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  1. 1

    Optimizing health worker roles to improve access to key maternal and newborn health interventions through task shifting. WHO recommendations.

    Lewin S; Glenton C; Gulmezoglu AM; Lavis J; Alvarez E

    Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2012. [98] p.

    The World Health Organization’s recommendations on optimizing the roles of health workers aim to help address critical health workforce shortages that slow down progress towards the health-related Millennium Development Goals. A more rational distribution of tasks and responsibilities among cadres of health workers can significantly improve both access and cost-effectiveness -- for example by training and enabling ‘mid-level’ and ‘lay’ health workers to perform specific interventions otherwise provided only by cadres with longer (and sometimes more specialized) training. These recommendations are intended for health policy-makers, managers and other stakeholders at a regional, national and international level. WHO hopes that countries will adapt and implement them to meet local needs. The recommendations were developed through a formal, structured process including a thorough review of available evidence. The process and the recommendations are described in the related documents.
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  2. 2

    Preventing early pregnancy: What the evidence says.

    World Health Organization [WHO]; Family Care International

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, [2011]. [8] p.

    The Preventing early pregnancy: What the evidence says? in Developing Countries presents the evidence to design national policies and strategies. It contains recommendations on action and research for preventing: (1) early pregnancy: by preventing marriage before 18 years of age; by increasing knowledge and understanding of the importance of pregnancy prevention; by increasing the use of contraception; and by preventing coerced sex; (2) poor reproductive outcomes: by reducing unsafe abortions; and by increasing the use of skilled antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care. These guidelines are primarily intended for policy-makers, planners and programme managers from governments, nongovernmental organizations and development agencies. They are also likely to be of interest to public health researchers and practitioners, professional associations and civil society groups. They have been developed through a systematic review of existing research and input from experts from countries around the world, in partnership with many key international organizations working to improve adolescents’ health. Similar partnerships have been forged to distribute them widely and to support their use. (Excerpt)
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  3. 3

    A conceptual framework for action on the social determinants of health.

    Solar O; Irwin A

    Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2010. [79] p. (Discussion Paper Series on Social Determinants of Health No. 2)

    Complexity defines health. Now, more than ever, in the age of globalization, is this so. The Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) was set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) to get to the heart of this complexity. They were tasked with summarizing the evidence on how the structure of societies, through myriad social interactions, norms and institutions, are affecting population health, and what governments and public health can do about it. To guide the Commission in its mammoth task, the WHO Secretariat conducted a review and summary of different frameworks for understanding the social determinants of health. This review was summarized and synthesized into a single conceptual framework for action on the social determinants of health which was proposed to and, largely, accepted by, the CSDH for orienting their work. A key aim of the framework is to highlight the difference between levels of causation, distinguishing between the mechanisms by which social hierarchies are created, and the conditions of daily life which then result. This paper describes the review, how the proposed conceptual framework was developed, and identifies elements of policy directions for action implied by the proposed conceptual framework and analysis of policy approaches. (Excerpt)
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  4. 4

    Towards universal access: scaling up priority HIV / AIDS interventions in the health sector. Progress report, April 2007.

    World Health Organization [WHO]; Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS]; UNICEF

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2007 Apr. 88 p.

    Drawing on lessons from the scale-up of HIV interventions over the last few years, WHO, as the UNAIDS cosponsor responsible for the health sector response to HIV/AIDS, has established priorities for its technical work and support to countries on the basis of the following five Strategic Directions, each of which represents a critical area where the health sector must invest if significant progress is to be made towards achieving universal access. Enabling people to know their HIV status; Maximizing the health sector's contribution to HIV prevention; Accelerating the scale-up of HIV/AIDS treatment and care; Strengthening and expanding health systems; Investing in strategic information to guide a more effective response. In this context, WHO undertook at the World Health Assembly in May 2006 to monitor and evaluate the global health sector response in scaling up towards universal access and to produce annual reports. This first report addresses progress in scaling up the following health sector interventions. Antiretroviral therapy; Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT); HIV testing and counseling; Interventions for injecting drug users (IDUs); Control of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to prevent HIV transmission; Surveillance of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. (excerpt)
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  5. 5

    Reaching the poor: challenges for the TB programmes in the Western Pacific Region.

    Coll-Black S; Van Maaren P; Ahn D; Kasai T; Bhushan A

    Manila, Philippines, WHO, Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Stop TB, 2004. [41] p.

    Globally, over 98% of the deaths caused by tuberculosis (TB) annually are in developing countries. Within the Western Pacific Region, the seven countries that account for 94% of the TB prevalence are low or lower middle-income economies. Within countries, as well, poor and marginalized communities suffer disproportionately from TB. Importantly, TB affects the most economically and socially productive age group, as 77% of TB deaths occur within the ages of 15 – 54. This evidence points to the important relationship between poverty and TB. The deprivation associated with poverty, such as overcrowding, poor ventilation and malnutrition, increases the rate of transmission and progression from infection to disease. In turn, the costs of TB can further impoverish poor households. This is because poor households must dedicate a larger proportion of their income to meet the direct and indirect costs of seeking TB care than the non-poor. The opportunity costs are likewise higher for the poor than non-poor. For the poor, a decrease in productivity or an increase in time away from work because of illness leads to a reduction in income. Moreover, coping mechanisms employed by poor households during periods of illness may reduce household productivity in the long-term. TB has important social costs as well, which are more likely to affect women with TB than men. For example, stigma and isolation resulting from TB can reduce an individual's social position. (excerpt)
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