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  1. 1

    State of world population 2012. By choice, not by chance. Family planning, human rights and development.

    Greene M; Joshi S; Robles O

    New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2012 Nov 14. 140 p.

    All human beings – regardless of age, sex, race or income – are equal in dignity and rights. Yet 222 million women in developing countries are unable to exercise the human right to voluntary family planning. This flagship report analyzes data and trends to understand who is denied access and why. It examines challenges in expanding access to family planning. And it considers the social and economic impact of family planning as well as the costs and savings of making it available to everyone who needs it. The report asserts that governments, civil society, health providers and communities have the responsibility to protect the right to family planning for women across the spectrum, including those who are young or unmarried. Nevertheless, the report finds that financial resources for family planning have declined and contraceptive use has remained mostly steady. In 2010, donor countries fell $500 million short of their expected contribution to sexual and reproductive health services in developing countries. Contraceptive prevalence has increased globally by just 0.1 per cent per year over the last few years.
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  2. 2

    Promoting access to medical technologies and innovation. Intersections between public health, intellectual property and trade.

    Bartels HG; Beyer P; Kampf R; Krattiger A; Mirza Z; Taubman A; Watal J

    Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2012. [253] p.

    Medical technologies -- medicines, vaccines and medical devices -- are essential for public health. Access to essential medicines and the lack of research to address neglected diseases have been a major concern for many years. More recently, the focus of health policy debate has broadened to consider how to promote innovation and how to ensure equitable access to all vital medical technologies. Today’s health policy-makers need a clear understanding both of the innovation processes that lead to new technologies and of the ways in which these technologies are disseminated in health systems. This study captures a broad range of experience and data in dealing with the interplay between intellectual property, trade rules and the dynamics of access to, and innovation in, medical technologies. The study is intended to inform ongoing technical cooperation activities undertaken by the three organizations (World Trade Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization and World Health Organization) and to support policy discussions. Based on many years of field experience in technical cooperation, the study has been prepared to serve the needs of policymakers who seek a comprehensive presentation of the full range of issues, as well as lawmakers, government officials, delegates to international organizations, non-governmental organizations and researchers.
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  3. 3

    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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  4. 4

    World health statistics 2012.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2012. [180] p.

    The World Health Statistics series is WHO’s annual compilation of health-related data for its 194 Member States and includes a summary of the progress made towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and associated targets. This year, it also includes highlight summaries on the topics of noncommunicable diseases, universal health coverage and civil registration coverage.
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  5. 5
    Peer Reviewed

    Maternal mortality and human rights: landmark decision by United Nations human rights body.

    Bueno de Mesquita J; Kismodi E

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2012 Feb 1; 90(2):79A.

    Despite global commitment and prevention through well-known interventions, progress has been slow towards Millennium Development Goal 5 of reducing global maternal mortality. The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council has highlighted maternal mortality as an issue bearing not just on development, but also on human rights. In August 2011, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women became the first UN human rights body to issue a decision on maternal mortality. The case Alyne da Silva Pimentel v. Brazil established that States have a human rights obligation to guarantee women of all racial and economic backgrounds timely and non-discriminatory access to appropriate maternal health services. After the death of this Brazilian woman who died from pregnancy-related causes after a misdiagnosis and delay in provision of emergency obstetric care, the Convention of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) argued that there was no effort to establish professional responsibility and that she was unable to obtain justice in Brazil. The Committee found violations of the right to access health care and effective judicial protection in the context of non-discrimination; cases like this furnish opportunities for international and domestic accountability. The Committee made several general recommendations intended to reduce preventable maternal deaths, which include ensuring women’s rights to safe motherhood and emergency obstetric care, providing professional training for health workers, and implementing Brazil’s national Pact for the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality.
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