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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.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2010 Oct 1; 88(10):718-718A.Add to my documents.
Consultation on strategic information and HIV prevention among most-at-risk adolescents. 2-4 September 2009, Geneva. Consultation report.
New York, New York, UNICEF, 2010. 65 p.The Consultation on Strategic Information and HIV Prevention among Most-at-Risk Adolescents (MARA) focused on experiences in countries where HIV infection is concentrated among men who have sex with men (MSM), injecting drug users (IDUs), and those who sell sex. The meeting facilitated the exchange of information across regions on country-level data collection regarding MARA; identified ways to use strategic information to improve HIV prevention among MARA; and suggested ways to build support for MARA programming among decision-makers.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2011.  p. (Directions in Development)The past half-century has seen enormous changes in the demographic makeup of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). In the 1950s, LAC had a small population of about 160 million people, less than today's population of Brazil. Two-thirds of Latin Americans lived in rural areas. Families were large and women had one of the highest fertility rates in the world, low levels of education, and few opportunities for work outside the household. Investments in health and education reached only a small fraction of the children, many of whom died before reaching age five. Since then, the size of the LAC population has tripled and the mostly rural population has been transformed into a largely urban population. There have been steep reductions in child mortality, and investments in health and education have increased, today reaching a majority of children. Fertility has been more than halved and the opportunities for women in education and for work outside the household have improved significantly. Life expectancy has grown by 22 years. Less obvious to the casual observer, but of significance for policy makers, a population with a large fraction of dependent children has evolved into a population with fewer dependents and a very large proportion of working-age adults. This overview seeks to introduce the reader to three groups of issues related to population aging in LAC. First is a group of issues related to the support of the aging and poverty in the life cycle. Second is the question of the health transition. Third is an understanding of the fiscal pressures that are likely to accompany population aging and to disentangle the role of demography from the role of policy in that process.
Telemedicine: opportunities and developments in Member States: report on the second global survey on eHealth, 2009.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2010.  p.The telemedicine module of the 2009 survey examined the current level of development of four fields of telemedicine: teleradiology, teledermatogy, telepathology, and telepsychology, as well as four mechanisms that facilitate the promotion and development of telemedicine solutions in the short- and long-term: the use of a national agency, national policy or strategy, scientific development, and evaluation. Telemedicine -- opportunities and developments in Member States discusses the results of the telemedicine module, which was completed by 114 countries (59% of Member States). Findings from the survey show that teleradiology currently has the highest rate of established service provision globally (33%). Approximately 30% of responding countries have a national agency for the promotion and development of telemedicine, and developing countries are as likely as developed countries to have such an agency. In many countries scientific institutions are involved with the development of telemedicine solutions in the absence of national telemedicine agencies or policies; while 50% of countries reported that scientific institutions are currently involved in the development of telemedicine solutions, 20% reported having an evaluation or review on the use of telemedicine in their country published since 2006. (Excerpt)
New York, New York, UNICEF, 2008 May. 54 p.Every year, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) publishes The State of the World's Children, the most comprehensive and authoritative report on the world's youngest citizens. The State of the World's Children 2008, published in January 2008, examines the global realities of maternal and child survival and the prospects for meeting the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - the targets set by the world community in 2000 for eradicating poverty, reducing child and maternal mortality, combating disease, ensuring environmental sustainability and providing access to affordable medicines in developing countries. This year, UNICEF is also publishing the inaugural edition of The State of Africa's Children. This volume and other forthcoming regional editions complement The State of the World's Children 2008, sharpening from a worldwide to a regional perspective the global report's focus on trends in child survival and health, and outlining possible solutions - by means of programmes, policies and partnerships - to accelerate progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. (excerpt)
New York, New York, UNDP, Bureau for Development Policy, HIV / AIDS Group, 2004. 32 p.HIV/AIDS multi-sectoral strategic planning has been promoted and successfully undertaken in a number of countries. In most cases, the planning process results in the design and completion of national strategic frameworks (NSF) or plans. While such frameworks continue to provide valuable strategic orientation, they have often not served the intended purpose of guiding successful and well-coordinated implementation at national, provincial, regional, district, constituency and community levels. To date, the transformation of strategic frameworks into effective and coordinated action remains a major concern for most governments and their partners. The broad diversity of actors, the numerous sectors involved and the variety of components of the response illustrate the complexity of implementation and coordination. To achieve a strategic multi-sectoral response, it is important to develop a strategic framework and management approach consistent with national policies, priorities and local experiences. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 1997 Oct. 7 p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection; UNAIDS Technical Update)Young people are especially vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). They are also vulnerable as regards drug use (and not just injected drugs). Even if they are not engaging in risk behaviours today, they may soon be exposed to situations that put them at risk. Very often they cannot talk easily or at all about AIDS, or about the risk behaviours that can lead to HIV infection, at home or in their community. However, most of them do attend at some point, and school is an entry point where these topics - often difficult to discuss elsewhere - can be addressed. (author's)
Malaria treatment policy: technical support needs assessment. Malaria Action Coalition (MAC) Senegal Mission report, March 14-21, 2005.
Arlington, Virginia, Management Sciences for Health [MSH], Rational Pharmaceutical Management Plus, 2005. 18 p. (USAID Cooperative Agreement No. HRN-A-00-00-00016-00; USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse DocID / Order No. PN-ADF-437)African countries are undergoing a period of dramatic change in their national malaria treatment policies as more of these countries adopt artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). Successful implementation of the new ACT policies presents many challenges and most countries will require technical assistance from a variety of sources, both internal and external. The Malaria Action Coalition (MAC) partnership brings together three partners that have considerable expertise in many of the areas related to ACT implementation, which complements expertise brought by other Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partners. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has made a commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) to provide technical assistance through MAC. This mission was therefore designed to assess the progress of Senegal toward implementing the new ACT policy and to determine what, if any, additional technical support it may need to successfully complete the implementation. It is expected that the successful implementation of the ACT policy will contribute to the attainment of the RBM goals for the prevention, treatment, and control of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa through coordinated technical support. (excerpt)
Manila, Philippines, WHO, Regional Office for the Western Pacific, STI, HIV and AIDS Focus, 2004. 41 p.This document is intended to support the 100% condom use programme (CUP) technical staff to: anticipate the kinds of questions that may be asked about the programme; and, begin to plan the approach and to identify points of information that may help to respond in their settings. Contained in this document are a sample of 25 questions that have, at one point or another, been posed to programme staff about the 100% CUP. Points that might be addressed in a response to these questions are also suggested. (excerpt)
Manila, Philippines, WHO, Regional Office for the Western Pacific, 2002. 46 p.This document seeks to reaffirm the commitment of the WHO Western Pacific Region to the core values and principles of health promotion as articulated in the Ottawa Charter. It should also stimulate critical thinking on how health promotion can be made more relevant to the complex and dynamic environment of the 21st Century. The document takes a closer look at the transformation of traditional lifestyles and cultures against the backdrop of globalization and revisits current approaches to health promotion. It emphasizes the need to build on the successes of the past. It also challenges stakeholders to work with other sectors to influence individual and collective actions that will create an environment supportive of healthy choices in all places, at all stages of the life course. (excerpt)
Manila, Philippines, WHO, Regional Office for the Western Pacific, 2003. 21 p.Broadening health promotion financing arrangements contributes to the goal of health improvement shared by the countries of the Western Pacific Region. Health promotion that is sustainable underpins stable and effective mechanisms to ensure access by all to quality health services. Health promotion in the Western Pacific Region can be viewed as a public health intervention and a social enterprise. The financing implications of these perspectives are: Health promotion as a public health intervention - funds spent on keeping the population healthy versus treating the sick could improve efficiency within the same level of resources. Health promotion as a social enterprise - the "wellness of all" can be a rallying point at the community level where social, political and economic capital can be mobilized through partnerships, networks, coalitions, alliances, public-private collaboration, multi-sectoral groups, local or state initiatives or a combination of any of these. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO]. Department of Reproductive Health and Research, 2001. 178 p. (Occasional Paper No. 5)This report considers how human rights laws can be applied to relieve the estimated 1,400 deaths world-wide that occur every day, an annual mortality rate of 515,000, that women suffer because they are pregnant. Human rights principles have long been established in national constitutional and other laws and in regional and international human rights treaties to which nations voluntarily commit themselves. The intention of the report is to facilitate initiatives by governmental agencies, nongovernmental groups and, for instance, international organizations to foster compliance with human rights in order to protect, respect and fulfill women’s rights to safe motherhood. The report outlines how the dimensions of unsafe motherhood can be measured and comprehended, and how causes can be identified by reference to medical, health system and socio-legal factors. It introduces human rights laws by identifying their sources and governmental obligations to implement them, and explains a range of specific human rights that can be applied to advance safe motherhood. The rights are shown to interact with each other, and for purposes of discussion, they are clustered in the following ways: rights to life, survival and security; rights relating to maternity and health; rights to nondiscrimination and due respect for difference; and rights to information and education relevant to women’s health protection during pregnancy and childbirth. The setting of performance standards for monitoring compliance with rights relevant to reproductive health, and availability and use of obstetric services are addressed. In conclusion, the report considers several strategies to encourage professional, institutional and governmental implementation of the various human rights in national and international laws relevant to reduction of unsafe motherhood, and to enable women to go through pregnancy and childbirth safely. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1998.  p. (WHO/FRH/WHD/98.16)The aim of this technical paper is to explore some of the implications of the shift from the 'women in development' (WID) to the 'gender and development' (GAD) approach for the analysis of health and health care issues in general and for the work of WHO in particular. Health policies and programmes have focused on biological aspects of diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Likewise, when considering the differences between women and men, there is a tendency to emphasise biological or sex differences as explanatory factors of well-being and illness. A gender approach in health, while not excluding biological factors, considers the critical roles that social and cultural factors and power relations between women and men play in promoting and protecting or impeding health. While gender interacts with other kinds of inequalities in health, such as social class, race and ethnicity, the focus of the paper is on gender and health. (excerpt)
The role of the health sector in supporting adolescent health and development. Materials prepared for the technical briefing at the World Health Assembly, 22 May 2003.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2003. 15 p.I am very pleased to be here, and to be part of the discussion on Young Peoples Health at the World Health Assembly, for two reasons: because of the work we have been doing in adolescent health over the past years together with the Member States of the European Region of WHO, the work in cooperation with other UN agencies, especially UNICEF, UNFPA, and UNAIDS on adolescent health and development. Secondly, because Youth is a priority area of work of German Development Cooperation, and of the German Agency for Technical Cooperation, where I am working presently. Indeed, we have devoted this years GTZ´s open house day on development cooperation to youth I would also like to take this opportunity to remember the work of the late Dr. Herbert Friedman, former Chief of Adolescent Health in WHO, whose vision of the importance of working for and with young people has inspired many of the national plans and initiatives which we will hear about today. In many countries of the world, young people form the majority of populations, and yet their needs are being insufficiently met through existing health and social services. The health of young people was long denied the public, and public health attention it deserves. Adolescence is a driving force of personal, but also social development, as young people gradually discover, and question and challenge the adult world they are growing into. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Division of Emerging and Other Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control, 1998. 31 p. (WHO/EPI/GEN/98.08)The Yellow Fever Technical Consensus Meeting, organized jointly by EMC and GPV, was held in Geneva March 2-3, 1998 to examine the reasons for the dramatic re-surgence of outbreaks within the past 10-15 year period. Participants reviewed the strategies for the prevention and control of yellow fever in Africa and South America and identified the present barriers to implementation of effective programmes. The recommendations from this meeting will serve as the basis for action plans to reduce morbidity and mortality from yellow fever. With the recent increase in epidemics, yellow fever is once again a major public health concern. One important reason for the re-emergence of the disease is low immunization coverage in countries where the disease is present. Some reasons for poor coverage are lack of adequate funds for vaccine and injection equipment, lack of interested partners, and lack of political will and commitment for inclusion of yellow fever vaccine in the routine EPI. Where yellow fever has been included in EPI programmes, the overall performance of these programmes in some countries has not been adequate. Factors contributing to the spread of yellow fever outbreaks include an increase in the distribution and density of the mosquito vectors, and economic development that has caused increased intrusion of man into forested areas, substandard water systems that provide breeding sites for the vector, and widespread international air travel. Immunization coverage of less than 60% is not high enough to prevent epidemics. Depending on vegetation, vector efficiency, and vector density in the area, coverage of 80% or more may be needed to prevent disease outbreaks. Using these factors along with the interval since the last epidemic, urban to rural ratio, frequency of epidemics, and history of previous yellow fever immunization programmes, countries could be placed in order of priority for resources and financial assistance. (excerpt)
Female genital mutilation: the prevention and the management of the health complications. Policy guidelines for nurses and midwives.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Gender and Women's Health, 2001. 16 p. (WHO/FCH/GWH/01.5; WHO/RHR/01.18)These guidelines are intended for use primarily by those responsible for developing policies and directing the working practices of nurses, midwives and other frontline health care providers. They are also intended to complement the training materials for nurses and midwives in the management of girls and women with FGM. The purpose of the policy guidelines is: to promote and strengthen the case against the medicalization of FGM; to support and protect nurses, midwives and other health personnel in adhering to WHO guidelines not to close an opened up infibulation; to empower nurses and midwives to carry out functions in relation to FGM which are outside their current legal scope of practice; and to encourage appropriate documentation of FGM in clinical records and health information system. (excerpt)
Introduction and methods: assessing the environmental burden of disease at national and local levels.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2003.  p. (Environmental Burden of Disease Series No. 1)The objective of the guides is to provide practical information to countries on how to assess what fraction of a national or subnational disease burden is attributable to an environmental risk factor. To assess the disease burden of a risk factor, the harmful effects of the risk factor on human health must be estimated fully, as well as the distribution of the harmful effects in the population. Any estimates and assumptions used in the assessment should be stated explicitly. The outcome of the assessment is information that can be used: to guide policies and strategies both in the health sector and in the environmental sector; to monitor health risks; and to analyse the cost-effectiveness of interventions. For example, the information can highlight the contribution of major environmental risk factors to the total disease burden of a country or study population. Or, it can be used to estimate changes in the disease burden and avoidable disease burden, following interventions to reduce an environmental risk factor or to change behaviour. (excerpt)