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In: The population debate: dimensions and perspectives. Papers of the World Population Conference, Bucharest, 1974. Volume I. New York, New York, United Nations, 1975. 573-97. (Population Studies, No. 57; ST/ESA/SER.A/57)WHO presented a discussion on health trends and prospects in relation to population and development at the World Population Conference in Bucharest, Romania, in 1974. Even though many countries did not have available detailed results of 1970 population censuses, WHO was able to determine using the limited available data that both developing and developed countries could still make substantial reductions in death rates. This room for improvement was especially great for developing countries. Infectious diseases predominated as the cause of death in developing countries, while chronic diseases and accidents predominated in developed countries. Life expectancy at birth in developing countries was lower than that in developed countries (48.3-60.3 years vs. 70 years). Any life expectancy gains were likely to be slower after 1970 than during the 1950-1970 period. WHO claimed that by 2000 almost all of the population in developing and developed countries could reach a life expectancy of 60-65 years and 75-80 years, respectively. WHO stressed the complex interactions among population growth, health, and socioeconomic development. Specifically, an improved health status for both individuals and communities would promote socioeconomic development which in turn appeared to reduce natural increase. Some experts have expressed concern that investment in health services spurs population growth because they reduce mortality. Yet the child survival hypothesis indicated that a reduced infant mortality precedes increased demand for family planning methods and subsequent fertility decline. WHO concurred with the hypothesis and advocated that primary health services and family planning are critical to socioeconomic development. Indeed, family planning services should be integrated with maternal and child health services.
In: Bannerman RH, Burton J, Ch'en Wen-Chieh. Traditional medicine and health care coverage: a reader for health administrators and practitioners. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization, 1983. 281-9.It is now widely recognized that there is great potential in traditional medicine to contribute to primary health care, specially in developing countries. Such a potential is due not only to the wide acceptance of these systems at the community level but also to their simple, inexpensive, non-toxic, and time-tested remedies for the alleviation of disease and disability. In order to contribute usefully to primary health care, these systems must be functionally integrated into the country's health system. A thorough study should therefore be made of the prevailing traditional systems in their entirety--the type of system, the available manpower, the existing training programs, including any linkage to the official health services and the budgetary requirements. The identification of areas of health care to which these systems can contribute effectively and problems relating to their further development also require scrutiny. A list of recommendations given by WHO in 1979 for the development of traditional medicine are given. These include: manpower planning, the development of traditional medicine programs at the community level, and the identification of research priorities (drug research, the characteristics of traditional practitioners, integration programs, and cost effectiveness of traditional remedies and practices). An additional area of research suggested is the effectiveness of traditional remedies against chronic diseases for which there are no satisfactory treatments in modern medicine. WHO has been actively promoting traditional medicine as an integral part of primary health care through its technical cooperation programs with member states. In the last few years, a useful program to encourage visits of teams from different countries to China has been carried out in collaboration with the United Nations development program. The emphasis of WHO's programs are on coordinated and integated efforts to foster traditional systems and to maximize their usefulness towards the attainment of health for all.