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The level of effort in the national response to HIV / AIDS: the AIDS Program Effort Index (API), 2003 round.
Washington, D.C., USAID, 2003 Dec.  p.The success of HIV/AIDS programs can be affected by many factors, including political commitment, program effort, socio-cultural context, political systems, economic development, extent and duration of the epidemic , and resources available. Many programs track low-level inputs (e.g., training workshops conducted, condoms distributed) or outcomes (e.g., percentage of acts protected by condom use). Measures of program effort are generally confined to the existence or lack of major program elements (e.g., condom social marketing, counseling and testing). To assist countries in such evaluation efforts, several guides have been developed by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other organizations (see, for example, “Meeting the Behavioural Data Collection Needs of National HIV/AIDS and STD Programmes” and “National AIDS Programs: A Guide to Monitoring and Evaluation of HIV/AIDS Programs”). However, information about the policy environment, level of political support, and other contextual issues affecting the success and failure of national AIDS programs has not been addressed previously. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2003. xvi, 140 p. (USAID Cooperative Agreement No. HRN-A-00-97-00007-00)This Tool is designed to assist users in assessing the status of infant and young child feeding practices, policies, and programmes in their country. The purpose of such an assessment is to identify strengths and possible weaknesses, with a view to improving the protection, promotion, and support of optimal infant and young child feeding. The Tool is designed to be a flexible instrument. It can be used in its entirety, which is preferred, or in part, and can be employed by a range of users for various purposes. The approach taken may depend on: - the stage of policy and programme development in the country concerned; - the commitment of key decision-makers to undertake the assessment and to use the results; and - the human and financial resources available. The Tool can be used as a companion piece to the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding as an assessment tool to help determine where improvements might be needed to meet the Global Strategy targets. Consideration should be given to using the Tool periodically, every several years, to track trends on the various indicators, report on progress, identify areas still needing improvement, and assist in the planning process. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2003 Nov 29; 362(9398):1773.December 1 is the 16th World AIDS Day. The major theme of the past year has been on strengthening the campaign for cheap antiretroviral drugs. This thrust, some critics maintain, has been to the detriment of HIV prevention efforts. Perhaps the most ambitious HIV/AIDS development in the past year has been WHO’s focus on the “3 by 5” target—a commitment to provide antiretroviral drugs to 3 million people in developing countries by the end of 2005. For many the “3 by 5” initiative, if successfully implemented, will bring a longer life. But how useful is this and other antiretroviral-based initiatives to those people with AIDS in the developing world who will die today, tomorrow, or in the very near future? For these people, the stark reality is that it is too late for antiretroviral treatment; what they need, yet rarely receive, is palliative care. (excerpt)
Epidemiology of measles in the central region of Ghana: a five-year case review in three district hospitals.
East African Medical Journal. 2003 Jun; 80(6):312-317.Objective: As part of a national accelerated campaign to eliminate measles, we conducted a study, to define the epidemiology of measles in the Central Region. Design: A descriptive survey was carried out on retrospective cases of measles. Setting: Patients were drawn from the three district hospitals (Assin, Asikuma and Winneba Hospitals) with the highest number of reported cases in the region. Subjects: Records of outpatient and inpatient measles patients attending the selected health facilities between 1996 and 2000. Data on reported measles eases in all health facilities in the three study, districts were also analysed. Main outcome measures: The distribution of measles eases in person (age and sex), time (weekly, or monthly, trends) anti place (residence), the relative frequency, of eases, and the outcome of treatment. Results: There was an overall decline in reported eases of measles between 1996 and 2000 both in absolute terms and relative to other diseases. Females constituted 48%- 52% of the reported 1508 eases in the hospitals. The median age of patients was 36 months. Eleven percent of eases were aged under nine months; 66% under five years and 96% under 15 years. With some minor variations between districts, the highest and lowest transmission occurred in March and September respectively. Within hospitals, there were sporadic outbreaks with up to 34 weekly eases. Conclusion: In Ghana, children aged nine months to 14 years could be appropriately targeted for supplementary, measles immunization campaigns. The best period for the campaigns is during the low transmission months of August to October. Retrospective surveillance can expediently inform decisions about the timing and target age groups for such campaigns. (author's)
East African Medical Journal. 2003 Jun; 80(6 Suppl):S1-S20.Health sector reform is 'a sustained process of fundamental changes in national health policy, institutional arrangements, etc. guided by government and designed to improve the functioning and performance of the health sector and, ultimately, the health status of the population'. All the forty six countries in the African Region of the World Health Organisation have embarked on one form of health sector reform or the other. The contexts and contents of their health reform programmes have varied from one country to another. Health reforms in the region have been influenced largely by the poor performance of the health systems, particularly with regard to the quality of health services. Most countries have taken due congnizance of the deficiencies on their health systems in the design of their health reform programmes and they have made some progress in the implementation of such programmes. Indeed, some countries have adopted sector-wide approaches (SWAps) in developing and implementing their health reform programmes. Since countries are at various stages of implementing their health reform programmes, there is a lot of potential for countries to learn from one another. This paper is a synthesis of the experiences of the countries of the Region in the development and implementation of their health sector reform programmes, it also highlights the future perspectives in this important area. (author's)