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WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1998; 19(1):91-6.In this memoir, a retired World Health Organization (WHO) field worker reflects on her experiences. Her first shock came when she realized that she was going to be sent to her first assignment with no specific instructions. Fortunately, she encountered helpful WHO staff when she arrived in Manila. Conditions for delivering health care were primitive, health statistics were frightful, and working conditions were indescribable and were hampered by the lack of electricity and running water. The WHO focused on creating health services from scratch in the poorest countries and then training teachers to prepare staff. WHO nurses functioned as teams that were thrown together with no regard for compatibility. Another challenge was learning to work with national counterparts to prepare an appropriate training curriculum and to decide how students would gain experience in local hospitals, where the teaching staff was viewed with suspicion. As WHO field workers gained experience, they were able to design innovative programs, such as moving training from the classroom to a village setting. In some countries, there were numerous WHO staffers in residence, but before WHO began holding regular meetings there were few opportunities to coordinate activities. The regional office, however, maintained excellent relationships with the field staff. Being a WHO field worker meant hard, but extremely satisfying, work.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Federation of Public Health Associations, 1983 Jul. 20 p. (Information for Action Resource Guide)Women in developing countries have special nutritional needs because of the tremendous physical burdens they bear in daily tasks, pregnancy, and lactation. Poverty and custom often cause these needs to go unmet. Poor maternal nutrition affects not only the mother's health, but also that of her children. While some elements of maternal nutrition are well known, discussion and experimentation continue on important nutritional and delivery issues. This Resource Guide, aimed at field staff who are not nutritionists, summarizes recent literature on this important topic. The annotations discuss both the causes and effects of maternal undernutrition. They also describe simple monitoring techniques to gauge maternal nutrition status and short-term programmatic interventions such as food fortification, food supplementation, vitamin distribution, and health education. The documents chosen synthesize important issues and experiences. The documents included are highly selective; some important literature and projects are not mentioned as this guide is mainly designed for busy program officials. Readers are encouraged to consult the references cited thorughout the guide for in-depth studies. Non-technical language is used throughout the text to facilitate understanding of the main concepts and issues.
Populi. 1979; 6(1):37-41.Since the function of the World Fertility Survey (WFS) is to help countries collect unbiased, cross-culturally comparable data on fertility, it is imperative that comprehensive and systematic training of survey personnel be undertaken. The first step in the initiation of a survey is to hold a discussion between WFS personnel and the organization sponsoring a survey in a particular country in order to determine personnel and training needs. WFS provides training assistance for all phases of data collection from sampling to coding, but the training of field supervisors and interviewers is viewed as the most crucial factor in conducting a quality survey. Most of the data collected in these surveys is done through interviewing a national sample of women of childbearing age in reference to marriage and birth patterns, contraceptive use, desired family size, and socioeconomic factors. The questionaires are fairly structured, but given the sensitive nature of the questions and the wide variation possible in responses, it is necessary to thoroughly train interviewers and their supervisors. Only women are recruited as interviewers. In the ideal situation only one center is used for training all personnel, and training time is approximately 5 weeks for supervisors and 3 weeks for interviewers. The training consists of a series of classroom lectures and role playing by the trainees, followed by practical field experience in which teams are sent out each day to nonsample areas to conduct interviews and then in the evening the results of the interviews are analyzed by the group. This intensive and prolonged training is costly, however, given the small sample size of most of the surveys, high quality data is essential. The long training period engenders in the participants a long lasting enthusiasm and interest in the work and the final training week is generally associated with a marked increment in the acquisition of interviewing skills. This intensive training has proved invaluable in the 30 countries where these surveys have been conducted.
Asian-Pacific Population Programme News. 1978; 7(3):30-33, 42.Family planning was officially adopted as an instrument of national economic development policy in the Republic of Korea in 1961. While it was 1st based in the national health program, it gradually evolved into a diversified approach and today the family planning program is integrated into other fields of development activity. International attention is focussed on the Korean program of combining family planning with community development activity. In 1979, a "multipurpose health worker" will replace the 3 existing health field workers: family planning, mother and child health, and tuberculosis control. This is a continuation of the government effort to involve communities in the family planning program. Efforts of the Planned Parenthood Federation of Korea (PPFK) are summarized. PPFK provides all the instructional, educational, and communication functions for the family planning program. The Women's Associations, formed by the PPFK, were the 1st attempt to mobilize efforts of women on behalf of family planning and community development. The effort to integrate family planning and primary health care is currently under study.
In: International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Preventive medicine and family planning. Proceedings of the 5th Conference of the Europe and Near East Region of the IPPF, Copenhagen, Denmark, July 5-8, 1966. London, England, IPPF, 1967. p. 222-224Women's organizations played a significant part in the family planning movement in the United Arab Republic (UAR). In 1962 the President of the UAR made his 1st public pronouncement in favor of family planning. Soon after, the Cairo Women's Club staged the 1st series of public lectures on the subject in the country. This series served to bring the subject into the open. With national and international assistance, other UAR women's groups began to establish family planning clinics around the country. Through the Joint Committee for Family Planning, a number of women's groups attracted international aid to the movement in the UAR, effected cooperation with the national Ministry of Social Affairs, and evolved standardized procedures for registration, education, training, and evaluation to be used by all the family planning clinics in the country. In 1967, the government established a national family planning program. The voluntary women's groups can still serve as a testing ground for the national program.