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Who Chronicle. 1984; 38(5):212-6.This article highlights the conclusions and recommendations of the 5th meeting of the Technical Advisory Group of the World Health Organization (WHO) Diarrheal Diseases Control (CDD) Program held in March 1984. On the basis of clinical trials supported by the CDD Program, WHO has endorsed use of oral rehydration salts (ORS) containing trisodium citrate dihydrate in place of sodium bicarbonate. Although the bicarbonate formulation remains highly effective and may continue to be used, the citrate formula results in less stool output and is more stable under tropical climatic conditions. At its meeting, the Technical Advisory Group expressed satisfaction with progress in the health services and research components of the program's activities. By 1983, 72 countries or areas had formulated plans of operation for national CDD programs and 52 had actually implemented programs. Training courses directed at program managers, first-line supervisors, and middle-level health workers are held on a regular basis. 38 developing countries are now producing ORS. Another area of activity has involved development of a management information system to monitor progress toward the target of increased access to and use of oral rehydration therapy for diarrhea in children under 1 year of age. Data from 40 countries indicate that access to ORS was 6-10% in 1982 and usage was 1-4%. There have been reviews of 10 national CDD programs, 7 of which utilized a joint national-external team to collect and analyze information on the management and impact of the CDD program. During 1983, 71 new research projects were funded by the CDD program, bringing the total number of projects supported to 231 (59% in developing countries). Biomedical research has focused on development of more stable and effective ORS; the etiology and epidemiology of acute diarrhea: and development and evaluation of new diagnostic tests, vaccines, and antidiarrheal drugs. In 1982-83, the CDD program received US$1.4 million from WHO and about US$11 million from voluntary contributors. The 1984-85 budget has been set at US$19.7 million.
World Health Organization evaluates NORPLANT subdermal implants as effective, reversible, long-term contraceptive. News release.
New York, Population Council, 1985 Feb 22. 5 p.A World Health Organization (WHO) review of animal and human data on Norplant subdermal implants, convened at the request of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, has determined that this contraceptive system is an "effective and reversible long term method of fertility regulation" and recommended that it be made available through family planning programs. George Zeidenstein, president of the Pouplation Council, which developed the Norplant system, has termed the WHO report "a giant step toward worldwide acceptance and availability." So far, extensive clinical trails have noted no adverse side effects of this contraceptive system, and animal studies on levonorgestrel suggest the drug is safe for use in humans. Clinical trial data on more than 4000 women have indicated continuation rates of 60-95% at the end of the 1st year and about 50% at the end of the 5th year. The annual pregnancy rate is 0.2-1.3/100 women over a 5 year period. Disturbance of the menstrual cycle, including increased frequency and number of bleeding days as well as irregular bleeding or spotting, occurs in the majority of women who use this method; however, bleeding problems tend to diminish with increased duration of use. The Norplant implant system is particularly suitable fo r women who seek extended contraceptive protection but either do not wish to undergo sterilization or who desire a child in the future. Norplant is currently a vailable in Finland and has just been granted registration in Sweden. Over the next 2 years, regulatory approval will be sought in 40 additional countries including the US, where the Norplant system is in clinical trials at 3 sites.