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WHO Programme in Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning. Report of the second meeting of the WHO Programme Advisory Committee in Maternal and Child Health, Geneva, 21-25 November 1983.
[Unpublished] 1984. 95 p. (MCH/84.5)The objectives of the 2nd meeting of the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) for the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Program in Maternal and Child Health, including Family Planning (MCH/FP) were to 1) assess the MCH/FP program's achievements since the 1st PAC meeting in June, 1982, 2) determine the level of scientific and financial resources available for the program, and 3) to examine the role of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in the delivery of MCH/FP services. The committee reviewed the activities and targets of the program's 4 major areas (pregnancy and perinatal care, child health, growth, and development, adolescent health, and family planning and infertility), and developed a series of recommendations for each of these areas. Specific recommendations were also made for each of the major program areas in reference to the analysis and dessimination of information and to the development and use of appropriate health technologies. Upon reviewing the role of TBAs in the delivery of MCH/FP services, PAC recommended that all barriers to TBA utilization be removed and that training for TBAs should be improved and expanded. PAC's examination of financial support for MCH/FP activities revealed that for a sample of 26 countries, the average annual amount allocated to MCH activities was less than US$3/child or woman. This low level of funding must be taken into account when setting program targets. International funding agencies did indicate their willingness to increase funding levels for MCH programs. The appendices included 1) a list of participants, 2) an annotated agenda, 3) detailed information on the proposed activities of the program's headquarters for 1986-87, and 4) a description of the the function, organizational structure, and technical management of the MCH/FP program. Also included in the appendices was an overview of the current status of MCH and a series of tables providing information on infant, child, and maternal health indicators. Specifically, the tables provided information by region and by country on maternal, child, and infant mortality; causes of child deaths; maternal health care coverage; contraceptive prevalence; infant and child malnutrition; the number of low weight births; adolescent health; teenage births; breast feeding prevalence and duration; and the proportion of women and children in the population.
Operational responses to the World Population Plan of Action in programmes of the UNFPA in the areas of fertility, family and family planning.
In: United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division. Fertility and family. New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. 439-66. (International Conference on Population, 1984; Statements)This paper reviews briefly the experience of UNFPA supported programs related to family, fertility and family planning in developing countries, through the analysis of recommendations of the 1974 World Population Plan of Action and corresponding UNFPA programs. The paper also identifies some programmatic areas that need emphasis in the further implementation of the recommendations of the Plan. Among the Plan's many recommendations, those dealing with the protection of the family, with the improvement of the status of women, with modernization and fertility and with the right of individuals and couples to plan their families, are of special importance to family and fertility. With the accumulation of experience throughout the last decade, the Fund has moved from its original projects approach to a program approach comprising a set of complementary population activities. More recently a needs assessment approach has been adopted. Many UNFPA activities touch upon the reduction of infant, child and maternal mortality, and the improvement of the role and status of women. The Fund takes family planning to include those practices that help individuals or couples to avoid unwanted births, to bring about wanted births, to control the timing of births and to determine the number of children in a family. The Fund supports a broad spectrum of activities in family planning. Among the most important are education and communication programs, activities to strengthen service delivery and to expand population coverage; program management and evaluation, operational, behavioral, and clinical research. Collaboration between UNFPA and individual countries has led to changes in ways of thinking about population. The most important finding, perhaps, relates to the perception of the many dimensions of the population problem. Issues which need further action in the implementation of the Plan include the urgent need to formalize national commitment to fertility, family and related population activities. To improve the link between population and development activities, greater efforts should be made to involve women in the design, implementation and management of population and family planning projects. In general, there is an urgent need to improve family planning services. In spite of an impressive number of research studies on fertility behavior, there is a need for a policy-oriented analysis of fertility decline. Finally, in view of the increased interest in natural family planning as a method of fertility regulation, there is an important need to collect data on the subject, to train natural family planning teachers and to develop teaching materials. Appendices list UNFPA assisted projects in fertility, family and family planning.
Who Chronicle. 1984; 38(3):109-15.The theme of the 1984 World Health Day--children's health, tomorrow's wealth--provides an occasion to convey to a worldwide audience the message that children are a priceless resource, and that any nation which neglects them does so at its peril. World Health Day 1984 spotlights the basic truth that the healthy minds and bodies of the world's children must be safeguard, not only as a key factor in attaining health for all by 2000, but also as a major part of each nation's health in the 21st century. An investment in child health is a direct entry point to improved social development, productivity, and quality of life. Care of child health starts before conception, through postponement of the 1st pregnancy until the mother herself has reached full physical maturity, and through spacing of births. It continues from conception on, through suitable care during pregnancy, childbirth, and childhood. In the developing countries the child must be protected by all available means, particularly from the killer diseases. What happens in the immediate family and community around the mother and child, and even far away in the world, can have a direct impact on the health and security of both of them. The mother and child need to be placed in an environment that will ensure their health by protecting the overall setting in which they live. This means providing clean water, disposing of waste, and helping to improve shelter. Nothing can diminish the importance of good food, enough food, and proper nutrition for children and their mothers. Beyond the immediate physical needs are the equally important needs for love and understanding which stimulate the healthy development of the child. The emergence of new health problems of mothers and children in developing and developed countries should be kept in mind. Better health services must be made available to all who need them. The World Health Organization (WHO) provided resource material on World Health Day issues for dissemination throughout the world. Extracts from 4 articles on this year's theme are reproduced. The articles report on the success of the Rural Health Center in Ballabhgarh (India) in reducing maternal and infant mortality, the value of breastfeeding as 1 of the simplest and safest ways of ensuring adequate spacing of births, Tunisia's integration of a program of immunization into the routine activities of the health care system, and the needs of the healthy child.
[Unpublished] 1984 Aug 13. 40 p. (E/CONF.76/L.3; M-84-718)This report of the International Conference on Population, held in Mexico City during August 1984, includes: recommendations for action (socioeconomic development and population, the role and status of women, development of population policies, population goals and policies, and promotion of knowledge and policy) and for implementation (role of national governments; role of international cooperation; and monitoring, review, and appraisal). While many of the recommendations are addressed to governments, other efforts or initiatives are encouraged, i.e., those of international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, private institutions or organizations, or families and individuals where their efforts can make an effective contribution to overall population or development goals on the basis of strict respect for sovereignty and national legislation in force. The recommendations reflect the importance attached to an integrated approach toward population and development, both in national policies and at the international level. In view of the slow progress made since 1974 in the achievement of equality for women, the broadening of the role and the improvement of the status of women remain important goals that should be pursued as ends in themselves. The ability of women to control their own fertility forms an important basis for the enjoyment of other rights; likewise, the assurance of socioeconomic opportunities on a equal basis with men and the provision of the necessary services and facilities enable women to take greater responsibility for their reproductive lives. Governments are urged to adopt population policies and social and economic development policies that are mutually reinforcing. Countries which consider that their population growth rates hinder the attainment of national goals are invited to consider pursuing relevant demographic policies, within the framework of socioeconomic development. In planning for economic and social development, governments should give appropriate consideration to shifts in family and household structures and their implications for requirements in different policy fields. The international community should play an important role in the further implementation of the World Population Plan of Action. Organs, organizations, and bodies of the UN system and donor countries which play an important role in supporting population programs, as well as other international, regional, and subregional organizations, are urged to assist governments at their request in implementing the reccomendations.
Planned Parenthood Review. 1984 Spring-Summer; 4(1):9-10.The Planned Parenthood Federation of America supports international family planning efforts through its affiliation with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the activities of its own International Division, Family Planning International Assistance (FPIA). FPIA is founded on the beliefs that family planning is a basic human right; family planning programs benefit individuals, families, communities, and nations; and family planning along with other needed socieconomic programs can have a major impact on development. Careful timing, spacing, and limiting of births is directly and causally related to improved infant and maternal survival through readily observed and easily explained mechanisms. Mothers in developing countries are anywhere from 10 to 20 or 30 times as likely to die in childbirth as mothers in developed countries. Risks are greatest for mothers under 18 years old, over 30, for those having births within 2 years of a previous birth, and 4th or later deliveries. The differences occur for women at all levels of affluence and access to medical care in all societies, but are particularly sharp in developing countries. Among the poorest countries, 200 or more of every 1000 liveborn infants may die in their 1st year compared to fewer than 10/1000 live births in some wealthy egalitarian countries. The infant mortality rate is so closely related to the overall level of well-being in a country or region that it is regarded as 1 of the most revealing measures of how well a society is meeting the needs of its people. Many of the risk factors for maternal mortality also contribute to infant mortality. Infant mortality in developing countries drops appreciably when women practice family planning and reduce the number of high risk pregnancies. Throughout the developing world, the higher risk infants born to very young or older mothers, mothers with recent previous pregnancies, and mothers with 3 or 4 previous births are 3-10 times more likely to die in their 1st year. Too short birth intervals may threaten the life of the older child through early weaning and resulting increased susceptibility to malnutrition and infection. Careful planning of births through contraception can result in a population better able to contribute economically and less likely to strain the medical resources.