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Recommendations to Promote Safe and Effective Use of Contraceptives: World Health Organization [letter]
CHRISMED Journal of Health and Research. 2017 Oct-Dec; 4(4):291.The authors discuss the need to support and strengthen national family planning programs through more investment and better awareness to address the 220 million women who have an unmet need for family planning.
East Asian Science, Technology and Society. 2016 Dec; 10(4):445-467.This paper studies the formation of Japanese ventures in family planning deployed in various villages in Asia from the 1960s onward in the name of development aid. By critically examining how Asia became the priority area for Japan's international cooperation in family planning and by analyzing how the adjective "humanistic" was used to underscore the originality of Japan's family planning program overseas, the paper shows that visions of Japanese actors were directly informed by Japan's delicate position in Cold War geopolitics, between the imagined West represented by the United States and "underdeveloped" Asia, at a time when Japan was striving to (re-)establish its position in world politics and economics. Additionally, by highlighting subjectivities and intra-Asian networks centered on Japanese actors, the paper also aims to destabilize the current historiography on population control which has hitherto focused either on Western actors in the transnational population control movement or on non-Western "acceptors" subjected to the population control programs.
Strengthening the capacity of community health workers to deliver care for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2015. 20 p.Government institutions, United Nations agencies, and global partners have been repositioning the role that community health workers (CHWs) can play in increasing access to essential quality health services in the context of national primary health care and universal health coverage. Given the growing momentum and interest in training CHWs, the United Nations health agencies (H4+) have developed this technical brief to orient country programme managers and global partners as to key elements for strengthening the capacity of CHWs, including health system and programmatic considerations, core competencies, and evidence-informed interventions for CHWs along the SR/MNCAH continuum of care. These key elements need to be adapted and contextualized by countries to reflect the structure, gaps, and opportunities of the national primary health care system, the interaction between the health sector with other sectors, and the specific roles and competencies that CHWs already have within that system. These key elements should also guide H4+ members and partners to take a joint and harmonized approach to supporting countries in their capacity-development efforts. Annex 1 lists SR/MNCAH interventions that CHWs can perform based on the best available evidence and existing WHO guidance.
Marketing of breast-milk substitutes: National implementation of the international code. Status report 2016.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2016.  p.This report provides updated information on the status of implementing the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly resolutions (“the Code”) in and by countries. It presents the legal status of the Code, including -- where such information is available -- to what extent Code provisions have been incorporated in national legal measures. The report also provides information on the efforts made by countries to monitor and enforce the Code through the establishment of formal mechanisms. Its findings and subsequent recommendations aim to improve the understanding of how countries are implementing the Code, what challenges they face in doing so, and where the focus must be on further efforts to assist them in more effective Code implementation.
Global Health Action. 2015 Sep 18; 8:29034.Background: Health equity is a priority in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and other major health initiatives. The World Health Organization (WHO) has a history of promoting actions to achieve equity in health, including efforts to encourage the practice of health inequality monitoring. Health inequality monitoring systems use disaggregated data to identify disadvantaged subgroups within populations and inform equity-oriented health policies, programs, and practices. Objective: This paper provides an overview of a number of recent and current WHO initiatives related to health inequality monitoring at the global and/or national level. Design: We outline the scope, content, and intended uses / application of the following: Health Equity Monitor database and theme page; State of inequality: reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health report; Handbook on health inequality monitoring: with a focus on low- and middle-income countries; Health inequality monitoring eLearning module; Monitoring health inequality: an essential step for achieving health equity advocacy booklet and accompanying video series; and capacity building workshops conducted in WHO Member States and Regions. Conclusions: The paper concludes by considering how the work of the WHO can be expanded upon to promote the establishment of sustainable and robust inequality monitoring systems across a variety of health topics among Member States and at the global level. Copyright: 2015 World Health Organization. Open Access.
Position statement on condoms and the prevention of HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.
[Geneva, Switzerland], UNAIDS, 2015 Jul 7.  p.Condoms are a critical component in a comprehensive and sustainable approach to the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and are effective for preventing unintended pregnancies. Male and female condoms are the only devices that both reduce the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and prevent unintended pregnancy. Condoms have played a decisive role in HIV, STI and pregnancy prevention efforts in many countries. Condoms remain a key component of high-impact HIV prevention programmes. Quality-assured condoms must be readily available universally, either free or at low cost. Programmes promoting condoms must address stigma and gender-based and socio-cultural factors that hinder effective access and use of condoms. Adequate investment in and further scale up of condom promotion is required to sustain responses to HIV, other STIs, and unintended pregnancy. (Excerpts)
A lifesaving strategy. Making the case for scaling up human milk banking to save vulnerable infants in South Africa.
Seattle, Washington, PATH, 2011 Jul.  p. (Strengthening Human Milk Banking)Breastmilk is considered a pillar of child survival. It has unique immunological and nutritional properties that help infants get a healthy start in life. Human milk is even more important for infants in resource-limited settings who are especially vulnerable, such as pre-term babies. These infants are often exposed to potential pathogens through unsafe water or unhygienic conditions and need the additional protection that breastmilk provides. In cases where breastfeeding is not possible because of the baby’s slow development or the mother is unable to breastfeed, the next preferred feed is pasteurized own mother’s milk. Adequate supply can be ensured through early lactation and “room-in” beds. When these are unavailable, pasteurized donor milk should be considered. Human milk banks are one way to provide safe breastmilk to such infants who need it most. In light of the impact human milk can have on infant health outcomes, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently asked countries to promote the safe use of donor milk through human milk banks for vulnerable infants.
Africa Renewal. 2013 Jan; 26(3):23.The increased access to communications technologies has given rise to the emerging concept of â€œmobile health,â€ or mHealth, involving the use of mobile phones for healthcare purposes. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are currently testing mobile solutions to help people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The agencies hope to promote health behavior change, including smoking cessation, diet and exercise. Mobile phones have been shown to help health care providers offer better care as the technology has been applied to send daily medication reminders and medication shortage alerts in healthcare settings that see patients with HIV/AIDS and malaria. ITU reports that by early 2012, there were more than 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, without developing countries accounting for the bulk of this growth. In this context, mHealth could be one of the best ways to reach the largest numbers of patients and healthcare providers. However, several aspects of mHealth interventions warrant further research as they bring up issues of cost and uncertainties if mHealth can help induce behavioral change among patients and improve their adherence to treatment regimens. Some success has been observed in three African countries, which have made the most progress in adopting information and communications technology (ICT) while lowering costs of ICT services. Despite the surge in mobile-broadband subscriptions, these lowered prices still remain too high for the general populations in low-income countries. Efforts must be made, both by the national governments and providers, to increase mobile connectivity in rural areas and make it affordable to the masses. Furthermore, with the explosion of mobile phones in Africa, several new "apps" (pieces of software that can run on mobile phones) are being developed. In Kenya, mobile phone users are utilizing an app to denounce inadequate or missing public services, through which text messages can be sent to alert elected officials and community, thus fostering a user-generated platform to talk about pressing issues. The citizen-driven platform has recently been extended to Uganda, Mozambique and Nigeria.
Indian Journal of Community Medicine. 2010 Apr; 35(2):326-330.Background: The World Health Report, 2008, contains a global review of primary health care on the 30th anniversary of the Declaration of Alma-Ata. The period covered by the study reported on here corresponds with that of the Report, allowing for a comparison of achievements and challenges in one primary health care centre vis-a-vis the WHO standards. Materials and Methods: This study uses qualitative and quantitative data from a rural primary care facility in Western Maharashtra, collected over three decades. It analyzes the four groups of reforms defined by WHO in the context of the achievements and challenges of the study facility. Results: According to the WHO Report, health systems in developing countries have not responded adequately to peoples needs. However, our in-depth observations revealed substantial progress in several areas, including in family planning, safe deliveries, immunization and health promotion. Satisfaction with services in the study area was high. Conclusion: Adequate primary health care is possible, even when all recommended WHO reforms are not fully in place.
New York, New York, UNFPA, . 48 p.This advocacy booklet provides real-life examples to illustrate how HIV prevention can save lives in diverse cultural and geographical settings. It includes chapters on youth and HIV, promoting and distributing male and female condoms, protecting women and girls, linking HIV prevention with other sexual and reproductive health care, and empowering populations who are at particular risk. The booklet features stories from Belize, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, the Russian Federation, and Tajikistan.
MJAFI. Medical Journal Armed Froces India. 2008; 64(1):57-60.World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 1.7-2.5 million deaths and 300-500 million cases of malaria each year globally. As an initiative WHO has announced Roll Back Malaria (RBM) programme aimed at 50% reduction in deaths due to malaria by 2010. The RBM strategy recommends combination approach with prevention, care, creating sustainable demand for insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and efficacious antimalarials in order to achieve sustainable malaria control. Malaria control in India has travelled a long way from National Malaria Control Programme launched in 1953 to National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme in 2003. In India, the malaria eradication concept was based on indoor residual spraying to interrupt transmission and mop up cases by vigilance. This programme was successful in reducing the malaria cases from 75 million in 1953 to 2 million but subsequently resulted in vector and parasite resistance as well as increase in P falciparum from 30-48%. In view of rapidly growing resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to conventional monotherapies and its spread in newer areas, the programme was modified with inclusion of RBM interventions and revision of treatment guidelines for malaria. Early case detection and prompt treatment, selective vector control, promotion of personal protective measures including ITNs and information, education, communication to achieve wider community participation will be the key interventions in the revised programme. (author's)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2007 Mar. 97 p. (UNAIDS/07.08E; JC1311E)In April 2003, the Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) approved a Learning Strategy to help UN system staff develop competence on HIV and AIDS. The goals of the Learning Strategy are: to develop the knowledge and competence of the UN and its staff so that they are able to best support national responses to HIV and AIDS; and to ensure that all UN staff members are able to make informed decisions to protect themselves from HIV and, if they are infected or affected by HIV, to ensure that they know where to turn for the best possible care and treatment. This includes ensuring that staff members fully understand the UN's HIV and AIDS workplace policies and how they are implemented. To support UN country teams to implement the Learning Strategy, Learning Facilitators were selected at country level and trained in a series of regional workshops. The Learning Facilitators were then expected to ensure - along with the country teams-that the standards of the Learning Strategy were realized. This report is comprised of UN HIV/AIDS Learning Strategy case studies from sixteen countries: Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, the Pan American Health Organization headquarters (United States), Pakistan, Paraguay, Vienna (Austria), Viet Nam, and Yemen. It presents each country's unique experience in implementing the strategy since its adoption in 2003. (excerpt)
[Baltimore, Maryland], Catholic Relief Services, 2006 Jul. 53 p. (USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse DocID / Order No. PN-ADJ-423)In Zambia, HIV&AIDS is still approached primarily as a health issue, and therefore, interventions focus mainly on prevention and treatment. The provision of affordable, accessible and reliable public services is essential in supporting health maintenance and reducing stress for people infected and affected with HIV&AIDS. Reliable delivery of good quality water and sound basic sanitation are critical in reducing exposure to pathogens to which HIV-positive people are particularly vulnerable. Where water services are inadequate or inaccessible, time and monetary costs of access to good quality water in sufficient quantities are high, particularly for HIV-infected people and their caregivers. CRS responded to an announcement by WHO to conduct an assessment on the adequacy of water, sanitation and hygiene in relation to home-based care strategies for people living with HIV&AIDS in Zambia. The assessment was commissioned by the WHO with the goal of producing evidence-based guidance on water and sanitation needs in home-based care strategies, particularly in resource-poor situations. In addition, WHO desired the assessments to lead to both practical and strategic recommendations to be made at the programme and policy levels, while also identifying the most critical measures to be taken by the health sector and the water and sanitation sector to provide short- and medium-term solutions in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene support to home-based care. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2007.  p.In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Department of Population and Family Health at Johns Hopkins University, commenced a review of interventions that aim to assist the parents of adolescents in developing countries improve adolescent health and development. Please refer to Helping parents in developing countries improve adolescents' health for additional information. This effort sought to identify such projects and this document is a summary of the information collected. The methodology employed to identify projects included a search of published studies through computerized databases including PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsychARTICLES, POPLINE and the Cochrane Library, and a review of the grey literature of international intergovernmental health/development organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Individuals and organizations working in the fields of adolescent reproductive health, substance abuse, violence and mental health were also contacted, in addition to a search of the internet. Whenever possible, project staff were interviewed by telephone using a standardized interview guide. Project summaries were drafted and reviewed by project staff. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2007.  p. (WHO Discussion Papers on Adolescence; Issues in Adolescent Health and Development)The World Health Organization (WHO) has been contributing to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by according priority attention to issues pertaining to the management of adolescent pregnancy. Three of the aims of the MDGs - empowerment of women, promotion of maternal health, and reduction of child mortality - embody WHO's key priorities and its policy framework for poverty reduction. The UN Special Session on Children has focused on some of the key issues affecting adolescents' rights, including early marriage, access to sexual and reproductive health services, and care for pregnant adolescents. This review of the literature was conducted to identify (1) the major factors affecting the pregnancy outcome among adolescents, related to their physical immaturity and inappropriate or inadequate healthcare-seeking behaviour, and (2) the socioeconomic and political barriers that influence their access to health-care services and information. The review also presents programmatic evidence of feasible measures that can be taken at the household, community and national levels to improve pregnancy outcomes among adolescents. (excerpt)
Findings Infobriefs. 2007 May; (136): p.The specific objectives of this project - financed through an IDA credit of $28.7 million (2002-05) - were to : (i) provide resources that would enable the government to implement a balanced, diversified multi-sector response, engaging all relevant government sectors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and grassroots initiatives; (ii) to expand contributions made by the Ministry of Health ( MOH ) engage civil society in the fight against AIDS; and (iii) finance eligible activities conducted by civil society organizations, including NGOs, community-based organizations (CBOs), faith-based organizations (FBOs), trade and professional associations, associations of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs), districts, and line ministries to ensure a rapid multisector scaling-up of HIV prevention and care activities in all regions and at all administrative levels. (excerpt)
[Geneva, Switzerland], UNAIDS, . 29 p.AIDS is affecting women and girls in increasing numbers: globally, women comprise almost 50% of women living with HIV. Nearly 25 years into the epidemic, gender inequality and the low status of women remain two of the principal drivers of HIV. Yet current AIDS responses do not, on the whole, tackle the social, cultural and economic factors that put women at risk of HIV, and that unduly burden them with the epidemic's consequences. Women and girls have less access to education and HIV information, tend not to enjoy equality in marriage and sexual relations, and remain the primary caretakers of family and community members suffering from AIDS-related illnesses. To be more effective, AIDS responses must address the factors that continue to put women at risk. The world's governments have repeatedly declared their commitment to improve the status of women and acknowledged the linkage with HIV. In some areas, progress has been made. By and large, though, efforts have been small-scale, half-hearted and haphazard. Major opportunities to stem the global AIDS epidemic have been missed. It is time the world's leaders lived up to their promises. That's why the UNAIDS-led Global Coalition on Women and AIDS is calling for a massive scaling up of AIDS responses for women and girls. (excerpt)
Sexual and reproductive health -- laying the foundation for a more just world through research and action: biennial report, 2004-2005.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2006.  p.This report presents an overview of RHR's work over the biennium 2004--2005. For the first time, we have produced a consolidated report, covering both the Department's research activities -- coordinated by the UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/ World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) -- and its technical support initiatives. HRP activities are presented on white sheets and those relating to technical programme support to countries (Programme Development in Reproductive Health -- PDRH) are presented on blue pages. (excerpt)
Journal of Nutrition. 2007 Feb; 137(2):484-487.The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is the translational tool developed by WHO and UNICEF to promote breastfeeding (BF) in maternity wards worldwide. BFHI was officially launched in the 1980s based on a ''common sense'' approach. Since then, research conducted in Latin America has shown that BFHI is highly cost-effective. BF trends over the past 2 decades strongly suggest that BFHI has had a global impact on BF outcomes. The 10th step of BFHI related to community-based BF promotion is one of the most challenging ones to address. Randomized controlled trials conducted in the Americas, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa indicate that peer counseling is a very efficacious tool for increasing EBF rates. Low-cost rapid-response monitoring systems are needed to monitor the proper implementation and administration of BFHI steps following an evidence-based approach. This approach is essential for reenergizing the BFHI worldwide. (author's)
Progress in Reproductive Health Research. 2005; (71):1-8.The WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) has two initiatives aimed at promoting evidence-based sexual and reproductive health care. One is devoted to Implementing Best Practices (IBP), the other to mapping the best sexual and reproductive health practices. In the latter case, the WHO Reproductive Health Library (RHL) is used as a key instrument for documenting and disseminating the best practices. Both initiatives provide health-care practitioners with information to help them choose which methods, techniques, interventions, medications and other tools work in a given set of circumstances and settings, and which don't. That information, in current health parlance, is "evidence-based". To the extent that practitioners put the evidence to use in their practices, the members of the communities they serve can be confident that they are receiving the best advice and treatment that current scientific knowledge can provide. Both the IBP and RHL take advantage of the global "information networks" that the scientific and health communities have developed over the years and that, with the advent of electronic communication, have become increasingly "virtual". In this respect, what is known as the "scientific literature" has become a global network for distributing and sharing information. IBP initiative, for example, uses two tools, the Knowledge Gateway and a virtual library, that foster rapid access to the evidence and its continuous enrichment and updating through a sharing of information and experience. The RHL compresses into an Internet web site (as well as a single compact disc) a wealth of information based on evidence validated by peer review and commented on by experts. (excerpt)
Copenhagen, Denmark, World Health Organization [WHO], Regional Office for Europe, Health Evidence Network, 2006 Feb. 37 p. (Health Evidence Network Report)This is a Health Evidence Network (HEN) synthesis report on the effectiveness of empowerment strategies to improve health and reduce health disparities. The report shows that empowering initiatives can lead to health outcomes and that empowerment is a viable public health strategy. The key message from this review is that empowerment is a complex strategy that sits within complex environments. Effective empowerment strategies may depend as much on the agency and leadership of the people involved, as the overall context in which they take place. HEN, initiated and coordinated by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, is an information service for public health and health care decision-makers in the WHO European Region. Other interested parties might also benefit from HEN. This HEN evidence report is a commissioned work and the contents are the responsibility of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the official policies of WHO/Europe. The reports were subjected to international review, managed by the HEN team. (author's)
Achieving the Millennium Development Goals through mainstreaming nutrition: speaking with one voice [editorial]
Public Health Nutrition. 2006 Aug; 9(5):537-539.At the most recent meeting of the Standing Committee on Nutrition of the UN system in Geneva in March of this year (2006), there was a dramatic shift in the tenor of the opening plenary session. Three very high-ranking officials of three of the largest implementing UN agencies (WHO, UNICEF, World Bank), along with WFP and FAO, produced -- independently of one another -- a clear, consistent message focusing on the importance of nutrition for development. In each case this was couched within the comparative advantage of each agency. It was also striking that none of the speakers came from a background of nutrition training -- one economist, one public health physician, one health economist and one development expert. All had been converted by enthusiastic nutrition colleagues within their particular agency, and by long experience in many countries, and an expanding evidence base. All referred to the same evidence base -- the Bellagio Child Survival Study Group and subsequent papers, published not in nutrition or even public health journals but in medical journals (the Lancet and the British Medical Journal in particular), although the significance of this will not be discussed here. But all were somewhat perplexed as to why nutrition issues were not an automatic component of all national health and development programmes, including within each agency. They had clearly used their considerable experience in the public sector to think this through, especially the importance of having a common and consistent message. (excerpt)
Annals of Oncology. 2006; 17 Suppl 8: p..The burden of cancer in developing countries is growing and threatens to exact a heavy morbidity, mortality, and economic cost in these countries in the next 20 years. The unfolding global public health dimensions of the cancer pandemic demand a widespread effective international response. The good news is that the majority of cancers in developing countries are preventable, and the efficacy of treatment can be improved with early detection. Currently, the knowledge exists to implement sound, evidence-based practices in cancer prevention, screening/early detection, treatment, and palliation. It is estimated that the information at hand could prevent up to one-third of new cancers and increase survival for another one-third of cancers detected at an early stage. To achieve this, knowledge must be translated into action. To facilitate the call to action in the fight against cancer, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a comprehensive approach to cancer control. The WHO has produced many valuable guidelines and resources for the effective implementation of national cancer control programs. Several milestones in the WHO's efforts include the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, and global strategies for diet and exercise, reproductive health, and cervical cancer. This review examines the strategies and approaches that have successfully resulted into global action to confront the rising global burden of cancer in the developing world. (author's)
Health Promotion International. 2005 Jun; 20(2):177-186.Health-promoting schools (HPS)/healthy schools have existed internationally for about 15 years. Yet there are few comprehensive evaluation frameworks available which enable the outcomes of HPS initiatives to be assessed. This paper identifies an evaluation framework developed in Hong Kong. The framework uses a range of approaches to explore what schools actually do in their health promotion and health education initiatives. The framework, which is based on the WHO (Western Pacific Regional Office) Guidelines for HPS, is described in detail. The appropriate instruments for data collection are described and their origins identified. The evaluation plan and protocol, which underpinned the very comprehensive evaluation in Hong Kong, are explained. Finally, a case is argued for evaluation of HPS to be more in line with the educational dynamics of schools and the research literature on effective schooling, rather than focusing primarily on health-related measures. (author's)
Measuring progress towards the MDG for maternal health: Including a measure of the health system's capacity to treat obstetric complications.
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2006 Jun; 93(3):292-299.This paper argues for an additional indicator for measuring progress of the Millennium Development Goal for maternal health—the availability of emergency obstetric care. MDG monitoring will be based on two indicators: the maternal mortality ratio and the proportion of births attended by skilled personnel. Strengths and weaknesses of a third indicator are discussed. The availability of EmOC measures the capacity of the health system to respond to direct obstetric complications. Benefits to using this additional indicator are its usefulness in determining an adequate distribution of services and showing management at all levels what life-saving interventions are not being provided, and stimulate thought as to why. It can reflect programmatic changes over a relatively short period of time and data requirements are not onerous. A measure of strength of the health system is important since many interventions depend on the health system for their implementation. (author's)