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Traditional medicine development for medical and dental primary health care delivery system in Africa.
African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. 2005; 2(1):46-61.Traditional African Medicine (TAM) is our socio-economic and socio-cultural heritage, servicing over 80% of the populations in Africa. Although, it has come a long way from the times of our ancestors, not much significant progress on its development and utilization had taken place due to colonial suppression on one hand, foreign religions in particular, absolute lack of patriotism and political will of our Governments, and then on the other hand, the carefree attitudes of most African medical scientists of all categories. It is incontrovertible that TAM exhibits far more merits than demerits and its values can be exploited provided the Africans themselves can approach it with an open mind and scientific mentality. The degree of sensitization and mobilization by the World Health Organization (WHO) has encouraged some African countries to commence serious development on TAM. The African Regional Director of the WHO has outlined a few guidelines on the responsibilities of all African nations for the realistic development of TAM, in order to sustain our health agenda and perpetuate our culture. The gradual extinction of the forests and the inevitable disappearance of the aged Traditional Medical Practitioner should pose an impending deadline for us to learn, acquire and document our medical cultural endowment for the benefit of all Africans and indeed the entire mankind. (author's)
Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2005; 17:490-494.The purpose of this review is to aid the healthcare practitioner in caring for children, girls, and women who have undergone female genital mutilation or who are at risk for female genital mutilation. The bulk of the literature published in the area of female genital mutilation over the past year addresses the laws, social needs, immigration status and assimilation of African women who immigrate into western countries. Clinicians continue to publish case reports of complications and the surgical management of type III female genital mutilation during labor. Additionally, as people continue to try to eliminate female genital mutilation through human rights campaigns and the legal system, they have also become increasingly aware that understanding the motives behind this traditional practice may be an avenue towards change. The fundamental understanding of female genital mutilation will allow the clinician to address the emotional and physical needs of the children, girls, and women who have undergone this traditional practice or who are at risk for undergoing this practice. This understanding will allow the practitioner to individualize the history and physical examination, and to provide appropriate management with recognition and treatment of complications. Increased knowledge of the laws against female genital mutilation will allow the healthcare provider to educate and advise at-risk girls and women as well as their parents. (author's)
Ancient remedies, new disease: involving traditional healers in increasing access to AIDS care and prevention in East Africa. UNAIDS Case Study.
Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2002 Jun.  p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection; UNAIDS Case Study; UNAIDS/02.16E; PN-ACP-802)In the 20 years that it has been with us, AIDS has continued its relentless spread across continents. By the end of 2000, the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported that 36.1 million men, women and children were living with HIV around the world and 21.8 million had died. Though AIDS is now found in every country, it has most seriously affected sub-Saharan Africa—home to 70% of all adults and 80% of all children living with HIV, and the continent with the fewest medical resources in the world. AIDS is now the primary cause of death in Africa and it has had a devastating impact on villages, communities and families on the continent. In many African countries, the numbers of new infections are increasing at a rate that threatens to destroy the social fabric. Life expectancies are decreasing rapidly in many of these countries as a result of AIDS-related illnesses and socioeconomic hardships. And of the 13.2 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS worldwide, 12.1 million are in Africa. In the past, AIDS-control activities relied on giving information about HIV transmission, and imparting practical skills to enable individuals to reduce their risk of HIV infection and care for themselves if infected. There is a growing awareness, however, that sociocultural factors surrounding the individual need to be considered in designing both prevention and care interventions. As the epidemic continues to ravage the low- and middle-income world, it becomes increasingly evident that diverse strategies to confront the wide-ranging and complex social, cultural, environmental and economic contexts in which HIV continues to spread must be researched, tested, evaluated, adapted and adopted. (excerpt)
Development of a scale to assess maternal and child health and family planning knowledge level among rural women.
Health and Population: Perspectives and Issues. 2000; 23(1):37-52.This paper presents a tool specifically developed for assessing the knowledge of rural women in Rohtak district of Haryana regarding maternal and child health. This tool can also be used for (i) identification of high risk women groups in the community by the programme managers as well as by the researchers; (ii) quantitative analysis of the relationship between various decisions making variables and the knowledge level of women regarding MCH and FP and (iii) impact evaluation of the IEC programme on the knowledge of women regarding maternal and child health. (author's)
In: Programming for male involvement in reproductive health. Report of the meeting of WHO Regional Advisers in Reproductive Health, WHO / PAHO, Washington DC, USA, 5-7 September 2001. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2002. 88-103. (WHO/FCH/RHR/02.3)Health sector priorities are ideally set according to a number of variables, including: burden of disease; whether effective and proven ‘solutions’ are available; and the calculated cost-effectiveness of those solutions. In the case of sexual health services, we argue in this paper that this conceptual framework is useful for programme planning, but needs to take into account one important additional element: the client’s perspective. We further argue that the sexual health of men in south Asia can not be adequately addressed unless men’s beliefs about their bodies, men’s health priorities, and men’s sexual health concerns are evaluated, interpreted and acted upon. Services which do not correspond to men’s own perceived sexual health needs are unlikely to attract men as clients, and thus remove many of the opportunities for male involvement in other aspects of reproductive and sexual health prevention and care. Men’s own sexual health priorities may not correspond exactly with the priorities of public health programmes; we therefore discuss how the two sets of concerns may be reconciled and men brought more equitably into programmes. Finally, we outline areas which may be of particular concern to programme managers if this approach is adopted. (author’s)