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WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1988; 9(2):143-6.This article summarizes the activities and the philosophy of WHO in its effort to improve worldwide health care since its inception some 40 years ago. At the 1st World Health Assembly in 1948 it was pointed out that little could be achieved by medical services unless the existing economic, social and other relations among peoples have been improved. The immediate priorities of the new Organization were more limited: to build up health services in the areas destroyed by the war, and to fignt the spread of the big infectious killer diseases. It took almost 30 years before the WHO really got down to trying to do something about the economic, social and other conditions which lie at the heart of most health problems. The Alma-Ata Declaration in 1978 heralded a new era in health. The concept of primary health care and the global health-for-all strategy to implement it are now rapidly gaining ground. In villages, towns and districts, people are waking up to the fact that they can contribute to their own health destiny. As WHO embarks on its 5th decade, there are grounds for optimism: health is moving in the right direction in spite of major obstacles.
[Current orientations and future perspectives of the International Union of Health Education] Union internationale d'education pour la sante orientations actuelles et perspectives d'avenir.
International Journal of Health Education. 1982 Oct; 1(2):57-64.In his report, Dr. E. Berthet, Secretary General of the IUHE, stresses the importance of 4 major concepts which should serve as the basis for all the activities of the Union: 1) health education is a major factor in economic and social development; 2) health education is not merely 1 more discipline amongst many but an attitude of mind, a way of thinking and acting which requires medical, psychological, pedagogic, social and economic data; 3) health education should neither blame nor moralize, it should not exploit human fear and pain, it should inform, on the basis of sound epidemiological data, about the major avoidable risks; 4) health education should avoid medical systematization of the social circumstances deriving from living conditions which have nothing to do with pathological conditions of the human body. In future, health education should take further steps and become part of the knowledge of all persons directly or indirectly responsible for economic and social development, e.g.: health professionals, particularly primary health care workers, teachers, leaders in private and public organizations, trade-unionists, social workers, decision-makers, mass media representatives. The latter should work in close cooperation with health professionals. The report also reviews the numerous meetings organized or sponsored since 5 September 1979 by the IUHE. During the last 3 years, working relationships between the Union and international institutions--particularly WHO, UNICEF, and UNESCO--have developed considerably. In May 1983 the technical discussions of the 36th World Health Assembly will be devoted to new health education policies in primary health care. After mentioning the financial difficulties the Union has to face and expressing his gratitude to all Union officers, Dr. Berthet concludes in the words of an oriental saying, that if you make plans for 1 year, grow some rice; if you make plans for 10 years, grow a tree; if you make plans for a century, teach the people. (author's modified) (summaries in ENG, SPA)