capable of shaping a coherent global policy. Responding to the global burden of chronic disease requires a strategic assessment of the global processes that are likely to be most effective in generating commitment to policy change at country level, and in influencing industry behaviour. WHO has adopted a legal process with tobacco (the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control), but a non-legal, advocacy-based approach with diet and physical activity (the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health). The paper assesses the merits of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the FCTC as distinct global processes for advancing health development, before considering what lessons might be learned for enhancing the implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet. While global partnerships, economic incentives, and international legal instruments could each contribute to a more effective global response to chronic diseases, the paper makes a special case for the development of international legal standards in select areas of diet and nutrition, as a strategy for ensuring that the health of future generations does not become dependent on corporate charity and voluntary commitments. A broader frame of reference for lifestyle-related chronic diseases is needed: one that draws together WHO's work in tobacco, nutrition and physical activity, and that envisages selective use of international legal obligations, non-binding recommendations, advocacy and policy advice as tools of choice for promoting different elements of the strategy. (author's)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, 2006.  p. (Implementing the Global Reproductive Health Strategy. Policy Brief No. 3)This policy brief is intended to give guidance to policy-makers and others engaged in planning and implementing policies and programmes in sexual and reproductive health. It elaborates on one area of action outlined in the WHO Global Reproductive Health Strategy, by explaining what is meant by a supportive legislative and regulatory framework and providing examples of actions that can be undertaken to create such a framework. It covers three aspects of a supportive legislative and regulatory framework: developing national laws and policies that respect human rights, ensuring that national regulations and policies meet international standards, and removing policy and regulatory barriers and restrictions. (author's)
SCN News. 2006; (33):27-29.The rising prevalence of overweight and obesity has become a topical issue worldwide. Children have not been spared this problem as childhood obesity is on the increase, even in developing countries, where infectious disease and malnutrition continue to take their toll on children. Concern about childhood obesity stems from the fact that not only does it predict obesity in adult life but it is also associated with the development of unfavourable health outcomes. For example, type 2 diabetes is increasingly a problem among children. Thus, in tackling overweight and obesity, one must put in place an efficient growth monitoring system that would permit then early detection of growth deviation among young children at risk. (excerpt)
Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2004; 25 Suppl 1:S5-S14.The rationale for developing a new international growth reference derived principally from a Working Group on infant growth established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990. It recommended an approach that described how children should grow rather than describing how children grow; that an international sampling frame be used to highlight the similarity in early childhood growth among diverse ethnic groups; that modern analytical methods be exploited; and that links among anthropometric assessments and functional outcomes be included to the fullest possible extent. Upgrading international growth references to resemble standards more closely will assist in monitoring and attaining a wide variety of international goals related to health and other aspects of social equity. In addition to providing scientifically robust tools, a new reference based on a global sample of children whose health needs are met will provide a useful advocacy tool to health-care providers and others with interests in promoting child health. (author's)
Moscow, Russia, Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS, 2005. 52 p.The purpose of this Handbook is to assist members of the Federation Council and deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, and other Russian officials on the federal and regional levels, in enacting appropriate legislation and legislative reform to address AIDS, whether they be initiatives prohibiting discrimination against PLWHA or members of highly vulnerable groups, laws guaranteeing reliable HIV prevention information for all Russian citizens, or other policy priorities — and ensuring adequate fiscal and other resources to support them. This Handbook provides examples of the best legislative and regulatory practices gathered from around the world. Best practices are given for each of the 12 guidelines contained in the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, published in 1998 by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The Handbook also presents detailed information on the Russian AIDS epidemic with regard to the establishment and implementation of these Guidelines. Most importantly, the Handbook outlines concrete recommendations on measures that legislators can take to protect human rights and promote public health in responding to the epidemic. (author's)
The evaluation of UNESCO Brazil's contribution to the Brazilian AIDS Programme: final report. [Evaluación del aporte de UNESCO Brasil al programa brasileño de lucha contra el SIDA: informe final]
Brasilia, Brazil, UNESCO, 2005 Jul.  p. (BR/2005/PI/H/19)This report focuses on the evaluation of the AIDS II programme, as implemented by the UNESCO office in Brazil. The AIDS epidemic has been addressed with particular vigour in Brazil, which is widely recognised as a country that has developed a distinctive and successful model of policy coordination and implementation with regard to HIV/AIDS. In addition to substantial national investment, Brazil has enjoyed co-financing from international sources especially the World Bank. In the course of three programmes - AIDS I (1994-1998), AIDS II (1998-2003) and AIDS III (2003-2007) - the World Bank committed some $365 million, matching a Brazilian Treasury contribution of $325 million. AIDS II with a total resource of $300 million is the largest of these programmes. Since the mid-1990s the UNESCO office in Brazil has grown in terms of funds managed - from some $4.5 million to $108.0 million in 2004, and in staff and activities. The overwhelming proportion of budgetary growth has come from 'extra-budgetary' resources. These are mainly Technical Cooperation agreements with the Brazilian government and with international bodies such as the World Bank. UNESCO was the 'implementing agency' along with UNODC for the AIDS II programme since its launch in 1998. In 2002, the Executive Board of UNESCO accepted a recommendation in an earlier evaluation of UNESCO programmes in Brazil2 that the AIDS II activities of UNESCO be evaluated. This evaluation was subsequently commissioned by the Brasilia office of UNESCO. (excerpt)