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Providing Family Planning Services at Primary Care Organizations after the Exclusion of Planned Parenthood from Publicly Funded Programs in Texas: Early Qualitative Evidence.
Health Services Research. 2017 Oct 20;OBJECTIVE: To explore organizations' experiences providing family planning during the first year of an expanded primary care program in Texas. DATA SOURCES: Between November 2014 and February 2015, in-depth interviews were conducted with program administrators at 30 organizations: 7 women's health organizations, 13 established primary care contractors (e.g., community health centers, public health departments), and 10 new primary care contractors. STUDY DESIGN: Interviews addressed organizational capacities to expand family planning and integrate services with primary care. DATA EXTRACTION: Interview transcripts were analyzed using a theme-based approach. Themes were compared across the three types of organizations. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Established and new primary care contractors identified several challenges expanding family planning services, which were uncommon among women's health organizations. Clinicians often lacked training to provide intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants. Organizations often recruited existing clients into family planning services, rather than expanding their patient base, and new contractors found family planning difficult to integrate because of clients' other health needs. Primary care contractors frequently described contraceptive provision protocols that were not evidence-based. CONCLUSIONS: Many primary care organizations in Texas initially lacked the capacity to provide evidence-based family planning services that women's health organizations already provided. (c) Health Research and Educational Trust.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2014; 92:389.The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2012 set up a Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage. The final report, entitled Making fair choices on the path to universal health coverage, was launched in London on 1 May 2014.5 The report addresses and clarifies the key issues of fairness and equity that arise on the path to univer¬sal coverage and recommends ways in which countries can manage them. (Excerpts)
Making fair choices on the path to universal health coverage. Final report of the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014.  p.Universal health coverage (UHC) is at the center of current efforts to strengthen health systems and improve the level and distribution of health and health services. This document is the final report of the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage. The report addresses the key issues of fairness and equity that arise on the path to UHC. As such, the report is relevant for every actor that affects that path and governments in particular, as they are in charge of overseeing and guiding the progress toward UHC.
The ghosts of user fees past: Exploring accountability for victims of a 30-year economic policy mistake.
Health and Human Rights. 2013 Jun; 15(1):175-185.Today, there is an unmistakable shift in international consensus away from private health financing, including the use of user fees toward public financing mechanisms (notably tax financing), to achieve universal health coverage (UHC). This is, however, much the same as an earlier consensus reached at the WHO's World Health Assembly at Alma-Ata in 1978. When considering the full circle journey from Alma-Ata in 1978 to today’s re-emerging support for UHC, it is worth taking stock and reflecting on how and why the international health community took this nearly three decade detour and how such misguided policies as user fees came to be so widely implemented during the intervening period. It is important for the international health community to ensure that steps are taken to compensate victims and determine accountability for those responsible. Victims of user fees suffered violations of their human right to health as enshrined in Universal Declaration, ICESCR, and a number of other human rights treaties, and yet still cannot avail themselves of remedies, such as those provided by international and regional human rights fora or the various United Nations treaty-monitoring bodies, and the responsible institutions and individuals have thus far remained unaccountable. This lack of accountability suggests a degree of impunity for international organizations and health economists dispensing with health policy advice. Such a lack of accountability should be noted with concern by the international health community as it increasingly relies on the advice and direction of health economists. Steps must be taken to provide survivors of user fees with compensation and hold those responsible to account.
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.
Integrating poverty and gender into health programmes: a sourcebook for health professionals. Module on HIV / AIDS.
[Manila, Philippines], World Health Organization [WHO], Regional Office for the Western Pacific, 2008.  p.This module is designed to improve the awareness, knowledge and skills of health professionals on poverty and gender concerns in the field of HIV / AIDS. Experience increasingly shows that the socioeconomic factors contributing to the rapid spread of HIV in the Region include low education, limited access to health care services and increased mobility within and between countries -- factors that are largely determined by poverty and gender inequality. The growing commitment to curbing the HIV / AIDS epidemic requires that health professionals at community, provincial, national and international levels have the knowledge, skills and tools to more effectively respond to the health needs of poor and marginalized people and address the gender inequalities fuelling the epidemic. However, many health professionals in the Region are not adequately prepared to address these issues. This module is designed to help fill this gap.
[Johannesburg, South Africa], University of the Witwatersrand, Centre for Health Policy, Health Systems Knowledge Network, 2006 Feb.  p. (Health Systems Knowledge Network (KN) Discussion Document No. 1)During July and August 2005 the Health Systems Knowledge Network Hub produced a wide-ranging literature review for discussion at a meeting in India between Hubs and the rest of the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (Doherty, Gilson and EQUINET 2005). The review was based on literature sourced from within the consortium managing the hub as well as from institutions networked with the consortium members. Some key references from existing materials were also followed up. Given the wide scope of work on health systems, it was not feasible to conduct a general electronic search. Nor was it possible to access substantial quantities of grey literature, given the difficulties associated with identifying and locating copies of this type of literature. Because of time constraints, the review focused on reviews of international experience and articles documenting new lines of investigation. Articles that were, at the time, in press were specifically sought out to ensure as up-todate an evidence base as possible. The review began by presenting data showing that health services tend to be used proportionately more by richer than poorer social groups. It analysed the social factors affecting access to, and uptake of, health services and showed how these interact with inequitable features of the health care system. Overall, the review argued that the interaction between household health-seeking behaviour and experience of the health system generates differential health and economic consequences across social groups. The long-term costs of seeking care often impoverish poorer households, reinforcing preexisting social stratification. The review then examined in some detail the features of the health care system that contribute to inequity (such as certain approaches to priority-setting, resource allocation, financing, organisation, human resources, and management and regulation). (Excerpt)
Challenging inequity through health systems. Final report: Knowledge Network on Health Systems. WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.
[Johannesburg], South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand, Centre for Health Policy, Health Systems Knowledge Network, 2007 Jun.  p.The way that health systems are designed, financed and operated acts as a powerful determinant of health. The Health Systems Knowledge Network reviewed the evidence on different approaches to improving health equity outcomes through health systems. The focus was on innovative approaches that effectively incorporate action on the social determinants of health, and on strategies of policy development and implementation. Key themes were: Using the health sector to leverage inter-sectoral actions that address the social determinants of health; Enabling social empowerment in support of health equity; Identifying key elements of vision and health system architecture necessary to secure social protection and universal coverage; Building and maintaining national policy space for health policies that seek social justice; and Strengthening management and stewardship capacities within the health sector. The Health Systems Knowledge Network was chaired by Lucy Gilson of the Centre for Health Policy, and made up of 14 experienced policy-makers, academics and members of civil society from around the world. The Network engaged with other sections of the Commission and also commissioned a number of systematic reviews and case studies. This is the final report of the network.
Entre Nous. 2009; (68):6-7.The WHO Regional Office for Europe has been promoting family and community health (FCH) interventions since 1992, including biennial meetings for FCH focal points in Member States. Our FCH activities follow a holistic approach, focusing on the health and development of individuals and families across the life course. For sexual and reproductive health (SRH) this means focusing on overall SRH, health of mothers and newborns, children and adolescents, as well as healthy aging. In recent years, the contribution of health systems to improve health has been re-evaluated in many countries. The WHO European Ministerial Conference on Health Systems “Health Systems, Health and Wealth” in Tallinn, June 2008 has discussed the impact of people’s health and economic growth, and has taken stock of recent evidence on effective strategies to improve the performance of health systems. In line with these developments, the WHO Regional Office for Europe held the FCH focal points meeting in Malta, September 2008 with the aim of contributing to the improvement of FCH in a health systems framework.
Coordination, management and utilization of foreign assistance for HIV / AIDS prevention in Vietnam. Assessment report.
Ha Noi, Vietnam, CCRD, 2006 Oct. 82 p. (CCRD Assesssment Report)International assistance for HIV / AIDS prevention and control in Vietnam has significantly contributed to combating this epidemic. However, while current resources have not yet fully met the needs, the management and utilization of resources still had many limitations which affect the effectiveness of foreign assistance and investments. The independent assessment was prepared for the Conference on “the Coordination of Foreign Assistance for HIV / AIDS Prevention and Control”. Analytical assessment and comments on the management and coordination of foreign aid were made on the basis of Government’s official procedures and regulations on those issues. This research was carried out in October, 2006.
Lancet. 2007 Oct 27; 370(9597):1471-1474.With the Paul Wolfowitz era behind it and new appointee Robert Zoellick at the helm, it is time for the World Bank to better define its role in an increasingly crowded and complex global health architecture, says Jennifer Prah Ruger, health economist and former World Bank speechwriter. Just 2 years after taking office as president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz resigned amid allegations of favouritism, and is now succeeded by Robert Zoellick. Many shortcomings marked Wolfowitz's presidency, not the least of which were a tumultuous battle over family planning and reproductive health policy, significant reductions in spending and staffing, and poor performance in implementing health, nutrition, and population programmes. Wolfowitz did little to advance the bank's role in the health sector. With the Wolfowitz era behind it and heightened scrutiny in the aftermath, the World Bank needs to better define its role and seize the initiative in health at both the global and country levels. Can the bank have an effect in an increasingly plural and complex global health architecture? What crucial role can the bank play in global health governance in the years ahead? (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2007.  p. (WHO Discussion Papers on Adolescence; Issues in Adolescent Health and Development)The World Health Organization (WHO) has been contributing to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by according priority attention to issues pertaining to the management of adolescent pregnancy. Three of the aims of the MDGs - empowerment of women, promotion of maternal health, and reduction of child mortality - embody WHO's key priorities and its policy framework for poverty reduction. The UN Special Session on Children has focused on some of the key issues affecting adolescents' rights, including early marriage, access to sexual and reproductive health services, and care for pregnant adolescents. This review of the literature was conducted to identify (1) the major factors affecting the pregnancy outcome among adolescents, related to their physical immaturity and inappropriate or inadequate healthcare-seeking behaviour, and (2) the socioeconomic and political barriers that influence their access to health-care services and information. The review also presents programmatic evidence of feasible measures that can be taken at the household, community and national levels to improve pregnancy outcomes among adolescents. (excerpt)
Ensuring the sexual and reproductive health of people living with HIV: Policies, programmes and health services.
Reproductive Health Matters. 2007 May; 15(29 Suppl 1):1-3.IN 2006, there were some 39.7 million people living with HIV, half of them under the age of 25.* People living with HIV have sexual and reproductive health needs and concerns, some of which are related to having HIV and others which they have in common with their noninfected peers. Yet sexual and reproductive health policies, programmes and services often fail to take into consideration the needs and wishes of people living with HIV. Most programmes currently revolve around voluntary testing and counselling for HIV, access to antiretroviral and other AIDS-related treatment, and hospital and home-based care for those with HIV- and AIDS-related illnesses. In relation to sexual and reproductive health care, HIV prevention predominates. There are condom social marketing and other safer sex promotion programmes and recent initiatives to promote family planning for people with HIV. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in antenatal and delivery care has also begun to get greater programmaticattention and support. (excerpt)
CommonHealth. 2005 Spring; 36-43.As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO):2 Palliative medicine is the study and management of patients with active, progressive, far advanced disease for whom the prognosis is limited and the focus of care is the quality of life. [It is] the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. Control of pain, of other symptoms, and of psychological, social, and spiritual problems, is paramount. The goal of palliative care is achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families. Many aspects of palliative care are applicable earlier in the course of the illness, in conjunction with treatment. Palliative care: Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process; Neither hastens, nor postpones, death; Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms; Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care; Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death; and Offers a support system to help families cope during a patient's illness and with their own bereavement. In short, palliative care comprehensively addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual impact a life-threatening illness has on a person, no matter the stage of the illness. It places the sick person and his/her family, however defined, at the center of care and aggressively addresses all of the symptoms and problems experienced by them. Many healthcare providers apply certain elements of the palliative care treatment approach-- such as comprehensive care and aggressive symptom management-- to the care of all of their patients, not only those who are terminally ill, offering the type of care we would all like to receive when we are sick. (excerpt)
International Journal of Health Planning and Management. 2006 Oct-Dec; 21(4):297-312.After the break-up of the Soviet Union, the country of Georgia suffered from intense civil unrest and socio-economic deterioration, which particularly affected the health sector. To remedy the situation, the government initiated health sector reform, which introduced major changes in healthcare financing in Georgia: the previously free healthcare model was replaced by social insurance, and patients were required to pay out-of-pocket for services not covered by insurance. This paper is an attempt to determine if the health system of Georgia is reaching the WHO health system goals of improved health status, responsiveness to patients' needs (consumer satisfaction), and financial risk protection as a result of health reforms. (author's)
SCN News. 2006; (31):49-50.Many circumstances around the world are working against the provision of health care to those in greatest need: the US occupation of Iraq; the Israeli wall isolating Palestinian communities; widespread spraying of herbicides in Colombia in the war against drugs, and before that in Vietnam; genocide in Sudan's Darfur region; discrimination against aboriginals in Australia, against tribal peoples in Asia, and indigenous populations in the Andes; millions of HIV-infected people, particularly in Africa; and the lack of health insurance coverage for underprivileged Americans. These populations suffer from one common effect--they experience serious health and nutritional consequences, particularly for children and women. In July 2005, as a WABA delegate, I attended the second People's Health Assembly held in the beautiful historic city of Cuenca, Ecuador. The first Assembly in Bangladesh in 2000 recognized the goals embodied in the "Declaration of Alma Ata." This latter international assembly, held in the former Soviet Union, was sponsored by WHO and unanimously called for "Health for All by 2000." (excerpt)
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)
Geneva, Switzerland, ILO, 2005. 60 p. (TMEHS/2005)These guidelines are the product of collaboration between the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization. In view of their complementary mandates, long-standing and close cooperation in the area of occupational health, and their more recent partnership as co-sponsors of UNAIDS, the ILO and the WHO decided to join forces in order to assist health services in building their capacities to provide their workers with a safe, healthy and decent working environment, as the most effective way both to reduce transmission of HIV and other blood-borne viruses and to improve the delivery of care to patients. This is essential when health service workers have not only to deliver normal health-care services but also to provide HIV/AIDS services and manage the long-term administration and monitoring of anti-retroviral treatments (ART) at a time when, in many countries, they are themselves decimated by the epidemic. (excerpt)
Multinational corporations and health care in the United States and Latin America: strategies, actions, and effects. [Corporaciones multinacionales y atención de la salud en Estados Unidos y América Latina: estrategias, acciones y efectos]
Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 2004; 45 Suppl:136-157.In this article we analyze the corporate dominance of health care in the United States and the dynamics that have motivated the international expansion of multinational health care corporations, especially to Latin America. We identify the strategies, actions, and effects of multinational corporations in health care delivery and public health policies. Our methods have included systematic bibliographical research and in-depth interviews in the United States, Mexico, and Brazil. Influenced by public policy makers in the United States, such organizations as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization have advocated policies that encourage reduction and privatization of health care and public health services previously provided in the public sector. Multinational managed care organizations have entered managed care markets in several Latin American countries at the same time as they were withdrawing from managed care activities in Medicaid and Medicare within the United States. Corporate strategies have culminated in a marked expansion of corporations' access to social security and related public sector funds for the support of privatized health services. International financial institution and multinational corporations have influenced reforms that, while favorable to corporate interests, have worsened access to needed services and have strained the remaining public sector institutions. A theoretical approach to these problems emphasizes the falling rate of profit as an economic motivation of corporate actions, silent reform, and the subordination of polity to economy. Praxis to address these problems involves opposition to policies that enhance corporate interests while reducing public sector services, as well as alternative models that emphasize a strengthened public sector. (author's)
International Journal of Health Planning and Management. 1998; 13:199-215.Although health care reforms have been implemented in both developed and developing countries since the 1980s, there has been little discussion of the historical, social and political contexts in which such reforms have taken place. Health care reforms in developing countries, for instance, have been an integral component of structural adjustment policies, yet scant attention has been paid to these connections nor to their implications. The basic assumptions behind the reforms, and in particular, the ideological underpinnings of health care reorganization, need to be taken into account when considering long-term strategies and policies to provide health services in developing countries. (author's)
International Journal of Health Planning and Management. 1997; 12:149-157.This note seeks to sharpen our understanding of co-ordination and its significance in healthcare management by offering a picture of an activity where information, incentives and the mixing of various (professional and other) cultures are key. The research design was policy driven, and concentrated on incentives, decision-making and information gathering/ dissemination activities particularly between individuals working across different types of organizations. Data are drawn from 40 primary interviews with mostly senior staff from organizations in two countries, USA and Thailand, internal and external corporate documents, over 1000 items from a Reuters database of news items, newspaper articles and press releases, as well as secondary academic articles. The interviews, which lasted from between 20 min to more than 3 h over two visits, constitute the main source of evidence for the issues discussed below. (excerpt)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2005; 83:948-953.Despite impressive improvements in aggregate indicators of health globally over the past few decades, health inequities between and within countries have persisted, and in many regions and countries are widening. Our recommendations regarding research priorities for health equity are based on an assessment of what information is required to gain an understanding of how to make substantial reductions in health inequities. We recommend that highest priority be given to research in five general areas: (1) global factors and processes that affect health equity and/or constrain what countries can do to address health inequities within their own borders; (2) societal and political structures and relationships that differentially affect people’s chances of being healthy within a given society; (3) interrelationships between factors at the individual level and within the social context that increase or decrease the likelihood of achieving and maintaining good health; (4) characteristics of the health care system that influence health equity and (5) effective policy interventions to reduce health inequity in the first four areas. (author's)
Preventing violence: a guide to implementing the recommendations of the World Report on Violence and Health.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], Department of Injuries and Violence Protection, 2004.  p.Interpersonal violence is violence between individuals or small groups of individuals. It is an insidious and frequently deadly social problem and includes child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence and elder abuse. It takes place in the home, on the streets and in other public settings, in the workplace, and in institutions such as schools, hospitals and residential care facilities. The direct and indirect financial costs of such violence are staggering, as are the social and human costs that cause untold damage to the economic and social fabric of communities. With the publication in 2002 of the World report on violence and health, an initial sense of the global extent of the interpersonal violence problem was provided, and the central yet frequently overlooked role of the health sector in preventing such violence and treating its victims was made explicit. The report clearly showed that investing in multi-sectoral strategies for the prevention of interpersonal violence is not only a moral imperative but also makes sound scientific, economic, political and social sense, and that health sector leadership is both appropriate and essential given the clear public health dimensions of the problem and its solutions. The report also reviewed the increasing evidence that primary prevention efforts which target the root causes and situational determinants of interpersonal violence are both effective and cost-effective. In support of such approaches, the report recommended six country-level activities, namely: 1. Increasing the capacity for collecting data on violence. 2. Researching violence – its causes, consequences and prevention. 3. Promoting the primary prevention of violence. 4. Promoting gender and social equality and equity to prevent violence. 5. Strengthening care and support services for victims. 6. Bringing it all together – developing a national action plan of action. (excerpt)
Joint ILO / WHO guidelines on health services and HIV / AIDS. Tripartite Meeting of Experts to Develop Joint ILO / WHO Guidelines on Health Services and HIV / AIDS.
Geneva, Switzerland, ILO, 2005.  p. (TMEHS/2005/8)These guidelines are the product of collaboration between the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization. In view of their complementary mandates, their long-standing and close cooperation in the area of occupational health, and their more recent partnership as co-sponsors of UNAIDS, the ILO and the WHO decided to join forces in order to assist health services in building their capacities to provide their workers with a safe, healthy and decent working environment, as the most effective way both to reduce transmission of HIV and other blood-borne pathogens and to improve the delivery of care to patients. This is essential when health service workers have not only to deliver normal health-care services but also to provide HIV/AIDS services and manage the long-term administration and monitoring of anti-retroviral treatments (ART) at a time when, in many countries, they are themselves decimated by the epidemic. (excerpt)
The World Health Organization European Health in Prisons project after 10 years: persistent barriers and achievements.
American Journal of Public Health. 2005 Oct; 95(10):1696-1700.The recognition that good prison health is important to general public health has led 28 countries in the European Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) to join a WHO network dedicated to improving health within prisons. Within the 10 years since that time, vital actions have been taken and important policy documents have been produced. A key factor in making progress is breaking down the isolation of prison health services and bringing them into closer collaboration with the country’s public health services. However, barriers to progress remain. A continuing challenge is how best to move from policy recommendations to implementation, so that the network’s fundamental aim of noticeable improvements in the health and care of prisoners is further achieved. (author's)