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    066534

    Community involvement in health development: challenging health services. Report of a WHO Study Group.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Study Group on Community Involvement in Health Development: Challenging Health Services

    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION TECHNICAL REPORT SERIES. 1991; (809):i-iv, 1-56.

    In order to make community involvement in health development (CIH) a reality, countries need to go beyond endorsement of the idea and take concrete steps, reports a WHO study group examining the issue. While the idea of community involvement has gained widespread acceptance, most health services have been slow in making the necessary institutional and organizational changes, and in providing the necessary money and staff time. Furthermore, most CIH efforts have concentrated on the community side of involvement, neglecting the health development aspects and the context in which the involvement takes place. The Study Group, which met in Geneva on December 1989, was concerned with identifying specific obstacles to CIH implementation and providing recommendations. The report discusses such issues as the political, social, and economic contexts of CIH; the methodology of CIH; the training of health personnel; the strengthening of communities for CIH; and the monitoring and evaluation of such programs. Among the report's major findings: most countries have yet to truly commit to CIH; CIH programs lack the necessary support and resources; effective coordination at all levels is imperative; health personnel must be adequately educated on the principles and practices of CIH; and some health ministries promote too narrow an understanding of health. The report contains recommendations for both countries and for WHO. The recommendations for countries include several measures directed at the ministries of health, including a provision that the ministries develop guidelines for the implementation of CIH at the district level.
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