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In: Wood C, Rue Y, ed. Health policies in developing countries. London, England, The Royal Society of Medicine, 1980. 163-5. (Royal Society of Medicine. International Congress and Symposium Series; No. 24)The Onchocerciasis Control Program in the Volta Basin is aimed at reducing the transmission of the disease so that it is no longer a major risk to public health and an obstacle to socioeconomic development. Aerial spraying of insecticides has been carried out over 7 countries of West Africa where 10 million people live. The economic advantages of the program come from 2 production factors: labor and land. As far as labor is concerned, the program will increase productive capacities by reducing the production losses resulting from vision disorders or blindness in the laborforce, decrease the debilitating effects of the parasite which leaves people more vulnerable to other diseases, and increase ability of farmers to cultivate land near rivers without constant exposure to hundreds of bites a day. The major economic development will come from developing new land. Several reports are cited indicating projected kilometers of new land that would become available. The major concern is the best way to organize the utilization of the new land, taking into account organized and unorganized migration. It is apparent that various areas and countries within the program have different demographic pressures on their land as well as different structures and planning institutions. Considerable resources of men and financial means are required to finance these land development programs and must come from international sources. Some of the costs and cost evaluations are given. A belief in the cooperation among rich and poor countries for a program without boundaries has already demonstrated the cooperative nature of the Onchocerciasis Control Program.
Population Bulletin of the Economic Commission for Western Asia. 1980; (19):69-80.The author cites problems in the definitions of different categories of economic activity and employment status which have been made by the UN. The term "casual workers" has never been clarified and these people were described as both employed and unemployed on different occasions; there is also no allowance for the term underemployed in the UN classification. The latter term, he concludes, is not included in most censuses. The UN in its Principles and Recommendations for Population Censuses, discusses sex-based stereotypes which he states are based on a set of conventions that are arbitrary, irrational, and complex. However on the basis of the UN rules it is possible to divide the population into 3 categories: 1) those who are economically active (black), 2) those who are not active (white), and 3) those whose classification is in doubt (gray). In developed countries most people are either in the black or the white area and the amount in the gray area is small, but in developing countries the gray area may be the majority of the population. In the Swaziland census no attempt was made to provide a clear picture of employment. In view of the complexity of the underlying concepts, the decisions as to whether a person should be classified as economically active or not should be left to the statisticians, not the census enumerators.