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Assessment and implementation of health care priorities in developing countries: incompatible paradigms and competing social systems.
Social Science and Medicine. 1984; 19(4):373-84.This paper addresses conceptual issues underlying the assessment and implementation of health care priorities in developing countries as practiced by foreign development agencies coping with a potentially destabilizing unmet social demand. As such, these agencies mediate the gap between existing health care structures patterned around the narrow needs of the ruling classes and the magnitude of public ill-health which mass movements strive to eradicate with implications for capitalism at large. It is in this context that foreign agencies are shown to intervene for the reassessment and implementation of health care priorities in developing countires with the objective of defending capitalism against the delegitimizing effects of its own development, specifically the persistence of mass disease. Constrained by this objective, the interpretations they offer of the miserable state of health prevailing in developing countries and how it could be improved remains ideological: it ranges between "stage theory" and modern consumption-production Malthusiansim. Developing countries are entering into a new pattern of public health which derives from their unique location in the development of capitalism, more specifically in the new international division of labor. Their present position affects not only the pattern and magnitude of disease formation but also the effective alleviation of mass disease without an alteration in the mode of production itself. In the context of underdevelopment, increased productivity is at the necessary cost of public health. Public health improvement is basically incompatible with production-consumption Malthusianism from which the leading "Basic Needs" orientation in the assessment and implementation of health care priorities derives. Marx said that "countries of developing capitalism suffer not only from its development but also from its underdevelopment." (author's modified)
[Unpublished] 1984 May 3. Presented at the 1984 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 3-5, 1984. 26 p.The paper summarizes the health strategy of the US Agency for International Development (AID). The goal of the strategy is to assist developing countries to 1) reduce mortality among infants and young children, and 2) to reduce disease and disability among selected population groups. The main strategy elements include: 1) improved and expanded use of available technologies; 2) development of new and improved technologies; and 3) strengthening human resource and institutional capability. A more in-depth look is taken at how AID implements its strategy in Asia emphasizing the primary goal of infant mortality reduction. The paper provides a demographic overview of the 9 AID-assisted Asian countries. A summary of AID's program support in Asia showing levels and trends by subcategory is provided. Particular attention is paid to projects supporting selective primary care. Finally, the paper discusses the difficulties of implementing the strategy in Asia and speculates on the chances for success. (author's)
New York, New York, UNICEF, . 42 p.In the last 12 months, world-wide support has been gathering behind the idea of a revolution which could save the lives of up to 7 million children each year, protect the health and growth of many millions more, and help to slow down world population growth. This document summarizes case studies which illustrate the techniques which make this revolution possible. These techniques are: oral rehydration therapy (ORT); growth monitoring; expanded immunization using newly improved vaccines to prevent the 6 main immunizable diseases which kill an esitmated 5 million children a year and disable 5 million more (measles, whooping cough, neonatal tetanus, polio, diphtheria and tuberculosis); and the promotion of scientific knowledge about the advantages of breastfeeding and about how and when an infant should be given supplementary foods. Results are summarized from Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Barbados, the Philippines, Nicaragua and Honduras, Malawi, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, Colombia, and Ethiopia. The impact of economic recession and female education on childrens' health is discussed, and basic statistics for developed and underdeveloped countries are given.