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Engaging young people for health and sustainable development. Strategic opportunities for the World Health Organization and partners.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2018. 72 p. (WHO/CDS/TB/2018.22)This report builds on WHO’s long-standing work on young people’s health and rights, including the Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030), the Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!) guidance, and contribution to the new UN Youth Strategy. It was developed as part of the roadmap towards the development of a WHO strategy for engaging young people and young professionals. The world today has the largest generation of young people in history with 1.8 billion between the ages of 10 and 24 years. Many of them already are driving transformative change, and many more are poised to do so, but lack the opportunity and means. This cohort represents a powerhouse of human potential that could transform health and sustainable development. A priority is to ensure that no young person is left behind and all can realize their right to health equitably and without discrimination or hindrance. This force for change represents an unparalleled opportunity for the WHO and partners to transform the way they engage with young people, including to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This report describes strategic opportunities to meaningfully engage young people in transforming health and sustainable development. This will mean providing opportunities for young people’s leadership and for their engagement with national, regional and global programmes.
Winners of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health-Global Health: Science and Practice Annual Student Manuscript Contest [editorial]
Global Health: Science and Practice. 2017 Mar 24; 5(1):4-5.The 2 inaugural winners of the CUGH–GHSP Annual Student Manuscript Contest describe (1) the American Mock World Health Organization model for engaging students in global health policy and diplomacy, and (2) a successful Indo-U.S. twinning model of global health academic partnership led by students.
Towards a grand convergence for child survival and health: A strategic review of options for the future building on lessons learnt from IMNCI.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2016 Nov. 78 p.This strategic review provides direction to the global child health community on how to better assist countries to deliver the best possible strategies to help each child survive and thrive. Over the past quarter century, child mortality has more than halved, dropping from 91 to 43 deaths per 1000 live births between 1990 and 2015. Yet in 2015 an estimated 5.9 million children still died before reaching their fifth birthday, most from conditions that are readily preventable or treatable with proven, cost-effective interventions. The review took as its departure point the implementation of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), developed by WHO and UNICEF in 1995 as a premier strategy to promote health and provide preventive and curative services for children under five in countries with greater than 40 deaths per 1000 live births. It includes contributions from over 90 countries and hundreds of experts in child health and related areas, with 32 specifically commissioned pieces of analysis. The final product represents a collaboration of child health experts worldwide, working together to examine past lessons and propose an agenda to stimulate momentum for improving care for children.
Population and Development Review. 2015 Sep 15; 41(3):507-532.Chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries have recently provoked a surge of public interest. This article examines the policy literature-notably the archives and publications of the World Health Organization (WHO), which has dominated this field-to analyze the emergence and consolidation of this new agenda. Starting with programs to control cardiovascular disease in the 1970s, experts from Eastern and Western Europe had by the late 1980s consolidated a program for the prevention of NCD risk factors at the WHO. NCDs remained a relatively minor concern until the collaboration of World Bank health economists with WHO epidemiologists led to the Global Burden of Disease study that provided an “evidentiary breakthrough” for NCD activism by quantifying the extent of the problem. Soon after, WHO itself, facing severe criticism, underwent major reform. NCD advocacy contributed to revitalizing WHO's normative and coordinative functions. By leading a growing advocacy coalition, within which The Lancet played a key role, WHO established itself as a leading institution in this domain. However, ever-widening concern with NCDs has not yet led to major reallocation of funding in favor of NCD programs in the developing world.
[Johannesburg, South Africa], University of the Witwatersrand, Centre for Health Policy, Health Systems Knowledge Network, 2006 Feb.  p. (Health Systems Knowledge Network (KN) Discussion Document No. 1)During July and August 2005 the Health Systems Knowledge Network Hub produced a wide-ranging literature review for discussion at a meeting in India between Hubs and the rest of the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (Doherty, Gilson and EQUINET 2005). The review was based on literature sourced from within the consortium managing the hub as well as from institutions networked with the consortium members. Some key references from existing materials were also followed up. Given the wide scope of work on health systems, it was not feasible to conduct a general electronic search. Nor was it possible to access substantial quantities of grey literature, given the difficulties associated with identifying and locating copies of this type of literature. Because of time constraints, the review focused on reviews of international experience and articles documenting new lines of investigation. Articles that were, at the time, in press were specifically sought out to ensure as up-todate an evidence base as possible. The review began by presenting data showing that health services tend to be used proportionately more by richer than poorer social groups. It analysed the social factors affecting access to, and uptake of, health services and showed how these interact with inequitable features of the health care system. Overall, the review argued that the interaction between household health-seeking behaviour and experience of the health system generates differential health and economic consequences across social groups. The long-term costs of seeking care often impoverish poorer households, reinforcing preexisting social stratification. The review then examined in some detail the features of the health care system that contribute to inequity (such as certain approaches to priority-setting, resource allocation, financing, organisation, human resources, and management and regulation). (Excerpt)
Everybody's business. Strengthening health systems to improve health outcomes: WHO’s framework for action.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2007.  p.The primary aim of this Framework for Action is to clarify and strengthen WHO’s role in health systems in a changing world. There is continuity in the values that underpin it from its constitution, the Alma Ata Declaration of Health For All, and the principles of Primary Health Care. Consultations over the last year have emphasized the importance of WHO’s institutional role in relationship to health systems. The General Programme of Work (2006-2015) and Medium-term Strategic Plan 2008-2013 (MTSP) focus on what needs to be done. While reaffirming the technical agenda, this Framework concentrates more on how the WHO secretariat can provide more effective support to Member States and partners in this domain. (Excerpt)
World Policy Journal. 2010 Summer; 27(2):41-46.Leaders should forget all about quick fixes, because quick fixes will never solve the most pressing global health challenges. World leaders cannot assume, "Oh, we are providing nets, so the nets are going to solve the entire malaria problem." Quite the opposite: just because the nets are being provided does not mean that they are being used. And therefore, we must listen to whoever would fund the strategies, policies and strategic plans developed within those countries to maximize impact. In Uganda, for instance, we have a forum where we have both the donors and the Ugandan government sitting together agreeing on the priorities. So let us address the priorities of the country together rather than having outside organizations say, "This is what we think is correct, we will dictate it to you, and we expect it to work." I've said many times that this does not work. Whatever health crisis is being addressed must be approached with the understanding that we are living in a global community. We must understand that whatever is happening in one country can easily spread to and affect almost anywhere in a very short period of time. We need to bear in mind that we are not only protecting the people we are providing services to, but we are also protecting ourselves. (Excerpt)
Repositioning family planning: Guidelines for advocacy action. Le repositionnement de la planification familiale: Directives pour actions de plaidoyer.
Washington, D.C., Academy for Educational Development [AED], 2008. 64 p.Countries throughout Africa are engaged in an important initiative to reposition family planning as a priority on their national and local agendas. Provision of family planning services in Africa is hindered by poverty, poor access to services and commodities, conflicts, poor coordination of the programmes, and dwindling donor funding. Although family planning enhances efforts to improve health and accelerate development, shifting international priorities, health sector reform, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and other factors have affected its importance in recent years. Traditional beliefs favouring high fertility, religious barriers, and lack of male involvement have weakened family planning interventions. The combination of these factors has led to low contraceptive use, high fertility rates in many countries, and high unmet needs for family planning throughout the region. Family planning advocates must take action to change this situation. Family planning, considered an essential component of primary health care and reproductive health, plays a major role in reducing maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality and transmission of HIV. It contributes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the targets of the Health-for-All Policy for the 21st century in the Africa Region: Agenda 2020. In recognition of its importance, the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa developed a framework (2005-014) for accelerated action to reposition family planning on national agendas and in reproductive health services, which was adopted by African ministers of health in 2004. The framework calls for increase in efforts to advocate for recognition of "the pivotal role of family planning" in achieving health and development objectives at all levels. This toolkit aims to help those working in family planning across Africa to effectively advocate for renewed emphasis on family planning to enhance the visibility, availability, and quality of family planning services for increased contraceptive use and healthy timing and spacing of births, and ultimately, improved quality of life across the region. It was developed in response to requests from several countries to assist them in accelerating their family planning advocacy efforts.
Scaling up HIV / AIDS prevention, treatment and care: a report on WHO support to countries in implementing the “3 by 5” Initiative, 2004-2005.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2006. 143 p.In September 2003, LEE Jong-wook, Director-General of WHO, and Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS, declared the lack of access to antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries to be a global health emergency. Shortly after this declaration, WHO and its partners launched a global initiative to scale up antiretroviral therapy with the objective of having 3 million people receiving antiretroviral therapy - representing half the total number of those globally in need - by the end of 2005 ("3 by 5"). Although the actual target of putting 3 million people on antiretroviral therapy was not reached by the end of 2005, countries have made significant progress in the past two years in expanding treatment coverage, strengthening prevention and building the capacity of health systems to deliver long-term, chronic care. Overall, in the two-year period, antiretroviral therapy coverage in low- and middle-income countries increased from 7% of those in need at the end of 2003 (400 000 people) to 20% of those in need at the end of 2005 (1.3 million people). Eighteen countries managed to increase antiretroviral therapy coverage to half or more of the people who needed it, consistent with the "3 by 5" target. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2007.  p. (UNAIDS/07.07E; JC1274E)These Practical Guidelines for Intensifying HIV Prevention: Towards Universal Access are designed to provide policy makers and planners with practical guidance to tailor their national HIV prevention response so that they respond to the epidemic dynamics and social context of the country and populations who remain most vulnerable to and at risk of HIV infection. They have been developed in consultation with the UNAIDS cosponsors, international collaborating partners, government, civil society leaders and other experts. They build on Intensifying HIV Prevention: UNAIDS Policy Position Paper and the UNAIDS Action Plan on Intensifying HIV Prevention. In 2006, governments committed themselves to scaling up HIV prevention and treatment responses to ensure universal access by 2010. While in the past five years treatment access has expanded rapidly, the number of new HIV infections has not decreased - estimated at 4.3 (3.6-6.6) million in 2006 - with many people unable to access prevention services to prevent HIV infection. These Guidelines recognize that to sustain the advances in antiretroviral treatment and to ensure true universal access requires that prevention services be scaled up simultaneously with treatment. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2007 Jun 9; 369(9577):1915-1916.When the late Lee Jong-wook, former Director-General of WHO, took office in July, 2003, he made his priorities clear: HIV/AIDS was topping the agenda at the global health agency. In his first few months he launched his signature issue-the 3 by 5 campaign-which aimed to provide antiretroviral drugs to 3 million people in developing countries by 2005. His successor, Margaret Chan, who took office on Jan 4 this year, has taken a decidedly different approach to putting her stamp on the organisation. She has spent her first 100 days in office consulting with her colleagues to refine and sharpen her vision for WHO. Presenting her six priorities-health development, health security, strengthening health systems, using evidence to define strategies and measure results, managing partnerships to get the best results in countries, and improving the performance of WHO-to the 60th World Health Assembly (WHA) in May, Chan confirmed that these were now WHO's agenda. Rather than major new initiatives at this stage, Chan has opted for a "simple but elegant framework for looking at how WHO can help countries to develop better health outcomes", explains Ian Smith, one of Chan's advisers. (excerpt)
New England Journal of Medicine. 2007 Feb 15; 356(7):653-656.When Dr. Margaret Chan of China was elected director--general of the World Health Organization (WHO) this past November, some observers suspected that the Chinese government had backed her candidacy in hopes of planting a lackey at the United Nations to do its bidding. In contrast, many global health experts have spoken positively about Chan's China connection. "They're hoping she has some sort of a 'red phone' to Beijing that would help WHO and global health," said Kelley Lee, a senior lecturer in global health policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. But privately, some remain concerned about China's intentions, especially given the country's notorious failure to alert the world to the first cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. Chan is aware of all these suspicions and has a ready answer. "I have a strong record of being a straight talker," she says. "I speak the truth to power, because there's only one objective for me: whatever decision I make is based on public health evidence." She underscores her point with stories from her 25 years in public health in Hong Kong, the last 9 as director of health. "When vegetables were coming across from mainland China, when food items or any herbal medicine was coming across that did not meet my standards, I stopped them," she said. "That caused economic loss to China, clearly, but my primary consideration is public health." Similarly, Chan prohibited a U.S. company from shipping ice cream with high bacterial counts. The company said its test results were normal, and Chan replied, "Yes, normal is what I would expect for your tests. But my tests are abnormal." Ultimately, other countries found the same problem with the product. "Science speaks for itself," said Chan. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2006 Jul 15; 368(9531):177-179.The unexpected and shocking death of Lee Jong-wook, Director-General of WHO, on May 22, the first morning of the Fifty-ninth World Health Assembly, placed WHO in the unprecedented situation of being without its leader at a peak decision-making season. Where does Dr Lee's death leave WHO? Remarkably, WHO has not been incapacitated, although his loss continues to be deeply felt. The organisation has maintained momentum in part because of his management style, which strategically devolved responsibility, and also because of a change in the way in which WHO is finding solutions to global health problems. In the past, there was sometimes a conceptual divide between the adoption of a resolution by the governing bodies as a generally good principle and the more painful realisation of it in practice in countries. The watershed came with tobacco control. The process to arrive at the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was slow and difficult, fraught with legal complexities, and detailed negotiations over texts. But the end product is a powerful instrument that is already proving useful to Member States in enforcing a rigorous, internationally supported approach to improving health. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., NARAL Foundation, 2002 Mar. 6 p.Medical experts, health leaders, researchers, and parents overwhelmingly support teaching responsible, age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education in schools. Respected studies recognize the positive effects of responsible sex education and conclude that abstinence-only programs have not been proven effective. Recognizing the validity of these studies, influential medical experts have cautioned against allocating funds to unproven programs. Thus, it is highly disturbing that some policymakers – including President Bush – continue to push for increased funding for abstinence-only programs, despite the research findings and the recommendations of parents, esteemed medical experts, health leaders, and researchers. (excerpt)
Follow up on the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS. Work of WHO: progress report - July 2002.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2002. 28 p. (HIV/2002.12)As a result of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/ AIDS, held in June 2001, many WHO Member States want to intensify the capacity of the health sector to withstand and respond more effectively to the HIV epidemic. They are looking to the international community – specifically UNAIDS cosponsors such as WHO – for support as they plan to scale up health sector action in response to HIV/AIDS. National officials require assistance in articulating evidence-based health-sector policies and implementing key interventions; building the capacity to monitor epidemiological and behavioural trends; developing a critical mass of trained health professionals; mobilizing resources and negotiating alliances with private or voluntary entities, and undertaking advocacy on a scale proportionate to the size of the task being faced. They want to ensure that research is innovative and relevant to developing countries. They require guidance on procuring quality commodities (such as condoms, HIV-related drugs and diagnostics) at the best possible prices, and in using them most effectively. This report provides an overview of the extensive program of HIV/AIDS activities now being undertaken by WHO - with an emphasis on the work being conducted at headquarters in Geneva, but including some activities being conducted at regional level - to assist countries in addressing these challenges and meeting the targets set out in the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment. (excerpt)
Journal of Health Communication. 2003 Mar-Apr; 8(2):99-100.The new WHO should work to foster benefits to health. Health promotion, disease prevention, health literacy, quality service delivery, supportive policy environments, and other areas that help develop a health-competent society can serve as cornerstones with economic development and sustainable institutions. (excerpt)