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Handbook for supporting the development of health system guidance. Supporting informed judgements for health system policies.
Basel, Switzerland, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, 2011 Jul.  p.This handbook, commissioned by the WHO, describes the processes, approaches and outputs for developing health system guidance and is compliant with the existing ‘WHO handbook for guideline development’ (WHO Guidelines Review Committee (GRC)) and is the equivalent of the handbook to support the development of clinical guidelines for health systems guidance. It is based on a preliminary work that established the rationale and framework for health systems guidance and it is inspired by global trends encouraging to bridge the gap between research and policy and practice through knowledge translation. The handbook has been produced by a core team supported by the GRC staff, supported by a Task Force specifically set up for this project. The handbook deals with the process of developing full guidance, rather than the processes to adopt, adapt or endorse guidance developed by third parties. (Excerpt)
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.
Reproductive Health Matters. 2011 Nov; 19(38):197-207.In March 2009, UN member states met at the 53rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to discuss the priority theme of "the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS". This meeting focused the international community's attention on care issues and generated Agreed Conclusions that aimed to lay out a roadmap for care policy. I examine how the frame of "care" - a contested concept that has long divided feminist researchers and activists - operated in this site. Research involved a review of documentation related to the meeting and interviews with 18 participants. Using this research I argue that the frame of care united a range of groups, including conservative faith-based actors who have mobilized within the UN to roll back sexual and reproductive rights. This policy alliance led to important advances in the Agreed Conclusions, including strong arguments about the global significance of care, especially in relation to HIV; the need for a strong state role; and the value of caregivers' participation in policy debates. However, the care frame also constrained debate at the CSW, particularly about disability rights and variations in family formation. Those seeking to reassert sexual and reproductive rights are grappling with such limitations in a range of ways, and attention to their efforts and concerns can help us better understand the potentials and dangers for feminist intervention within global policy spaces. Copyright (c) 2010 UNRISD. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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, UNAIDS, 2011 Oct.  p. (UNAIDS Issues Brief; UNAIDS Policy Document; UNAIDS/JC2244E)Over the past 30 years there have been tremendous gains in the global HIV response, but until now there has been only limited systematic effort to match needs with investments. The result is often a mismatch of the two, and valuable resources are stretched inefficiently across many objectives. To achieve an optimal HIV response, countries and their international partners must adopt a more strategic approach to investments. In June 2011 a policy paper was published in The Lancet (Schwartländer et al) that laid out a new framework for investment for the global HIV response. The new framework is based on existing evidence of what works in HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. It is intended to facilitate more focused and strategic use of scarce resources. Modelling of the framework’s impact shows that its implementation would avert 12.2 million new infections and 7.4 million AIDS-related deaths between 2011 and 2020. This modelling also indicates that implementation of the investment framework is highly cost-effective, with additional investment largely offset by savings in treatment costs alone, and enabling the HIV response to reach an inflection point in both investments and rates of HIV infection. (Excerpts)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2011 Jun.  p. (UNAIDS / JC2141E)This publication describes how the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) partners with country partners and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) to strengthen the global response to AIDS and to accelerate progress towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2011 Aug.  p. (UNAIDS/ JC2112E)This report shows that these global commitments will be achieved only if the unique needs of young women and men are acknowledged, and their human rights fulfilled, respected, and protected. In order to reduce new HIV infections among young people, achieve the broader equity goals set out in the MDGs, and begin to reverse the overall HIV epidemic, HIV prevention and treatment efforts must be tailored to the specific needs of young people.
Bangkok, Thailand, UNAIDS, Regional Support for Asia and the Pacific, 2011.  p. (UNAIDS / 11.05E)This report provides the most up to date information on the HIV epidemic in the region in 2011. While the region has seen impressive gains -- including a 20% drop in new HIV infections since 2001 and a three-fold increase in access to antiretroviral therapy since 2006 -- progress is threatened by an inadequate focus on key populations at higher risk of HIV infection and insufficient funding from both domestic and international sources.
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.
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.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2011.  p.This publication presents data on the 114 WHO Member States that participated in the 2009 global survey on eHealth. Intended as a reference to the state of eHealth development in Member States, the publication highlights selected indicators in the form of country profiles. The objectives of the country profiles are to: describe the current status of the use of ICT for health in Member States; and provide information concerning the progress of eHealth applications in these countries. (Excerpt)