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Private sector: Who is accountable? for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. 2018 report. Summary of recommendations.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2018. 12 p.This report presents five recommendations, which are addressed to governments, parliaments, the judiciary, the United Nations (UN) system, the UN Global Compact, the Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) partners, donors, civil society and the private sector itself. Recommendations include: 1) Access to services and the right to health. To achieve universal access to services and protect the health and related rights of women, children and adolescents, governments should regulate private as well as public sector providers. Parliaments should strengthen legislation and ensure oversight for its enforcement. The UHC2030 partnership should drive political leadership at the highest level to address private sector transparency and accountability. 2) The pharmaceutical industry and equitable access to medicines. To ensure equitable, affordable access to quality essential medicines and related health products for all women, children and adolescents, governments and parliaments should strengthen policies and regulation governing the pharmaceutical industry. 3) The food industry, obesity and NCDs. To tackle rising obesity and NCDs among women, children and adolescents, governments and parliaments should regulate the food and beverage industry, and adopt a binding global convention. Ministries of education and health should educate students and the public at large about diet and exercise, and set standards in school-based programmes. Related commitments should be included in the next G20 Summit agenda. 4) The UN Global Compact and the EWEC partners. The UN Global Compact and the EWEC partners should strengthen their monitoring and accountability standards for engagement of the business sector, with an emphasis on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. They should advocate for accountability of the for-profit sector to be put on the global agenda for achieving UHC and the SDGs, including at the 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the Health Summit. The UN H6 Partnership entities and the GFF should raise accountability standards in the country programmes they support. 5) Donors and business engagement in the SDGs. Development cooperation partners should ensure that transparency and accountability standards aligned with public health are applied throughout their engagement with the for-profit sector. They should invest in national regulatory and oversight capacities, and also regulate private sector actors headquartered in their countries.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2018. 80 p.In line with the mandate from the UN Secretary-General, every year the IAP issues a report that provides an independent snapshot of progress on delivering promises to the world’s women, children and adolescents for their health and well-being. Recommendations are included on ways to help fast-track action to achieve the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals - from the specific lens of accountability, of who is responsible for delivering on promises, to whom, and how. The theme of the IAP’s 2018 report is accountability of the private sector. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will not be achieved without the active and meaningful involvement of the private sector. Can the private sector be held accountable for protecting women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health? And if so, who is responsible for holding them to account, and what are the mechanisms for doing so? This report looks at three key areas of private sector engagement: health service delivery the pharmaceutical industry and access to medicines the food industry and its significant influence on health and nutrition, with a focus NCDs and rising obesity.
Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women. WHO clinical and policy guidelines.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2013. 68 p.A health-care provider is likely to be the first professional contact for survivors of intimate partner violence or sexual assault. Evidence suggests that women who have been subjected to violence seek health care more often than non-abused women, even if they do not disclose the associated violence. They also identify health-care providers as the professionals they would most trust with disclosure of abuse. These guidelines are an unprecedented effort to equip healthcare providers with evidence-based guidance as to how to respond to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women. They also provide advice for policy makers, encouraging better coordination and funding of services, and greater attention to responding to sexual violence and partner violence within training programmes for health care providers. The guidelines are based on systematic reviews of the evidence, and cover: 1) identification and clinical care for intimate partner violence; 2) clinical care for sexual assault; 3) training relating to intimate partner violence and sexual assault against women; 4) policy and programmatic approaches to delivering services; and 5) mandatory reporting of intimate partner violence. The guidelines aim to raise awareness of violence against women among health-care providers and policy-makers, so that they better understand the need for an appropriate health-sector response. They provide standards that can form the basis for national guidelines, and for integrating these issues into health-care provider education.
Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016 2030): Adolescents’ health. Report by the Secretariat.
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 2016 Dec 5. 6 p. (EB140/34)Pursuant to resolution WHA69.2 this report provides an update on the current status of women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. It is aligned with the report on the Progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (document EB140/32). The Secretariat in its regular reporting on progress towards women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health will choose a particular theme each year, focusing on priorities identified by Member States and topics for which there is new evidence to support country-led plans. For reporting to the Seventieth World Health Assembly, adolescent's health is the theme. (Excerpt)
Atlas of eHealth country profiles 2013. eHealth and innovation in women's and children's health. Based on the findings of the 2013 survey of ColA countries by the WHO Global Observatory for eHealth.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014.  p.This atlas is based on the 2013 WHO / ITU joint survey that explored the use of eHealth for women’s and children’s health in countries targeted by the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health (CoIA). The objective of the country profiles is to describe the status in 2013 of the use of ICT for women’s and children’s health in 64 responding CoIA countries. This is a unique reference source for policy makers and others involved in planning and implementing eHealth services in countries.
eHealth and innovation in women's and children's health: A baseline review. Based on the findings of the 2013 survey of CoIA countries by the WHO Global Observatory for eHealth. Executive summary.
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 2014.  p. (WHO/HIS/KER/EHL/14.1)Improving the health of women and children is a global health imperative, reflected in two of the most compelling Millennium Development Goals which seek specifically to reduce maternal and infant deaths by 2015. This joint report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), based on a 64-country survey, demonstrates -- as never before in such detail -- the vital role that information and communication technologies (ICTs) and particularly eHealth are playing today in helping achieve those targets. It demonstrates how, every day, eHealth is saving the lives of women, their babies and infants in the some of the most vulnerable populations around the world, in a wide variety of innovative ways.
The PMNCH 2013 report. Analysing progress on commitments to the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, 2013.  p.The main objective of this year’s report is to assess the extent to which the 293 stakeholders who have made commitments to the Global Strategy since its launch in 2010 (up to June 2013) have implemented their commitments, and the extent to which implementation is contributing to reaching the goals of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. It is not a comprehensive stocktaking of all that is being done at national, regional and global levels to improve women’s and children’s health. The content of the report is based on a range of information sources and data collection methods as relevant to the nature of the individual commitments and their implementation. The methods used were: a content analysis of all commitment statements from the Every Woman Every Child website; an online survey sent to commitment-makers, of which 120 fully completed the survey; detailed interviews based on semi-structured questionnaires with a selection of stakeholders; and an extensive desk review of relevant literature and databases.
American Journal of Public Health. 2013 Apr; 103(4):593-6.We discuss the history of the World Health Organization's (WHO's) development of guidelines for governments on providing safe abortion services, which WHO published as Safe Abortion: Technical and Policy Guidance for Health Systems in 2003 and updated in 2012. We show how the recognition of the devastating impact of unsafe abortion on women's health and survival, the impetus of the International Conference on Population and Development and its five-year follow-up, and WHO's progressive leadership at the end of the century enabled the organization to elaborate guidance on providing safe abortion services. Guideline formulation involved extensive review of published evidence, an international technical expert meeting to review the draft document, and a protracted in-house review by senior WHO management.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2012 Sep 1; 90(9):712.The World Health Organization’s (WHO) update of its 2003 publication Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems has responded to a major neglected public health need of women. The substantial revisions in the 2012 update reflect developments in safe abortion methods and clinical care, providing guidance about the range of safe options available to women seeking elective abortion. Women’s participation in the choice of abortion method, pain control and post-abortion contraception is a crucial element, seeing as unsafe induced abortion is not only public health problem but also a human rights issue. The report discusses developments in the application of human rights principles in policy-making and in legislation related to induced abortion. National courts and regional and international human rights bodies, such as the United Nations treaty monitoring bodies, have increasingly applied these principles to facilitate women’s transparent access to safe abortion services.
Lancet. 2013 May 18; 381(9879):1689.Although not to the same degree as in developing countries, maternal mortality remains a problem in the USA, especially among underserved populations. Pregnant women in the USA are affected by the same life-threatening health disorders as women worldwide: hypertension, hemorrhage, and sepsis, among others. The author discusses in a woman’s ability to obtain health insurance in the USA. The Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation have changed the way women access health services during pregnancy and enhanced prenatal care models. The author encourages that all parties assess the state of women’s health in their home countries, which includes both developing and developed countries.
Where are we in achieving the goals of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health? Taking stock of progress and developing next steps for 2013, 19-20 November 2012, Geneva. Stakeholder meeting report.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2012.  p.The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) co-chaired a two day meeting in Geneva of more than 70 representatives from national governments, the UN, civil society and the private sector. The meeting provided the first opportunity for partners to jointly discuss the independent Expert Review Group (iERG) recommendations and progress towards the multi-stakeholder program of work facilitated by WHO. Participants also discussed how to accelerate accountability and harmonize efforts in support of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. The overall objectives of the meeting were: to critically review progress in the implementation of the Global Strategy and the 10 recommendations of the Commission on Information and Accountability (CoIA); to provide strategic direction on implementing the iERG recommendations; and to explore synergies in the implementation of the different initiatives under the Global Strategy;
Contraception. 2011 Oct; 84(4):339-41.This editorial focuses on a strategy to expand contraceptive coverage through the development of a numerical International Statistical Classifications of Diseases (ICD) code for "unwanted fertility." It explains how this strategy would work, how to make the strategy happen through a revision process, and defining unwanted fertility as a medical problem. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Expanding Concern for Women's Health in Developing Countries. The Case of the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
Women's Health Issues. 2010 May-Jun; 20(3):171-177.Background: Women's health is still largely associated with the notion of reproduction in developing countries despite a more varied disease burden, including noncommunicable conditions resulting from consequences of changing epidemiologic and demographic patterns on women's health. Methods: The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Burden of Disease data base is used to derive for the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) cause-specific rates of death and of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) by age for adult women, and percent of total deaths and total DALYs for women in the reproductive ages, as related to maternal conditions and to three selected noncommunicable conditions, namely, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neuropsychiatry conditions. Inequalities by country income category are examined. Results: Maternal health conditions still form a substantial component of the disease burden, with an increasing burden of cardiovascular disease and cancer starting in the late reproductive years and beyond. The burden of neuropsychiatric conditions is also high during the reproductive years, reflecting possibly the stress of multiple roles of women as well as stress of war and conflict that permeate the EMR. Women in low- to middle-income countries suffer more from maternal health conditions and less from neuropsychiatry conditions than women in high-income countries. Conclusion: The wider disease burden of women should be addressed making use of available reproductive health services taking special account of interactions between reproductive and noncommunicable conditions for better health of women during and beyond reproduction. Better measures of the burden of illness should be developed. There is a special need for improved health information systems in the EMR.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2009. 91 p.The report calls for action both within the health sector and beyond to improve the health and lives of girls and women around the world. The report provides the latest and most comprehensive evidence available on women's specific needs and health challenges over their entire life. The report includes the latest global and regional figures on the health and leading causes of death in women from birth, through childhood, adolescence and adulthood, to older age.
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2008 Sep; 102(3):223-225.The editors of Contemporary Issues in Women's Health solicited reporters and correspondents from throughout the world to make contributions to this feature. Items submitted were stories on breastfeeding, FGM, Saudi women and ban on female drivers, and useful sources for women's health information.
Intimate partner violence and women's physical and mental health in the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence: An observational study.
Lancet. 2008 Apr; 371(9619):1165-1172.This article summarises findings from ten countries from the WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence against women. Standardised population-based surveys were done between 2000 and 2003. Women aged 15-49 years were interviewed about their experiences of physically and sexually violent acts by a current or former intimate male partner, and about selected symptoms associated with physical and mental health. The women reporting physical violence by a partner were asked about injuries that resulted from this type of violence. 24 097 women completed interviews. Pooled analysis of all sites found significant associations between lifetime experiences of partner violence and self-reported poor health (odds ratio 1.6 [95% CI 1.5-1.8]), and with specific health problems in the previous 4 weeks: difficulty walking (1.6 [1.5-1.8]), difficulty with daily activities (1.6 [1.5-1.8]), pain (1.6 [1.5-1.7]), memory loss (1.8 [1.6-2.0]), dizziness (1.7 [1.6-1.8]), and vaginal discharge (1.8 [1.7-2.0]). For all settings combined, women who reported partner violence at least once in their life reported significantly more emotional distress, suicidal thoughts (2.9 [2.7-3.2]), and suicidal attempts (3.8 [3.3-4.5]), than non-abused women. These significant associations were maintained in almost all of the sites. Between 19% and 55% of women who had ever been physically abused by their partner were ever injured. In addition to being a breach of human rights, intimate partner violence is associated with serious public-health consequences that should be addressed in national and global health policies and programmes. WHO; Governments of the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and UK; Rockefeller Foundation; Urban Primary Health Care project of the Government of Bangladesh; Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries (SAREC/Sida); United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA); and Trocaire. (author's)
Human papillomavirus and HPV vaccines: technical information for policy-makers and health professionals.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2007. 36 p. (WHO/IVB/07.05)Cervical cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in developing countries. It has been estimated to have been responsible for almost 260 000 deaths in 2005, of which about 80% occurred in developing countries. Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Recently a vaccine that has the potential to prevent certain HPV infections, and hence reduce the incidence of cervical cancer and other anogenital cancers, has been licensed. Another vaccine is in advanced clinical testing. This document provides key information on HPV, HPV-related diseases and HPV vaccines, and is intended to underpin the guidance note on HPV vaccine introduction, recently produced by WHO and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). HPV are DNA viruses that infect skin or mucosal cells. There are more than 100 known HPV genotypes, at least 13 of which can cause cancer of the cervix and are associated with other anogenital cancers and cancers of the head and neck; they are called "high-risk" genotypes. The two most common of these (genotypes 16 and 18) cause approximately 70% of all cervical cancers. HPV (especially genotypes 6 and 11) can also cause genital warts, a common benign condition of the external genitalia that causes significant morbidity. HPV is highly transmissible, with peak incidence of infection soon after the beginning of sexual activity. Most people acquire the infection at some time in their life. Factors contributing to development of cervical cancer after HPV infection include immune suppression, multiparity, early age at first delivery, cigarette smoking, long-term use of hormonal contraceptives, and co-infection with Chlamydia trachomatis or Herpes simplex virus. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2007. 55 p.The concepts and principles in this document build on the World Health Organization's active ageing policy framework, which calls on policy-makers, practitioners, nongovernmental organizations and civil society to optimize opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life for people as they age. This requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account the gendered nature of the life course. This report endeavors to provide information on ageing women in both developing and developed countries; however, data is often scant in many areas of the developing world. Some implications and directions for policy and practice based on the evidence and known best practices are included in this report. These are intended to stimulate discussion and lead to specific recommendations and action plans. The report provides an overall framework for taking action that is useful in all settings. Specific responses in policy, practice and research is undoubtedly best left to policy-makers, experts and older people in individual countries and regions, since they best understand the political, economic and social context within which decisions must be made. (excerpt)
WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence against women. Initial results on prevalence, health outcomes and women's responses. Summary report.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 205.  p.The WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women is a landmark research project, both in its scope and in how it was carried out. For the results presented in this report, specially trained teams collected data from over 24 000 women from 15 sites in 10 countries representing diverse cultural settings: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, and the United Republic of Tanzania. The use of a standardized and robust methodology has substantially reduced many of the difficulties that affected earlier work on violence against women, and produced results that permit comparison and analyses across settings. Other strengths of the study include the multinational participatory method used to develop the research protocol and questionnaire, the involvement of women's organizations in the research teams, the attention to addressing ethical and safety considerations, and the emphasis on careful selection and training of interviewers and on capacity building of all members of the research teams. Another important feature was the Study's link with policy processes, achieved through the cooperation of members of the research team with policy-making bodies on violence, and the involvement of consultative committees that included key stakeholders at the country level. (excerpt)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 1956; 15:5-41.The author reviews that mortality statistics from cancer of the breast in females and from malignant neoplasms of the uterus and of the other female genital organs for nineteen countries over the years 1920-53, first considering the general trend of the mortality series for each group of diseases for all ages and then analysing for each sector of mortality the changes which have occurred in the age-specific death-rates in some pivotal years during the same period. Considerable differences in the levels of total mortality from each group of tumours for various countries are noted. The important variations among age-specific death-rates for cancer of the breast in females and for uterine neoplasms in various countries are examined and their significance is commented upon. (excerpt)