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Washington, D.C., Population Reference Bureau [PRB], 2003 Apr.  p.This policy brief presents two rationales for investing in neonatal health services: investing in newborn health and survival helps achieve health and development goals, and honoring newborns' human rights.
WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1998; 19(2):174-81.Until the late 1960s, health professionals most often recommended that people with diarrheal disease take antidiarrheal drugs and refrain from eating for at least 24 hours. At the same time, work was underway on the development of oral rehydration therapy (ORT), which was subsequently adopted in 1971 to complement the limited supply of intravenous treatment for thousands of patients in West Bengal. The success of ORT in treating diarrheal disease led to the establishment of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Program for the Control of Diarrheal Diseases in 1980, and the subsequent broader access to packets of oral rehydration salts in health facilities. WHO was also involved in efforts to control acute respiratory infections, establishing the Acute Respiratory Infections Program to validate the use of clinical signs for diagnosis and evaluate the impact of the approach. Since WHO's maintenance of these two parallel single-disease programs resulted in some duplication of effort, they were merged in 1990 to form the Division of Diarrheal and Acute Respiratory Disease Control. The division's mandate was later modified and expanded in 1996 in the creation of the Division of Child Health and Development responsible for the control of diarrheal diseases, acute respiratory infections, and other childhood killers like measles, malaria, and malnutrition.
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.
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.