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Women At Work. 1984; (2):1-71.This document describes the current status of maternity protection legislation in developed and developing countries and is based primarily on the findings of the International Labor Organization's (ILO's) global assessment of laws and regulations concerning working women before and after pregnancy. The global survey collected information from 18 Asian and Pacific countries, 36 African nations, 28 North and South American countries, 14 Middle Eastern countries, 19 European market economy countries, and 11 European socialist countries. Articles in 2 ILO conventions provide standards for maternity protection. According to the operative clauses of these conventions working women are entitled to 1) 12 weeks of maternity leave, 2) cash benefits during maternity leaves, 3) nursing breaks during the work day, and 4) protection against dismissal during maternity. Most countries have some qualifying conditions for granting maternity leaves. These conditions either state that a worker must be employed for a certain period of time or contributed to an insurance plan over a defined period of time before a maternity leave will be granted. About 1/2 of the countries in the Asia and Pacific region, the Americas, Africa, and in the Europe market economy group provide maternity leaves of 12 or more weeks. In all European socialist countries, women are entitled to at least 12 weeks maternity leave and in many leaves are considerably longer than 12 months. In the Middle East all but 3 countries provide leaves of less than 12 weeks. Most countries which provide maternity leaves also provide cash benefits, which are usually equivalent to 50%-100% of the worker's wages, and job protection during maternity leaves. Some countries extend job protection beyond the maternity leave. For example, in Czechoslovakia women receive job protection during pregnancy and for 3 years following the birth, if the woman is caring for the child. Nursing breaks are allowed in 5 of the Asian and Pacific countries, 30 of African countries, 18 of the countries in the Americas, 9 of the Middle East countries, 16 of European market economy countries, and in all of the European socialist countries. Several new trends in maternity protection were observed in the survey. A number of countries grant child rearing leaves following maternity leaves. In some countries these leaves can be granted to either the husband or the wife. Some countries have regulations which allow parents to work part time while rearing their children and some permit parents to take time off to care for sick children. In most of the countries, the maternity protection laws and regulations are applied to government workers and in many countries they are also applied to workers in the industrial sector. A list of the countries which have ratified the articles in the ILO convenants concerning maternity benefits is included.
Ippf Medical Bulletin. 1984 Apr; 18(2):1-4.The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), recognizing its responsibility to assist young people in fulfilling their roles as parents, citizens, and leaders, seeks to improve the quality of life of young people by advocating and promoting, especially to governments and other organizations, measures that will respond to their total human needs, including the provision of education and employment opportunities. IPPF, as a family planning organization, can contribute directly to the preparation of young people for responsible parenthood and to meeting their fertility related needs. Family planning associations (FPAs) are encouraged to initiate, strengthen, or support programs which respond to the needs of young people. Priority should be given to meeting the needs of the most disadvantaged groups, with emphasis on out of school and rural youth, slum dwellers, youth in urban industrialized areas, and abandoned adolescents and children, with special attention to the early group adolescent age group. The involvement of young people as active partners in IPPF's work is essential for its efforts to promote and sustain commitment to family planning at policymaking and community levels in the years ahead and to prepare the next generation of leaders within the Federation. Population, family life, and sex education, including family planning and reproductive health management, provide in both formal and nonformal settings, are the cornerstone of youth programs. FPAs should look for ways to remove legal, administrative, and other barriers to the availability of adequate education and services. As pregnancy poses special hazards for adolescents, particularly those under age 16, services should cater to the special circumstances in which adolescent childbearing is taking place. No single contraceptive method can be regarded satisfactory for adolescents as a group, but each method may have a place in adolescent services. Several factors, such as age, parity, and other personal amd medical considerations, need to be carefully assessed in helping the individual adolescent to make a choice. IPPF affirms that meeting the needs of young people is a major objective for the Federation and that priority should be given to meeting the needs of the most disadvantaged young people. Parents have primary responsibility in the preparation of the young for responsible parenthood, and their participation in meeting the fertility related needs of young people as part of an improved quality of family life should be encouraged and supported. Education and counseling should respond to the needs of young people who engage in sex relations and those who do not. Research should be encouraged, particularly at the national and local level, in biomedical, social science, service delivery, and legal and policy areas.
Tropical Doctor. 1984 Jan; 14(1):34-40.A description of the Dominican Child Health Passport (CHP) and its clinic-based counterpart are presented. These are adaptions of the World Health Organization (WHO) growth chart. A prototype of the chart was introduced in June, 1980 for a pilot project in the town of Portsmouth. At 7 consequtive child welfare clinics all parents who received a CHP at an earlier visit were interviewed. Questions were asked about some aspects of clinic attendance, the use of and attitude towards the CHP; and understanding of it. The children ranged in age from 1-21 months with a mean of 7 months. 31 parents (61%) had visited the clinic 4 weeks ago (the usual period between visits) and the average was 5 weeks. Weighing was the reason that 49% of the mothers brought their children to the clinic. This could mean that there is already an awareness of the importance of weighing for monitoring child health. Of the 51 parents, only 1 had forgotten the CHP. 10 children possessing a CHP were taken to a doctor. 6 mothers took the CHP along, and on 5 occasions the doctor showed an interest. Opinions on various aspects of the CHP are given. The price--60 cents Eastern Caribbean Currency (=US $0.22) was considered acceptable. Almost all mothers liked to have the CHP at home. However, a substantial % did not like the idea of having child spacing methods entered on the card. 4 CHPs with different weight curves were shown to mothers, who were asked if they would worry about a child who showed the growth pattern indicated. Severe underweight with loss of weight was recognized by 51% of the interviewees. Obesity was not usually considered something to worry about; this is understandable in a place where undernourishment is common in infants. About 1/3 of the respondents recognized the danger if an infant was still in the normal range of weight-for-age but was losing weight.