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Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 12 p. (Summary Brief WHO/RHR/17.20)Contraception is an inexpensive and cost-effective intervention, but health workforce shortages and restrictive policies on the roles of mid- and lower-level cadres limit access to effective contraceptive methods in many settings. Expanding the provision of contraceptive methods to other health worker cadres can significantly improve access to contraception for all individuals and couples. Many countries have already enabled mid- and lower-level cadres of health workers to deliver a range of contraceptive methods, utilizing these cadres either alone or as part of teams within communities and/or health care facilities. The WHO recognizes task sharing as a promising strategy for addressing the critical lack of health care workers to provide reproductive, maternal and newborn care in low-income countries. Task sharing is envisioned to create a more rational distribution of tasks and responsibilities among cadres of health workers to improve access and cost-effectiveness.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 184 p. (Interactive Visualization of Health Data)In order to reduce health inequalities and identify priority areas for action to move towards universal health coverage, governments first need to understand the magnitude and scope of inequality in their countries. From April 2016 to October 2017, the Indonesian Ministry of Health, WHO, and a network of stakeholders assessed country-wide health inequalities in 11 areas, such as maternal and child health, immunization coverage and availability of health facilities. A key output of the monitoring work is a new report called State of health inequality: Indonesia, the first WHO report to provide a comprehensive assessment of health inequalities in a Member State. The report summarizes data from more than 50 health indicators and disaggregates it by dimensions of inequality, such as household economic status, education level, place of residence, age or sex. This report showcases the state of inequality in Indonesia, drawing from the latest available data across 11 health topics (53 health indicators), and eight dimensions of inequality. In addition to quantifying the magnitude of health inequality, the report provides background information for each health topic, and discusses priority areas for action and policy implications of the findings. Indicator profiles illustrate disaggregated data by all applicable dimensions of inequality, and electronic data visuals facilitate interactive exploration of the data. This report was prepared as part of a capacity-building process, which brought together a diverse network of stakeholders committed to strengthening health inequality monitoring in Indonesia. The report aims to raise awareness about health inequalities in Indonesia, and encourage action across sectors. The report finds that the state of health and access to health services varies throughout Indonesia and identifies a number of areas where action needs to be taken. These include, amongst others: improving exclusive breastfeeding and childhood nutrition; increasing equity in antenatal care coverage and births attended by skilled health personnel; reducing high rates of smoking among males; providing mental health treatment and services across income levels; and reducing inequalities in access to improved water and sanitation. In addition, the availability of health personnel, especially dentists and midwives, is insufficient in many of the country’s health centres. Now the country is using these findings to work across sectors to develop specific policy recommendations and programmes, such as the mobile health initiative in Senen, to tackle the inequalities that have been identified.
Allocation of antiretroviral drugs to HIV-infected patients in Togo: Perspectives of people living with HIV and healthcare providers.
Journal of Medical Ethics. 2017 Dec; 43(12):845-851.Aim To explore the way people living with HIV and healthcare providers in Togo judge the priority of HIV-infected patients regarding the allocation of antiretroviral drugs. Method From June to September 2015, 200 adults living with HIV and 121 healthcare providers living in Togo were recruited for the study. They were presented with stories of a few lines depicting the situation of an HIV-infected patient and were instructed to judge the extent to which the patient should be given priority for antiretroviral drugs. The stories were composed by systematically varying the levels of four factors: (a) the severity of HIV infection, (b) the financial situation of the patient, (c) the patient's family responsibilities and (d) the time elapsed since the first consultation. Results Five clusters were identified: 65% of the participants expressed the view that patients who are poor and severely sick should be treated as a priority, 13% prioritised treatment of patients who are poor and parents of small children, 12% expressed the view that the poor should be treated as a priority, 4% preferred that the sickest be treated as a priority and 6% wanted all patients to get treatment. Conclusions WHO's guideline regarding antiretroviral therapy allocation (the sickest first as the sole criterion) currently in use in many African countries does not reflect the preferences of Togolese people living with HIV. For most HIV-infected patients in Togo, patients who cannot get treatment on their own should be treated as a priority.
American Mock World Health Organization: An Innovative Model for Student Engagement in Global Health Policy.
Global Health: Science and Practice. 2017 Mar 24; 5(1):164-174.The American Mock World Health Organization (AMWHO) is a model for experiential-based learning and student engagement in global health diplomacy. AMWHO was established in 2014 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a mission to engage students in health policy by providing a simulation of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the policy-forming body of the World Health Organization that sets norms and transforms the global health agenda. AMWHO conferences are designed to allow students to take their knowledge of global health beyond the classroom and practice their skills in diplomacy by assuming the role of WHA delegates throughout a 3-day weekend. Through the process of developing resolutions like those formed in the WHA, students have the unique opportunity to understand the complexities behind the conflict and compromise that ensues through the lens of a stakeholder. This article describes the structure of the first 2 AMWHO international conferences, analyzes survey results from attendees, and discusses the expansion of the organization into a multi-campus national network. The AMWHO 2014 and 2015 post-conference survey results found that 98% and 90% of participants considered the conference "good" or "better," respectively, and survey responses showed that participants considered the conference "influential" in their careers and indicated that it "allowed a paradigm shift not possible in class."
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2017. 73 p.This tool for Monitoring human rights in contraceptive services and programmes contributes to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) ongoing work on rights-based contraceptive programmes. This work builds directly on WHO’s 2014 Ensuring human rights within contraceptive programmes: a human rights analysis of existing quantitative indicators and the 2015 publication Ensuring human rights within contraceptive service delivery implementation guide by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and WHO. This tool is intended for use by countries to assist them in strengthening their human rights efforts in contraceptive programming. The tool uses existing commonly-used indicators to highlight areas where human rights have been promoted, neglected or violated in contraceptive programming; gaps in programming and in data collection; and opportunities for action within the health sector and beyond, including opportunities for partnership initiatives.
Scaling up proven innovative cervical cancer screening strategies: Challenges and opportunities in implementation at the population level in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2017 Jul; 138 Suppl 1:63-68.The problem of cervical cancer in low- and lower-middle-income countries (LLMICs) is both urgent and important, and calls for governments to move beyond pilot testing to population-based screening approaches as quickly as possible. Experiences from Zambia, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, where scale-up of evidence-based screening strategies is taking place, may help other countries plan for large-scale implementation. These countries selected screening modalities recommended by the WHO that are within budgetary constraints, improve access for women, and reduce health system bottlenecks. In addition, some common elements such as political will and government investment have facilitated action in these diverse settings. There are several challenges for continued scale-up in these countries, including maintaining trained personnel, overcoming limited follow-up and treatment capacity, and implementing quality assurance measures. Countries considering scale-up should assess their readiness and conduct careful planning, taking into consideration potential obstacles. International organizations can catalyze action by helping governments overcome initial barriers to scale-up. (c) 2017 The Authors. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2017 Jun; 95(6):445-452I.Objective To assess the feasibility of applying the World Health Organization’s proposed 15 indicators of quality of care for maternal and newborn health at health-facility level in low- and middle-income settings. Methods Six of the indicators are about maternal health, five are for newborn health and four are general cross-cutting indicators. We used data collected routinely in facility registers and obtained as part of facility assessments from 963 health-care facilities specializing in maternity services in 10 countries in Africa and Asia. We made a feasibility assessment of the availability of data and the clarity of indicator definitions and identified additional information and data collection processes needed to apply the proposed indicators in real-life settings. Findings Of the indicators evaluated, 10 were clearly defined, of which four could be applied directly in the field and six would require revisions to operationalize them. The other five indicators require further development, with one of them being ready for implementation by using information readily available in registers and four requiring further information before deployment. For indicators that measure coverage of care or availability of services or products, there is a need to further strengthen measurement. Information on emergency obstetric complications was not recorded in a standard manner, thus limiting the reliability of the information. Conclusion While some of the proposed indicators can already be applied, other indicators need to be refined or will need additional sources and methods of data collection to be applied in real-world settings.
Quality of care in contraceptive information and services, based on human rights standards: a checklist for health care providers.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 32 p.Unmet need for contraception remains high in many settings, and is highest among the most vulnerable in society: adolescents, the poor, those living in rural areas and urban slums, people living with HIV, and internally displaced people. The latest estimates are that 225 million women have an unmet need for modern contraception, and the need is greatest where the risks of maternal mortality are highest. There is increasing recognition that promotion and protection of human rights in contraceptive services and programs is critical to addressing this challenge. However, despite these efforts, human rights are often not explicitly integrated into the design, implementation and monitoring of services. A key challenge is how to best support health care providers and facility managers at the point of service delivery, often in low-resource real-world settings, to ensure their use of human rights aspects in provision of contraceptive services. The point of service delivery is the most direct point of contact where potential violations/omissions of rights come into play and requires special attention. This checklist covers five areas of competence needed by health care providers to provide quality of care in contraceptive information and services including: respecting users’ privacy and guaranteeing confidentiality, choice, accessible and acceptable services, involvement of users in improving services and fostering continuity of care and follow-up. International and regional human rights treaties, national constitutions and laws provide guarantees specifically relating to access to contraceptive information, commodities and services. In addition, over the past few decades, international, regional and national legislative and human rights bodies have increasingly applied human rights to contraceptive information and services. They recommend, among other actions, that states should ensure timely and affordable access to good quality sexual and reproductive health information and services, including contraception, which should be delivered in a way that ensures fully informed decision making, respects dignity, autonomy, privacy and confidentiality, and is sensitive to individuals’ needs and perspectives. This document presents a user friendly checklist specifically addressed to health care providers, at the primary health care level, who are involved in the direct provision of contraceptive information and services. It is complimentary to WHO guidelines on Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services: Guidance and recommendations, and the Implementation Guide published jointly with UNFPA in 2015. This checklist also builds on WHO vision document on Standards for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal and Newborn Care and its ongoing work under the Quality, Equity and Dignity initiative. The checklist should be read along with other guidance from WHO and also from partners.
Quality of care in contraceptive information and services, based on human rights standards: a checklist for health care providers.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 32 p.International and regional human rights treaties, national constitutions and laws provide guarantees specifically relating to access to contraceptive information, commodities and services. In addition, over the past few decades, international, regional and national legislative and human rights bodies have increasingly applied human rights to contraceptive information and services. This document presents a user friendly checklist specifically addressed to health care providers, at the primary health care level, who are involved in the direct provision of contraceptive information and services. It is complimentary to WHO guidelines on Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services: Guidance and recommendations, and the Implementation Guide published jointly with UNFPA in 2015. This checklist also builds on WHO vision document on Standards for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal and Newborn Care and its ongoing work under the Quality, Equity and Dignity initiative. The checklist should be read along with other guidance from WHO and also from partners.
Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, WHO, Regional Office for Africa, 2017. 23 p. (Policy Brief)Community health worker (CHW) programmes have seen a renaissance in the last two decades and now many countries in Africa boast of such national or substantial sub-national programmes. The 2013 Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health concluded that CHWs and other frontline primary health care workers “play a unique role and can be essential to accelerating MDGs and achieving UHC”, and called for their integration into national health systems. The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak of 2014-2015 highlighted the imperative of ensuring the functioning of the health systems at the community level for both their day-to-day resilience and disaster preparedness. The purpose of this policy brief is to inform discussions and decisions in the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region on policies, strategies and programmes to increase access to primary health care (PHC) services and make progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) by expanding the implementation of scaled-up CHW programmes. This brief summarizes the existing evidence on CHW programmes with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa and offers a number of context-linked policy options for countries seeking to scale up and improve the effectiveness of their CHW programmes, particularly with regard to needs such as those of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries that were the most affected by the 2014-2015 EVD outbreak. For the purposes of this policy brief, a broad definition of CHW is used. CHWs are individuals “carrying out the functions related to health care delivery [who are] trained in some way in the context of the intervention [but have] no formal professional or paraprofessional certificated or degreed tertiary education [in a health-related field]”). WHO states that CHWs “should be members of the communities where they work, selected by the communities, answerable to the communities for their activities, and supported by the health system but not necessarily a part of its organization”. For the purposes of this brief, a working definition for a scaled-up CHW programme has been developed, where the term refers to a programme that is designed to be more than a pilot or demonstration project and has the intention of covering a substantial population size or geographic area, depending on the country’s context. (Excerpts)