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  1. 1

    Early child development in developing countries [letter]

    Grantham-McGregor S

    Lancet. 2007 Mar 10; 369(9564):824.

    Finally I have data to convince my Minister of Finance to invest in early child development reported the Minister of Women and Child Development, Malawi, at a meeting held at the Institute of Child Health, London, UK, to mark The Lancet's series on child development in developing countries (Jan 6--Jan 20).1--3 At the meeting, hosted by the Centre for International Health and Development, presenters explained that more than 200 million children younger than 5 years are not developing to their potential owing to poverty, poor health, and nutrition. Although effective interventions are available, coverage is low. Representatives from WHO, UNICEF, and the World Bank expressed a strong commitment to strengthening programmes and research to move the Lancet recommendations forward. Other agencies including UNESCO, the Bernard van Leer and Aga Khan Foundations, and many non-governmental organisations explained how they are putting the recommendations into practice. The Lancet steering group will become the International Child Development Committee. This year, we plan to advocate for early child development programmes through presentations at meetings in Turkey, India, Spain, Venezuela, and Bangladesh and at the Society for Research in Child Development and the Pediatric Academic Societies. We will meet at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study and Conference Center to develop implementation strategies and establish priorities in collaboration with the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative. We will provide guidance in assessment of existing programmes, development of new models for delivering services, and integration of child development activities into health and nutrition services. In 2 years, we will report on global progress in early child development programmes. (full text)
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Child health development after Alma Ata declaration.

    Chandra P

    Indian Pediatrics. 2001 Oct; 38:1129-43.

    Through the 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration, the governments of the world officially accepted the principle of primary health care and promised to bring it into being in all nations within the next 22 years. The Declaration further stated that health is a fundamental human right and that the gross inequalities in health status are unacceptable. To fulfill its commitment of health for all, India's government developed a National Health Policy in 1983, laying down specific goals with quantifiable targets. This paper discusses the impact of the 1993 National Health Policy and its subsequent various policies and acts. Overall, it is noted that globalization and structural adjustment programs increased poverty, malnutrition, and child mortality. Privatization of medical care and education are also making health care inaccessible to the poor. In addition, irrational or useless drugs and diagnostic procedures increased the cost of health care. Moreover, the World Trade Organization is destroying public sector health services and the self-reliant pharmaceutical sector.
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  3. 3
    Peer Reviewed

    Reproductive health: a global overview.

    Fathalla MF


    WHO defines reproductive health as people having the ability to reproduce, to regulate fertility, and to practice and enjoy sexual relationships. It also means safe pregnancy, child birth, contraceptives, and sex. Procreation should include a successful outcome as indicated by infant and child survival, growth, and healthy development. 60-80 million infertile couples live in the world. Core infertility, i.e., unpreventable and untreatable infertility, ranges from 3% to 5%. Sexually transmitted diseases, aseptic abortion, or puerperal infection are common causes of acquired infertility. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of acquired infertility. In 1983, the world contraceptive use rate stood at 51% with the developed countries having the highest rate (70%) and Africa the lowest rate (14%). About 40 countries in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula practice female circumcision. The percent of low birth weight infants is greater in developing countries than in developed countries (17% vs. 6.8%). Intrauterine growth retardation is responsible for most low birth weight infants in developing countries while in developed countries it is premature birth. About 15 million infants and children die each year. Maternal mortality risk is highest in developing countries especially those in Africa (1:21) and lowest in developed countries (1:9850). Sexually transmitted diseases continue to be a major problem in the world especially in developing countries. Chlamydia afflicts 50 million people each year. The proportion of women with AIDS is growing so that between the 1980s and 1990s it will grow between 25% and 50%. More available contraceptive choices enhance safety in fertility regulation. Socioeconomic conditions that determine reproductive health are poverty, literacy, and women's status. Sexual behavior, reproductive behavior, breast feeding, and smoking are life style determinants of reproductive health. Availability, utilization, and efficiency of health care services and level of medical knowledge also determine women's reproductive health.
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