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  1. 1

    WHO--the days of the mass campaigns.

    Williams G

    WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1988; 9(1):7-23.

    To mark the 40th anniversary year of WHO, this article presents major events from WHO's life story, including episodes from its foundation in the aftermath of a world war, through the high hopes of the mass campaigns and the brilliant victory over smallpox, to the present great endeavour to achieve health for all. Between the world wars, international health work had been carried out by 3 separate organizations. Urgently needed was a new, truly global health organization to replace them. During the late 1950s, WHO was assisting yaws campaigns in 28 countries with a combined population of over 150 million. By 1960, in 64 countries or territories, 265 million children and adolescents had been tested with tuberculin and 106 million vaccinated with BCG. The technique of residual spraying with DDT held out the promise of conquering malaria by preventing the transmission of the malaria parasite. Within 12 years of its launch, the global malaria program had brought protection against the scourge of malaria to almost 1 billion people--more than 1/4 of the world's population. Smallpox victims were estimated at 10-15 million each year, of whom 1.5-2.0 million died. Through quiet advocacy backed up by solid research, WHO had helped to give family planning the international respectability it had so much needed. WHO increasingly urged governments to integrate disease control campaigns with the general health services and helped them to do so.
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  2. 2

    The Population Commission and IUSSP.

    Lebrun M; Brass W


    The United Nations (UN) and the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) have cooperated since the 1940s. In 1927 an International Population Conference in Geveva established a permanent Population Union to cooperate with the population activities of the League of Nations. The 2 institutions' successors, IUSSP and the United Nations (UN), developed close and productive linkages, collaborating to create a Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, published in English, French, Russian, and Spanish and in many other languages. Meanwhile the Union, at the request of UNESCO, prepared a pioneering study attempting to define the cultural factors affecting developing country fertility in the context of the demographic transition, In 1966 the Union and the UN collaborated to develop criteria for internationally comparable studies in fertility and family planning (FP). The resulting monograph served as a reference for many fertility studies, including the World Fertility Survey. Another study on the impact of FP programs on fertility, resulted in the organization of expert meetings and the production of a manual and monographs on FP program evaluation. There was futher cooperation in a study on mortality, internal migration and international migration, resulting in manuals on methods of analysing internal migration and indirect measures of emigration, among other things. The 1954 Wold Population Conference (WPC) and the 1965 UN WPC were organized by the UN collaborating with the Union, and the Union administered the funds used to bring developing country delegates to the Conference. Subsequent WPCs at Bucharest and Mexico City were political in nature, bu the Union contributed to both a report outlining demographic research needs. The Union also assisted the UN in organizing a series of regional population conferences, and its Committee on Demographic Instruction prepared a report for UNESCO on teaching demography, and cooperated with the Secretariat in funding the UN Regional Demographic Training Centers at Bombay and Santiago.
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  3. 3

    Forty years of population statistics at the United Nations.

    United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Statistical Office


    The Statistical and Population Commissions perform the work of the United Nations (UN) Secretariat in population statistics. Their Demographic Yearbook has come to serve an ever wider variety of users. Most data comes from an annual questionnaire sent to national statistical services in >200 contries or areas worldwide. Data quality and reliability improved significantly with each decennial round of population censuses. Standardized definitions and classification methods; detailed footnoting; and the complementation of missing or incomplete data from official national sources promote their usefulness and international comparability. From 1955-74, demographic and related economic and social statistics were integrated by attempts, through technical cooperation, to improve national statistical services, and by methodological work, including the publication of handbooks, manuals, and technical reports. The Statistical Office, under Statistical Commission guidance, promoted sampling technics for obtaining demographic and related information and for evaluating census and civil registration systems. The UN also promoted efforts to improve civil registration and vital events data accuracy. Those efforts included revising recommendations and handbooks and preparing the World Program for the Improvement of Vital Statistics. Every decade, the UN has issued principles and recommendations for population and housing censuses and contributed to the improvement of national efforts, including the recent development of regional variants of the World Population and Housing Censuses recommendations; emphasizing developing country needs; and promoting electronic data processing worldwide. 193 countries representing 95% of the world's population conducted a census between 1975-84. The UN launched the National Household Survey Capability Program in the late 1970s, to provide data on population and related demographic characteristics linked with other social and economic variables.
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  4. 4

    The Population Commission and CICRED.

    Bourgeois-Pichat J


    The Committee for International Co-operation in National Research in Demography (CICRED) was formed in 1972 as a result of an initiative taken by the Director of the Population Division of the United Nations Secretariat, and currently holds consultative status with the Economic and Social Council Among its accomplishments are the organization of seminars on demographic research in relation to population growth targets and on infant mortality in relation to the level of fertility, and demographic research in relation to internal migration. CICRED was also instrumental in gaining the co-operation of national research institutions in a project resulting in the publication of 56 national monographs. In cooperation with the population Division, CICRED prepared and published 2 editions of a population multilingual thesaurus. This collaboration also led to the creation of the Population Information Network (POPIN). In 1977 CICRED launched the Inter-center Co-operative research Program. The various elements of the program are in different stages of completion. In particular, they involve cooperation with the Population Division in the areas of intergration of demographic variables into planning, aging and differential mortality. (author's modified)
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  5. 5

    Population policy.

    United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division


    2 activities undertaken by the UN on population policy are reviewed: research and analysis of population policies adopted by Governments; and the provision of a neutral forum where scholars, not necessarily associated with the UN system, present their views and the findings of their individual research. 2 other activities: the provision of technical assistance in the area of population to Governments that seek it, and the provision of substantive secretariat services to intergovernmental bodies (e.g. the 1974 Bucharest World Population Conference; the 1984 Mexico city International Conference on Population) are dealt with in other papers in this Bulletin. Population policy work has mainly been concentrated in the past 2 decades. Earlier, before the legislative debate on the proper role of the UN with respect to population policy had reached a consensus, little research was done. Policy research began to gain significantly during the preparations for the 1974 World Population Conference. It has since continued, developing its own primary data sources, particularly through the institutionalization of regular population inquiries addressed to all Governments; through the regular reporting of the findings of its analyses, using a variety of formats including the biennial monitoring of population policies; and in the preparation of reports on topics of special concern to the international community. Policy research carried out by the UN Secretariat is characterized generally by an avoidance of advocacy for any specific policy position, a global perspective, and full attention to the policy issues associated with each of the major population variables. Population policy has been a matter of substantive concern for the UN throughout the 4 decades since the Population Commission was established, in 1946. However, in marked contrast to the attention given kto the traditional analysis of demographic variables, this concern has not been explicit and direct throughout the 40 years. During much of the 1st 2 decades, it was expressed unevenly and at times obliquely.
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  6. 6

    Demographic estimates and projections.

    El-Badry MA; Kono S


    The periodic assessment of global population growth from the past to the future has been one of the UN's most important contributions to member states and many other users. Available data and applicable analysis and projection methods were very limited in 1947, when the 1st global population estimates and projections were attempted. The 1st contributions of the Commission were manuals for these functions. Throughout the 1950s, 4 regional reports on Central and South America; Southeast Asia; and Asia and the far East were published. UN studies during this period tended to group regions by their position on a continuum of the demographic transition. Rough but alarming projections of population growth appeared. Projection technics were refined and standardized in the 1960s, and the demand grew for more specialized technics, e.g. dealing with urban/rural populations; the labor force; and other elements. The availability of computer technology at the end of the decade multiplied the projection capabilities, and the total population projections for the future were larger than ever. The 1970s projections, based on the more accurate and widely covered baseline data which had become available in developing countries, were also aided by more powerful and innovative indirect estimation technics; better software, and computers with larger capacities. By 1982, only a few countries were left with a total lack of data. A revision of estimates and projections is now undertaken biennially, incorporating the latest available data, utilizing advanced analytical methods and computer technology. Methodological manuals have been produced as the by-product of the revisions. UN demographic estimates and projections could be further improved by injection of a probabilistic element and the inclusion of economic factors. Roles for the future include maintenance of regional and interregional comparability of assumptions.
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  7. 7

    The significance of the United Nations international population conferences.

    Macura M


    The 4 international population conferences held under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) are placed in historical perspective. Although each was unique, together they comprise a coherent whole reflecting the changing world situation and the increasing understanding of population dynamics and policies. The 1st UN Population Congress was held in Rome in 1954. Organized in collaboration with the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, it was comprised of experts and emphasized methods and technics of demography, which was still evolving as an independent discipline. The 2nd Conference at Belgrade in 1965, resembled its predecessor in that the delegates were experts. However, it expanded the scope of demographic concerns to related fields and policy issues. For the 1st time fertility was viewed as a policy variable in the context of development planning. The Bucharest conference, held a decade later, was the 1st comprised of government representatives. Since the scientific and technical topics had been explored in preparatory symposia, the conference focused on drawing up the 1st international document on population policy, the World Population Plan of Action, which reflected the tension between states emphasizing the need for fertility decline and those emphasizing the need for a new international economic order. The 1984 conference, held in Mexico City, was also made up of government representatives. Benefitting from extensive preparations including 4 scientific symposia, 5 regional meetings and meetings of the Preparatory Committee, it was successful in refining and making more concrete the World Population Plan of Action. Taken together, the 4 conferences transformed demography from a purely statistical discipline to a multidisciplinary science extending into the domain of population policies and programs. (author's modified)
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  8. 8


    Heckler MM

    In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Oral Rehydration Therapy, June 7-10, 1983, Washington, D.C., edited by Richard Cash. Washington, D.C., Agency for International Development [AID], Bureau for Science and Technology, 1983. 4-5. (International Conference on Oral Rehydration Therapy, 1983, proceedings)

    The Honorable Margaret Heckler, secretary of Health and Human Services, presents the goal of the conference--discussion of the remarkable potential of oral rehydration therapy and its importance to the health of infants and children throughout the world. The conference celebrates the scientific advances of recent years that give new hope for millions of children every year. Over 500 million episodes of diarrhea afflict infants in developing countries each year; each year, some 5 million children lose their lives to these diseases. In Europe, and in North America as well, diarrhea is the 6th most common cause of death among small children. At the turn of the century, mortality due to cholera was 60%. A scientist in Calcutta and 1 in Manila developed methods of intravenous therapy that reduced mortality dramatically to 20%. Treatment of the disease remained relatively unchanged until the middle of the century when work in Egypt and Asia resulted in a therapy method that reduced mortality for cholera to less than 1%. The crucial discovery of an effective cholera agent occurred in India in 1959. In 1962, scientists in Manila established the vital role of oral glucose in the absorption of sodium and water. The large-scale use of oral rehydration therapy was demonstrated in Dhaka and Calcutta in the 1960s, when 100s of cholera cases were managed under field conditions during a rural epidemic. A massive epidemic during a refugee crisis in 1971 was well-coped with by the Johns Hopkins group in Calcutta by treating 3700 patients over an 8-week period. This was one of the 1st large-scale uses of prepackaged materials for oral hydration, costing only US$750. In Dhaka and Calcutta in the early 1970s the critical discovery that noncholera diarrheal diseases could be treated with the oral rehydration therapy developed for cholera was made. The discovery of the role of glucose in accelerating the absorption of salt and water was underscored in the British journal "Lancet" as being potentially the most important medical advance of this century. A strong coalition of interest exists between governments and scientists of many nations as well as the international organizations to promote oral rehydration therapy. WHO, UNICEF, USAID and other agencies are playing an extremely important part in discovering how oral rehydration therapy can best be incorporated into broader health services, and how to prevent diarrheal diseases from occurring.
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