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The role of the health sector in the development of national and international food and nutrition policies and plans, with special reference to combating malnutrition, 13th Plenary Meeting, 24 May 1978.
Geneva, WHA, 1978 May 24. 10 p. (WHA31.47/WHA34.22)The 31st World Health Assembly (WHA) has considered the Director General's report on the role of the health sector in the development of national and international food and nutrition policies and plans and endorses the functions of the health sector in this field. The WHA is convinced that malnutrition is 1 of the major impediments to realizing the goal of health for all by the year 2000, and that new approaches based on clearly defined priorities and maximum utilization of local resources are needed for a more effective action to combat malnutrition. The WHA recommends that Member States give the highest priority to stimulating permanent multisector coordination of nutrition policies and programs and to preventing malnutrition in pregnant women, lactating women, infants, and children by doing the following: 1) supporting and promoting breast feeding with educational activities to the general public, 2) legislative and social actions to facilitate breastfeeding by working mothers, 3) implementing the necessary promotional and facilitating measures in the health services and regulating inappropriate sales promotion of infant foods that can be used to replace breast milk, 5) ensuring timely supplementation and appropriate weaning practices and the feeding of young children with the maximum utilization of locally available and acceptable foods, and 6) conducting, if necessary, action oriented research to support this approach and the training of personnel for its promotion. Governments and multilateral and bilateral organizations and agencies are urged to support the proposed programs of research and development in nutrition through their technical and scientific institutions and workers and by financial contributions. A copy of the international code of marketing of breastmilk substitutes is included. The 11 articles of the code cover the following: aim and scope of the code, definitions, information and education, the general public and mothers, health care systems, health workers, persons employed by manufacturers and distributors, labelling, quality, and implementation and monitoring.
Who Chronicle. 1985; 39(5):163-70.The World Conference to appraise the achievements of the UN Decade for Women was held in Nairobi, Kenya during July 1985 and was attended by 6000 delegates. In preparation for the Nairobi conference, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a report analyzing the situation regarding women, health, and development and drawing attention to the special health needs of women as well as to the key roles that women play in promoting health and development. Accurate, adequate, and relevant information is essential if appropriate action is to be taken, and much of WHO's efforts during the Decade focused on collecting such information. According to the Director General's report, women's contribution to development is underestimated and their potential is grossly underestimated. Their health status also is conditioned by factors such as employment, education, and social status. Ultimately, women's participation in health and development may even depend on equitable access to economic resources and political power. Thus, the report stresses that it is imperative not to view the health aspects in isolation. The status society accords women is closely linked to their reproductive function. Yet, despite this vital function, girls are valued less than boys in many countries. Nowhere is the inequity in women's status more apparent than in their economic situation. A study on the training and utilization of traditional birth attendants was carried out in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, and 3 Member States were then assisted in launching national training programs. In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, WHO collaborated with countries in pilot projects for the early detection and treatment of cervical and breast cancer. Legislative and policy issues relative to the welfare of women also have been studied. Among the subjects coverd have been the protection of working mothers, measures governing the minimum legal age of marriage, and harmful traditional practices. The grassroots organizations are the primary focus of WHO's strategy for involving women's organizations in primary health care since they serve the poor and the powerless and their goal is usually to satisfy the immediate needs of their members. WHO has initiated a multinational study on women as providers of health care, in which 17 Member States have participated. The Joint WHO/UNICEF Nutrition Support Program, initiated in 1982, supports action to improve the nutritional status of women and children.
In: The Tenth Asian Parasite Control/Family Planning Conference. Proceedings. Under the joint auspices of the Asian Parasite Control Organization, the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning, the Japan Association of Parasite Control and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Tokyo, Asian Parasite Control Organization, . 63-70.Economic depression affects children in 3 major ways: disposable family incomes drop sharply, with the most severe consequences for poor people and their children; government budgets for social services, particularly those affecting young children and including nutrition, health, and education, are the first to be cut back; and national and international levels of development assistance stagnate as a consequence of the restrictive budgetary policies adopted by industrialized countries. Despite the first welcome signs of an economic recovery in some industrialized nations, most indications are that the worldwide recovery may be relatively shallow in the mid-1980s and that significant beneficial impacts on many low income countries and families will be long delayed. Thus, in the absence of special measures to accelerate health progress, millions more children and mothers are likely to die in the in low income areas than was thought likely at the beginning of the decade. Possibly the only hopeful sign is that the restrictions imposed by the world recession have stimulated the search for innovative and cost effective ways to protect and improve the health of children and mothers. Within a decade, low cost advances could be saving the lives of 20,000 children daily and preventing the crippling of another 20,000. What is in question is the priority of this kind of progress -- among governments, among international assistance sources and networks, and in developing countries. The strategy adopted by JOICFP in its Integrated Family Planning, Nutrition, and Parasite Control Projects offers one such way. The projects are based on the concept that family planning programs will be more acceptable if combined with related services, which the community readily perceives as beneficial and useful. What most contributes to making parasite control a good entry point is that the process of examination and the effects of treatment are immediately visible. Possibly more important that the biological and medical effects of parasite control is its effectiveness as a tool for community health and education motivation. The UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and multilateral and bilateral agencies are promoting 4 simple and relatively inexpensive measures to reduce malnutrition, illness, and death among the world's children: the use of growth charts; oral rehydration therapy; breastfeeding and proper weaning practices; and immunization against major childhood diseases. Ways to achieve accelerated progress for the protection and survival of children are identified.