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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.
Evidence behind the WHO Guidelines: Hospital care for children: What is the appropriate empiric antibiotic therapy in uncomplicated urinary tract infections in children in developing countries?
Journal of Tropical Pediatrics. 2007 Jun; 53(3):150-152.Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children. Studies from developing countries show that the around 10% of children with febrile illnesses have UTI . Studies have shown a higher UTI prevalence of 8-35% in malnourished children. The risk of developing UTI before the age of 14 is ~1% in boys and 3-5% in girls. Due to lack of overt clinical features in children less than 2 years, appropriate collection of urine samples and basic diagnostic tests at first-level health facilities in developing countries, UTI are not generally reported as a cause of childhood mortality. If poorly treated or undiagnosed, UTI is an important cause of long-term morbidities such as hypertension, failure to thrive and end-stage renal disease. Unfortunately, many of the organisms responsible for UTI in developing and industrialized countries have become resistant to first-line antimicrobials. It is thus necessary to establish the type of pathogen and antimicrobial sensitivities in the local environment in order to treat the UTI with the appropriate antibiotic. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2000 Apr 8; 355(9211):1245.On April 7, 2000, the WHO launched the new blood-safety campaign, which aims to increase the availability of safe blood in developing countries. The organization issued facts and figures on the state of the world's blood supply to spur governments to establish national transfusion systems. However, critics reported that the approach is unworkable in the very regions that it aims to protect. Jean Emmanuel, WHO director of blood safety and clinical technology, claimed that efficacy of transfusion services depends on national coordination and government support. On the other hand, Josef DeCosas, director of the Southern African AIDS Training Program in Zimbabwe, states that the success of organized blood-transfusion services in Zimbabwe depends on the network of roads and telephones and the availability of vehicles and fuel. In other African countries, these organized central blood-transfusion services take an enormous chunk of the health care budget. Furthermore, he stated that the central blood-bank scheme of the WHO would work for only a short while and would eventually fall since it does not complement the rest of the health care system, road system and electric supply.
Contact. 1983 Oct; (75):1-16.Investigates health planners' assumptions about community particiation in health care. Primary health care aims to make essential health care accessible to all individuals in the community in an acceptable and affordable way and with their full participation. It is the strategy propagated by the World Health Organization to provide health for everyone by the year 2000. Community participation is seen as the key to primary health care and has raised many assumptions and expectations among health planners. Community people are seen as a vast untapped resource which can help to reduce the cost of health care by providing additional manpower. It is also expected that community people want to participate in their own health care because they wish to serve their community and to have a part in decisions which affect them. In the early 1970's, programs were developed out of church-related efforts. They pioneered many of the ideas which became principles of primary health care. The church-related programs were nongovernmental and therefore flexible. They had the same goal of letting the community take responsibility for their own health care; program planners were primarily medical people trained in Western medicine. The planners were concerned with the plight of the poor. However, the programs tended to reflect planners' hopes for, rather than the community's understanding of, the community health problem. The author concludes that the assumptions that planners make about their programs need to be critically analyzed. Investigations need to be made into community perceptions and expectations of their role in health programs. Studies need to be undertaken to identify the potentials and problems of community participation and the record of established community health care programs needs to be examined.