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WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1993; 14(4):333-44.WHO evaluated the implementation of the health-for-all strategy using data from 151 countries. 110 countries still endorsed the strategy. 95 have either completely implemented or further developed community involvement. Just 33 countries had more equitable distribution of resources. The percentage of gross national product (GNP) that the government dedicated to health rose in the least developed countries. Developed countries spent a higher proportion of their GNP on health than did developing countries (3.3% vs. 0.9%, 1991). Maldistribution of health personnel continued to be a major problem. Between 1985 and 1990, the proportion of people in developing countries with access to safe water rose from 68 to 75%. Adequate sewage disposal coverage rose from 46 to 71% (1985-1991). Prenatal care coverage by trained personnel increased from 58 to 67%. Tetanus toxoid coverage of pregnant women only increased from 24 to 34%. Most maternal deaths were a result of inadequate prenatal care, inadequate care during childbirth, pregnancies spaced too closely, multiparity, and poor health and nutritional status before the first pregnancy. Immunization coverage rose considerably in every region (e.g., 47-83% for diphtheria). Nevertheless, substantial differences in coverage existed between countries. A substantial trend towards more integrated primary health care occurred. Child survival rates improved, but the gap in infant mortality rates between developed countries and the least developed countries widened. The gap in health status between the poor and the wealthy had become larger. Developing countries in the process of the epidemiological transition continued to be burdened with both infectious and degenerative diseases. GNP and adult literacy rose, but less so in the least developed countries. These findings suggested that governments must sustain the commitment to reduce inequities, realign health systems, improve health financing systems, improve coordination between health sectors, and improve linkage between health and development.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1985. v, 58 p. (Economic and Social Council Official Records, 1985. Supplement No. 10; E/1985/31; E/ICEF/1985/12)The major decisions of the UN Children's Fund Executive Board in their 1985 session were to: approve several new program recommendations and endores a major emergency assistance program for several African countries; approve initiatives to accelerate the implementation of child survival and development actions, particularly towards the goal of achieving universal immunization of children against 6 major childhood diseases by 1990; adopt a comprehensive policy framework for UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) programs concerning women; approve UNICEF revised budget estimates for 1984-85 and budget estimates for 1986-87; and make a number of decisions on ways to improve the administration and the role of the Board. The Board members both reported on and heard evidence of the encouraging results of recent efforts to implement national child survival and development programs. Reports of the successful immunization campaigns in Burkina Faso, Colombia, El Salvador, and Nigeria were welcomed, along with the news that half a million children were saved during the year through the use of oral rehydration therapy. Stronger efforts were encouraged to improve results in the areas of breastfeeding and growth monitoring. Implementation issues in connection with child survival and development actions were a continuing focus of Board attention during the session. The accelerated implementation of child survival and development actions was accorded the highest priority in approving the medium-term plan for 1984-88. The Board also adopted a resolution that sought to draw the attention of world leaders, during their observance of the 40th anniversary of the UN, to the importance of reaffirming their commitment to accelerate the implementation of the child survival and development resolution and realizing universal immunization by 1990. Delegations commended the results of the World Health Organization/UNICEF joint nutrition support program but noted that malnutrition among women and children appeared to be increasing. Water supply and sanitation activities were encouraged, and the Board stressed that those actions should be linked with health and hygiene education. The Board endorsed the report on recent UNICEF activities in Africa. Many delegations spoke in support of the increased aid to Africa. Major emphasis was given to linking emergency responses with ongoing UNICEF programs. The Board approved new multi-year commitments from general resources totalling $303,053,422 for 28 country and interregional programs and noted 32 projects totaling $223,215,000 to be funded from specific-purpose contributions. The Board stressed the importance of ensuring that child survival and development actions were integrated with continuing efforts in other of UNICEF action. The Board approved a commitment of $252,550,443 for the budget for the biennium 1986-87.
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 1985 Sep; 23(4):247-8.The WHO is certain that the health of mothers and babies can be improved by giving traditional birth attendants (TBAs) special training and support to enable them to carry out their activities with greater safety. This is probably one of the most cost effective approaches to reducing maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. Some workers, however, stress that this approach is inappropriate to the real needs of the impoverished majority. They believe that the real causes of mortality are socioeconomic deprivation, top managerial incompetence and mass illiteracy. In addition to TBA training the WHO suggests strengthening the referral and support system and improvement and wide spread use of appropriate technologies. TBAs have been most successful when trained for a special skill, such as reducing neonatal tetanus. This supplement shows some of the achievements and problems that still exist. The material is presented to gain better understanding of obstetricians and support for simplified maternity care for mothers and babies in rural areas. Obstetricians can influence decision makers who allocate funds for health care to achieve a more equal distribution of resources. The articles are presented as part of a broader program of collaboration between the WHO and the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (FIGO) in their common objective of improving the health of women and children based on the principles and programs for primary health care. The 2 organizations have joined to form a WHO/FIGO Task Force for the Promotion of Maternal and Child Health (MCH), including Family Planning (FP), and Primary Health Care. The activities of the Task Force are: to put into effect the specific recommendations of the Joint WHO/FIGO workshop; to promote and support the MCH/FP elements of PHC at the national levels; and to promote the transfer, adaptation and further development of appropriate technologies for pregnancy, perinatal and family planning care.
[Health costs and financing and the work of WHO] Cout et financement de la sante et activities de l'OMS.
World Health Statistics Quarterly. Rapport Trimestriel de Statistiques Sanitaires Mondiales. 1984; 37(4):339-50.This discussion examines the international responses to issues and problems in the cost and financing of the health sector, focusing on the work of the World Health Organization (WHO). It describes the growth of attention to these concerns beginning in the 1970s, reviews methods and applications of financial analysis in greater detail, and summarizes progress to date and the agenda for work. Emphasis is on the developing countries, for they face the most urgent problems regarding costs and financing, and more attention is directed to their needs for support in this area. By the early 1970s it was clear that progress in health development particularly in the most underprivileged countries was unsatisfactory and that changes were needed if services were to have an appreciable impact on the health problems of developing populations. A major study conducted jointly by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and WHO identified several of the critical problems associated with resources. The essential financial concerns requiring attention in connection with primary health service coverage, the need for more equitable distribution of existing resources for health and the priority of resources allocation to peripheral health services were examined in detail by a WHO Study Group on Financing Health Services which met in 1977. Among the problems of health finance, those of the overall lack of funds, the maldistribution of health resources, rising health care costs, and the lack of coordination were found to be particularly important. The Study Group concluded that, despite difficulties, it was possible to collect information of sufficient reliability for planners' needs and at a modest cost, even for the private sector. To help bring this about, it recommended that research centers and universities, in collaboration with national health authorities of their country, devote considerable attention to data collection methods. The reports, studies, and papers prepared at various meetings deal in general with specific aspects of health cost and financing. A major element, and evolving product, of the meetings and studies related to developing countries was a manual on financing health services, originally based on the recommendations of the 1st Study Group meeting. This draft document served as background material for a series of further meetings and was used to guide many of the country financing studies. A number of other health financing manuals were also developed between 1979-81. In its final published form the WHO manual attempts to be relevant to all developing countries. The manual describes health policies and their financial aspects and outlines techniques for data collection. If the recommendations of the 1st Study Group are compared with the achievements recorded thus far, the following facts come to light: many countries have undertaken surveys of health sector financing and resource allocation; increased interest in this subject has been shown by other international organizations; much progress has been made in the development and refinement of methodologies for collecting and using financial data; international activities and country studies have made it possible to provide reports for country leadership; and issues of financial planning and management often appear in medium and longterm plans.