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SAFE MOTHERHOOD. 1996; (20):10.During a 1994 workshop sponsored by the World Health Organization and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), participants discussed 1) women's right to family planning information, education, and services; 2) women's right to a choice of options and to voluntary decisions concerning their health; and 3) the link between women's rights and women's health. Participants noted that obstetricians and gynecologists must expand their role to become women's advocates and must insure that women's rights to informed choice and informed consent are protected. Women should participate as equals in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of policies which affect them so that they can make fully informed decisions. The workshop produced the following recommendations: 1) FIGO should discourage practices that abuse women's rights to information and education on the procedures and treatments they face; 2) adolescents should receive reproductive health information, counseling, and services; 3) obstetricians and gynecologists should be trained in communication and counseling skills; and 4) national societies of obstetricians and gynecologists should encourage the provision of comprehensive reproductive health services, discourage female genital mutilation, and encourage provision of counseling for female victims of violence.
TURKISH JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS. 1994 Apr-Jun; 36(2):93-6.The UNICEF message to the pediatricians and child health experts attending the Regional Pediatric Congress of the Union of National Pediatric Societies of Turkish Republics is that the way children are conceptualized in the development process has a major impact on poverty. UNICEF argues that human resource development is the safest way out of population pressure, vanishing forests, and despoiled rivers. Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore are examples of countries that "sacrificed, deferred consumer gratification of the elites, and disciplined themselves" in order to provide better care for their children in terms of good nutrition, good health care, and rigorous primary and secondary education for all children. Family planning was available to all parents. The emphasis was on hygiene, immunization, clean water supplies, and sanitation. Lower infant and child mortality created confidence in child survival and parental willingness to have fewer children. The working population is healthier due to the state nutrition programs and a better skilled labor force due to education and training. These countries are no longer underdeveloped because of the priority on children for over a generation and a half. Robert Heilbroner has described this strategy for development as based on social development, human development, and protection of children aged under 5 years. The Alma Ata conference in 1976 was instrumental in focusing on the health of the child by setting a standard of health for all by the year 2000. Many countries are moving in the direction proposed in these agendas. The result has been a 33% reduction in child mortality within 10 years and greater immunization in some developing countries than in Europe and North America. Immunization rates in Ankara, Turkey; Calcutta, India; Lagos, Nigeria; and Mexico City are higher than in Washington, D.C. or New York City. The 1990 World Summit for Children found that the following rules are applicable to development. 1) Hospitals do not mean health. 2) National wealth does not make health. 3) 75% of child mortality is attributable to a small number of controllable causes of death. 4) Mobilization of all sectors of society is a necessary strategy to combat child death and illness. UNICEF and the World Health Organization are prepared to provide support, if countries are willing to follow the example of Turkey in mobilizing against these deaths.
AIDS ANALYSIS ASIA. 1995 Jul-Aug; 1(4):1.Lawyers, physicians, UN, and government officials from Asia and the Pacific met at the third and final workshop on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) law, ethics, and human rights, which was held in Fiji in May. It was agreed that legal reform in many countries was urgent, if persons with HIV or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were to be adequately protected. Public health laws and health and social welfare laws needed to be examined; some, like the Contagious Diseases Ordinance and the Prevention of Disease Ordinance of Sri Lanka, are 19th century enactments. A study of local education and information laws, and the extent to which they permit or censor HIV prevention education is proposed. 120 participants from 36 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) attended the three sessions, which were sponsored by the UNDP Regional Project on HIV and Development. The first workshop, which was held in Sri Lanka, prompted a local participant to set up the "Lankan Focal Point for HIV Law, Ethics, and Human Rights," a center for government and private lawyers, doctors, and AIDS program managers. During the second workshop, the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, a co-sponsor, agreed to serve as the focal point for a similar network on Chinese law. Many other countries are considering establishing legal networks, as well as free legal aid programs. The legislative needs of AIDS program managers were also discussed. Each of the 4-day workshops included a moot trial and participatory sessions on hypothetical legislative proposals. The UNDP Regional Project on HIV and Development will publish a report on the workshops and a sourcebook on HIV law, ethics, and human rights. The UNDP is co-sponsoring the International AIDS Law Congress, which will be held in New Delhi in December 1995 under the aegis of the Indian Law Institute.