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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.
Paper presented at the Nineteenth Session of the UNICEF/WHO Joint Committee on Health Policy, Geneva, February 1-2, 1972. 40 pFamily planning is an integral part of the health care of the family and has a striking impact of the health of the mother and children. Many aspects of family planning care require the personnel, skills, techniques, and facilities of health services and is thus of concern to UNICEF and WHO. Once individual governments have determined basic matters of family planning policy and methods, UNICEF and WHO can respond to requests for assistance on a wide range of activities, with the primary goal being the promotion of health care of the family. Emphasis will be placed on achieving this by strengthening the basic health services that already have a solid foundation in the community. The past experience of UNICEF and WHO should provide valuable guidance for assistance to the health aspects of family planning, particularly as they relate to the planning and evaluation of programs; organization and administration; public education; the education and training of all medical personnel; and the coordination of family health activities both inside and outside the health sector. The review recommends that UNICEF and WHO first regard the capacity of the host country to absorb aid and maintain projects, and that specific family planning activities, such as the provision of supplies, equipment, and transport, be introduced only when the infrastructure is actually being expanded. Capital investment should be viewed in relation to the government's ability to meet budgetary and staff requirements the new facilities demand.
Report of the evaluation of UNFPA assistance to Colombia's Maternal, Child Health and Population Dynamic's Programme, 1974-1978.
New York, United Nations Fund for Population Activities, July 1981. 181 p.This report for UNFPA (United Nations Fund for Population Activities) on Colombia's Maternal and Child Health and Population Dynamics (MCH/PD) program was prepared by an independent team of consultants which spent 3 weeks in Colombia in February 1980 reviewing documents, interviewing key personnel and observing program services. The report consists of 8 chapters. The 1st describes the terms of references of the evaluation mission. The 2nd chapter provides background information on Colombia and identifies some of the principal environmental factors that affect the program. Chapter 3 describes the organizational context within which the program operates. The chapter also includes a discussion of the UNFPA funding and monitoring mechanism and how that affects program planning and operations. Chapter 4 is a description of the program planning process; goals, strategies and objectives, and of the UNFPA and government inputs to the program between 1974-1978, the period under review. A large part of the report is devoted to describing and assessing each program activity. Chapter 5 consists of descriptions of management information; maternal care; infant, child and adolescent care; family planning; supervision; training; community education; and research and evalutation studies. Chapter 6 is an analysis of the program's impact on: maternal morbidity and mortality; infant morbidity and mortality; and fertility. Chapter 7 summarizes the Mission's conclusions and lists its recommendations. The final chapter deals with the Mission's position in relation to the 1980-1983 proposal. Appendices provide statistical data on medical activities, contraceptive distribution and use, content of training courses, target population, total expenditures, and norms for care, as well as organizational charts, individuals interviewed, and UNFPA assistance to other agencies in Colombia. (author's modified)