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In: Wood C, Rue Y, ed. Health policies in developign countries. London, England, The Royal Society of Medicine, 1980. 19-23. (Royal Society of Medicine. International Congress and Symposium Series; No. 24)During the years 1970-1980 the population of children in developing countries has increased by about 285 million, while there is an inequality in the distribution of the resources needed to care for them. At the same time, traditional medical school training caters to largely adult populations with little emphasis on the prevention of illness and the promotion of good health. In the Third World Countries children constitute almost 50%, and with the mothers 70% of the total population. In this group the mortality and morbidity rates are particularly high despite the fact that most of the conditions are easily prevented. Primary health care provided by a part-time, trained health worker who has been recruited from the community in which he will work is a very positive approach. Another area which should be expanded is the ongoing training for existing doctors through distance teaching so that their knowledge remains up to date. All levels of health workers involved in primary health care can learn through nets of information consisting of journals, correspondence, scientific meetings and visits to other centers. There are even free resources available such as Contact and Salubritas. More use should be made of the resources.
Social Science and Medicine. Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology. 1980 Oct; 14A(5):387-90.The author states that the issues emphasized in J.H. Bryant's paper on WHO's "Health for All By 2000" are American policy and administration, and the WHO, but contends that the real concern is with health today and the "New Health Policy Order" for the next two decades. It is argued that the new policies, which are meant to bring about a dramatic change toward primary health care (PHC) in health priorities in LDCs, will actually fail because of existing social and political structures and health care systems designed to serve the affluent urban population rather than the disadvantaged and rural majority, and because imposed political processes are not likely to be effectively or lastingly implemented. The author examines the implications of international aid, stating that the issue of LDCs' dependence on developed countries is ignored in Bryant's paper and that health improvement in LDCs requires more than simply more resources--it requires internal political will. Political will is seen as the most important factor missing in PHC, and one that can not be imposed by international organizations.