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Casting light on old shadows: Ending sexually transmitted infection epidemics as public health concerns by 2030.
Geneva Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2017. 8 p. (Advocacy Brief; WHO/RHR/17.17)Countries can boost the response to STIs and improve the health of millions of women, men and adolescents by adopting WHO’s Global STI Strategy. Some viral STIs, like human papillomavirus (HPV) and HIV, are still incurable and can be deadly, while some bacterial STIs – like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis – are curable if detected and treated. This brief provide milestones and targets and five strategic directions for countries to develop their own national plans.
Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis (EMTCT): Process, progress, and program integration.
PLoS Medicine. 2017 Jun; 14(6):e1002329.Melanie Taylor and colleagues discuss progress towards eliminating vertical transmission of HIV and syphilis.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 56 p.The WHO Guidelines on Ethical Issues in Public Health Surveillance is the first international framework of its kind, it fills an important gap. The goal of the guideline development project was to help policymakers and practitioners navigate the ethical issues presented by public health surveillance. This document outlines 17 ethical guidelines that can assist everyone involved in public health surveillance, including officials in government agencies, health workers, NGOs and the private sector. Surveillance, when conducted ethically, is the foundation for programs to promote human well-being at the population level. It can contribute to reducing inequalities: pockets of suffering that are unfair, unjust and preventable cannot be addressed if they are not first made visible. But surveillance is not without risks for participants and sometimes poses ethical dilemmas. Issues about privacy, autonomy, equity, and the common good need to be considered and balanced, and knowing how to do so can be challenging in practice.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 164 p.In 2015, 26% of the deaths of 5.9 million children who died before reaching their fifth birthday could have been prevented through addressing environmental risks – a shocking missed opportunity. The prenatal and early childhood period represents a window of particular vulnerability, where environmental hazards can lead to premature birth and other complications, and increase lifelong disease risk including for respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disease and cancers. The environment thus represents a major factor in children’s health, as well as a major opportunity for improvement, with effects seen in every region of the world. Children are at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, because it is children who will inherit the legacy of policies and actions taken, and not taken, by leaders today. The third SDG, to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” has its foundation in children’s environmental health, and it is incumbent on us to provide a healthy start to our children’s lives. This cannot be achieved, however, without multisectoral cooperation, as seen in the linkages between environmental health risks to children and the other SDGs. This publication is divided by target: SDGs 1, 2 and 10 address equity and nutrition; SDG 6 focuses on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); SDGs 7 and 13 call attention to energy, air pollution and climate change; SDGs 3, 6 and 12 look at chemical exposures; and SDGs 8, 9 and 11 study infrastructure and settings.
Washington, D.C., PAHO, 2017. 38 p.This document provides technical content on ZIKV, its manifestations, complications, modes of transmission, and prevention measures to be used in answering frequently asked questions and conveying messages in information and communication materials, community talks, press conferences, etc. Recommendations for the preparation of risk communication and action plans to respond to ZIKV are included. This guide to activities and recommendations for managing risk communication on ZIKV is designed for spokespersons, health authorities and health workers, other sectors, and partners inside and outside the health sector to assist them in tailoring communication initiatives to the needs of each country and target audience. The elimination of mosquito breeding sites remains the most important strategy for the prevention and control of ZIKV (as well as dengue and chikungunya) infection. Therefore, communication plans for the response to ZIKV should include intersectoral action and community engagement to modify behaviors and encourage sustained practices to eliminate breeding sites and control the mosquito, as well as to inform and educate target audiences about the steps they can take to prevent ZIKV transmission. The fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations agreed that, “due to continuing geographic expansion and considerable gaps in understanding of the virus and its consequences, Zika virus infection and its associated congenital malformations and other related neurological disorders, ZIKV continues to be a public health emergency of intenational concern.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center, MEASURE Evaluation, 2017 Jan. 18 p. (Working Paper WP-17-171; USAID Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-L-14-00004)In 2011, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) published its Evaluation Policy. The policy emphasizes the need to conduct more evaluations of its programs to ensure greater accountability and learning, and it outlines best practices and requirements for conducting evaluations. Since releasing the policy, USAID has commissioned an increasing number of evaluations of its programs. The importance of evaluations for international public health programs has been long recognized, with demand for such evaluations coming from both internal and external sources. Donors or those external to program implementation seek evidence of accomplishments and accountability for resources spent, whereas those involved in program implementation seek evidence to inform and improve program design. Within USAID, the need for more evaluations was driven by the understanding that evaluations provide information and analysis that prevent mistakes from being repeated and increase the likelihood of greater yield from future investments. Finally, there is overall recognition that evaluations should be of high quality and driven by demand, and that results should be communicated to relevant stakeholders. Despite the increased demand for evaluations, there is limited evaluation capacity in many countries where international development programs are implemented. Before strategies to strengthen evaluation capacity can be implemented, it is important first to assess existing evaluation capacity and develop action plans accordingly. We conducted a review of existing assessment tools and guidance documents related to assessing organizations’ capacity to carry out evaluations of international public health programs in order to determine the adequacy of those materials. Here, we summarize the key findings of our review of the literature and provide recommendations for the development of future tools and guidance documents.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2014 Nov 1; 92(11):778-9.Recent World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines not only advise countries on what treatment to give patients and when, but also how to roll this out in countries.
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 2016 May 27.  p. (EB139/8)WHO has issued a report that is strongly supportive of mHealth. New priorities for WHO in the area of mHealth include: to support and strengthen ongoing efforts to build evidence-based guidance on the use of mHealth in order to advance integrated person-centred health services and universal health coverage; to provide guidance on mHealth adoption, management and evaluation in order to aid good governance and investment decisions. These could include guidance to inform the development of national programmes and strategies, and the development of standard operating procedures; to work with Member States and partners to build platforms for sharing evidence, experience and good practices in mHealth implementation as a way to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. These could include building on existing networks to create regional hubs of knowledge and excellence on mHealth; to support building capacity and the empowerment of health workers and their beneficiary populations to use information and communication technologies, in order to foster their engagement and accountability, and to catalyse and monitor progress on specific Sustainable Development Goals using mHealth.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2013.  p.The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014–2023 was developed and launched in response to the World Health Assembly resolution on traditional medicine (WHA62.13). The strategy aims to support Member States in developing proactive policies and implementing action plans that will strengthen the role traditional medicine plays in keeping populations healthy. Addressing the challenges, responding to the needs identified by Member States and building on the work done under the WHO traditional medicine strategy: 2002–2005, the updated strategy for the period 2014–2023 devotes more attention than its predecessor to prioritizing health services and systems, including traditional and complementary medicine products, practices and practitioners.
World Development Indicators 2016. Highlights: Featuring the Sustainable Development Goals. Extracted from the full version of WDI 2016.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2016.  p.These WDI Highlights are drawn from World Development Indicators (WDI) 2016 - the World Bank’s compilation of internationally comparable statistics about global development and the quality of people’s lives. WDI is regularly updated and new data are added in response to the needs of the development community; the 2016 edition includes new indicators to help measure the Sustainable Development Goals. World Development Indicators is the result of a collaborative partnership of international agencies, statistical offices of more than 200 economies, and many more.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2016.  p.This annual release of a new edition is an opportunity to review the trends we’re seeing in global development and discuss updates we’ve made to our data and methods. The WDI team aims to produce a curated set of indicators relevant to the changing needs of the development community. The new edition includes indicators to help measure the 169 targets of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) -- these build on the 8 goals and 18 targets of the Millennium Development Goals we focused on in previous editions, but are far wider in scope and far more ambitious. A complementary Sustainable Development Goals data dashboard provides an interactive presentation of the indicators we have in the WDI database that are related to each goal. For each of the 17 SDGs the World View section of the publication includes recent trends and baselines against key targets. Data experts in the World Bank’s Data Group and subject specialists in the Bank’s Global Practices and Cross Cutting Solution Areas teamed up to identify new and existing indicators and assess key trends for each goal and for three cross-cutting areas: statistical capacity; fragility, conflict and violence; and financial inclusion.
Population and Development Review. 2015 Sep 15; 41(3):507-532.Chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries have recently provoked a surge of public interest. This article examines the policy literature-notably the archives and publications of the World Health Organization (WHO), which has dominated this field-to analyze the emergence and consolidation of this new agenda. Starting with programs to control cardiovascular disease in the 1970s, experts from Eastern and Western Europe had by the late 1980s consolidated a program for the prevention of NCD risk factors at the WHO. NCDs remained a relatively minor concern until the collaboration of World Bank health economists with WHO epidemiologists led to the Global Burden of Disease study that provided an “evidentiary breakthrough” for NCD activism by quantifying the extent of the problem. Soon after, WHO itself, facing severe criticism, underwent major reform. NCD advocacy contributed to revitalizing WHO's normative and coordinative functions. By leading a growing advocacy coalition, within which The Lancet played a key role, WHO established itself as a leading institution in this domain. However, ever-widening concern with NCDs has not yet led to major reallocation of funding in favor of NCD programs in the developing world.
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.
Medical Journal of Australia. 2015 Apr 6; 202(6):289-90.Add to my documents.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2015.  p.The World Health Organization (WHO) calls on enhanced global efforts to improve health in some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities by tackling the root causes of disease and health inequalities. In order to address this and to spur up action, raise awareness and facilitate implementation of a Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach WHO launched this week a Health in All Policies training manual. This manual is a training resource to increase understanding of the importance of Health in All Policies among health and other professionals. The material will form the basis of 2- and 3-day workshops, which will: build capacity to promote, implement and evaluate HiAP; encourage engagement and collaboration across sectors; facilitate the exchange of experiences and lessons learned; promote regional and global collaboration on HiAP; and promote dissemination of skills to develop training courses for trainers.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2015.  p.This document provides estimates of the prevalence of anaemia for the year 2011 in preschool-age children (6-59 months) and women of reproductive age (15-49 years), by pregnancy status, and by regions of the United Nations and World Health Organization (WHO), as well as by country. This document may serve as a resource for estimating the baseline prevalence of anaemia in women of reproductive age, in working towards achieving the second global nutrition target 2025, a 50% reduction of anaemia in women of reproductive age, as outlined in the Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition and endorsed by the Sixty-fifth World Health Assembly, in resolution WHA65.6.
Global Public Health. 2014; 9(8):865-879.Lauded for getting specific health issues onto national and international agendas and for their potential to improve value for money and outcomes, public-private global health initiatives (GHIs) have come to dominate global health governance. Yet, they have also been criticised for their negative impact on country health systems. In response, disease-specific GHIs have, somewhat paradoxically, appropriated the aim of health system strengthening (HSS). This article critically analyses this development through an ethnographic case study of the GAVI Alliance, which funds vaccines in poor countries. Despite GAVI’s self-proclaimed ‘single-minded’ focus on vaccines, HSS support is fronted as a key principle of GAVI’s mission. Yet, its meaning remains unclear and contested understandings of the health systems agenda abound, reflecting competing public health ideologies and professional pressures within the global health field. Contrary to broader conceptualisations of HSS that emphasise social and political dimensions, GAVI’s HSS support has become emblematic of the so-called ‘Gates approach’ to global health, focused on targeted technical solutions with clear, measurable outcomes. In spite of adopting rhetoric supportive of ‘holistic’ health systems, GHIs like GAVI have come to capture the global debate about HSS in favour of their disease-specific approach and ethos.
Public Health. 2014; 128:444-474.Objective: To appraise the quality of guidelines developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) that were approved by its Guidelines Review Committee (GRC) and identify strengths and weaknesses in the guideline development process. Study design: Cross-sectional. Methods: Three individuals independently assessed GRC-approved WHO guidelines using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II instrument (AGREE II). Scores were standardized across domains and overall quality was determined through consensus. Results: 124 guidelines met inclusion criteria and were assessed. 58 guidelines were recommended for use, 58 were recommended with modifications and eight were not recommended. The highest scoring domains across guidelines were scope and purpose, and clarity of presentation. The recommended guidelines had higher rigor of development and applicability domain scores in comparison to other guidelines. 77% of the guidelines referenced an underlying evidence review and 49% used GRADE to assess the body of evidence or the strength of the recommendation. The domains in need of improvement included stakeholder engagement, editorial independence, and applicability. Guidelines not recommended for use were generally insufficient in their rigor of development. Conclusions: WHO guidelines need further improvement, most importantly in the rigor of their development (i.e., use of evidence reviews). Other areas for improvement include increased stakeholder engagement, a more explicit process for recommendation formulation and disclosure of interests, discussion of the facilitators, barriers, resource implications, and criteria for monitoring the outcomes of guideline implementation. WHO guidelines can improve through increased transparency, adherence to the WHO Handbook for Guideline Development, and better oversight by the GRC.
Principles and considerations for adding a vaccine to a national immunization programme: From decision to implementation and monitoring.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, EPI, 2014.  p.This essential resource document reviews the principles and issues to be considered when making decisions about, planning, and implementing the introduction of a vaccine into a national immunization programme. Importantly, the document highlights ways to use the opportunity provided by the vaccine introduction to strengthen immunization and health systems. The comprehensive guidance also describes the latest references and tools related to vaccine decision-making, economic analyses, cold chain, integrated disease control and health promotion, vaccine safety, communications, monitoring, and more, and provides key URL links to many of these resources.
Ending overly broad criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission: Critical scientific, medical and legal considerations.
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2013 May.  p. (Guidance Note 2013; UNAIDS / JC2351E)The overly broad application of criminal law to HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission raises serious human rights and public health concerns. Because of these concerns, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) urges States to (i) concentrate their efforts on expanding the use of proven and successful evidence-informed and rights-based public health approaches to HIV prevention, treatment and care, and (ii) limit any application of criminal law to truly blameworthy cases where it is needed to achieve justice. States should strengthen HIV programmes that enable people to know how to protect themselves from HIV and to avoid transmitting it, and they should help people access the services and commodities they need for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. (Excerpt)
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.
Promoting access to medical technologies and innovation. Intersections between public health, intellectual property and trade.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2012.  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.
Cadernos De Saude Publica. 2012 Jan; 28(1):170-6.Given the implications of stigma for HIV/AIDS prevention and control of the epidemic, as emphasized by UNAIDS, this study analyzes the Brazilian academic production on health, AIDS, stigma, and discrimination, available in the SciELO database from 2005 to 2010. Brazilian research on the theme is modest as compared to the international literature, but the studies follow the same trend of focusing on individual experiences of discrimination as opposed to analysis of stigma and discrimination as social processes associated with power relations and domination (macro-social structures) and the characteristics of individuals and social groups that shape social interactions. The current study seeks to analyze the reasons for the scarcity of studies on the social perspective towards stigma and discrimination in the field of public health and the implications for the development of proposals to deal with HIV/AIDS-related discrimination.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO]. 2011.  p.This recently published book highlights actions to improve health equity based on findings from the nine global Knowledge Networks that were established during the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Their task was to synthesize existing evidence and identify effective and appropriate actions to improve health equity in nine thematic areas: globalization; gender; social exclusion; early child development; urban settings; employment conditions; health systems; public health programs; and measurement and evidence. The evidence reinforces the fundamental impact of social determinants on health outcomes and in creating health inequities.
Guidance on couples HIV testing and counselling including antiretroviral therapy for treatment and prevention in serodiscordant couples: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of HIV / AIDS, 2012 Apr.  p.These guidelines recommend increasing the offering of HIV testing and counselling (HTC) to couples and partners, with support for mutual disclosure. They also recommend offering antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV prevention in serodiscordant couples. Recommendations include: 1.Couples and partners should be offered voluntary HIV testing and counselling with support for mutual disclosure (Strong recommendation, low-quality evidence). 2. Couples and partners in antenatal care settings should be offered voluntary HIV testing and counselling with support for mutual disclosure (Strong recommendation, low-quality evidence). 3. Couples and partner voluntary HIV testing and counselling with support for mutual disclosure should be offered to individuals with known HIV status and their partners (Strong recommendation, low-quality evidence for all people with HIV in all epidemic settings / Conditional recommendation, low-quality evidence for HIV-negative people depending on country-specific HIV prevalence). 4. People with HIV in serodiscordant couples and who are started on antiretroviral therapy (ART) for their own health should be advised that ART is also recommended to reduce HIV transmission to the uninfected partner (Strong recommendation, high-quality evidence). 5. HIV-positive partners with >350 CD4 cel ls/µL in serodiscordant couples should be offered ART to reduce HIV transmission to uninfected partners (Strong recommendation, high-quality evidence. (Excerpts)