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UN Chronicle. 1991 Jun; 28(2): p..The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has made a "promise to children"--to try to end child deaths and child malnutrition on today's scale by the year 2000. The Fund estimates that a quarter of a million children die every week from common illnesses and one in three in the world are stunted by malnutrition. That broad goal, declared on 30 September 1990 by 71 Presidents and Prime Ministers attending the first World Summit for Children, includes 20 specific targets detailed in the Plan of Action for implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s, adopted at the Summit. Among them are: one-third reduction in under-five death rates; halving maternal mortality rates; halving of severe and moderate malnutrition among the world's under-fives; safe water and sanitation for all families; and measures covering protection for women and girls, nutrition, child health and education. Other goals include making family planning available to all couples and cutting deaths from diarrhoeal diseases--which kill approximately 4 million young children annually--by one half, and pneumonia--which kills another 4 million a year--by one third. (excerpt)
Strengthening maternal and child health programmes through primary health care. Guidelines for countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Based on the deliberations of the Intercountry Meeting on the Integration of MCH into Primary Health Care, Amman, Jordan, 11-15 December 1988.
Alexandria, Egypt, WHO, EMRO, 1991. 75 p. (WHO EMRO Technical Publication No. 18)All countries in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) have had maternal and child health (MCH) programs for many years, yet maternal mortality and morbidity and infant mortality remain high. The EMRO office in Jordan, recognizing this dilemma, convened a meeting of national managers from the 22 EMRO member states to discuss how to integrate MCH programs with primary health care (PHC). The meeting resulted in the publication of guidelines and goals to help each country integrate MCH into PHC which would strengthen MCH services and improve MCH status. The managers noted the need to switch from a pregnancy-oriented approach to a holistic approach in which MCH/PHC programs and society consider women as more than childbearers. MCH/PHC programs and society need to be concerned about the well-being of females beginning with infancy and should place considerable health promotion for girls during the pubertal spurt and adolescence. They should also promote prevention of iron deficiency anemia in women. Since maternal mortality is especially high is EMRO, the national managers clearly laid out approaches for health services to reduce maternal mortality caused by obstetrical complications. They also recognized the need for a practical alternative to obstetric care provided by health workers--training traditional birth attendants in each village. They also provided guidance on improving prenatal care to reduce perinatal and neonatal mortality such as vaccination of every pregnant woman with the tetanus toxoid. Since the causes of death in the postneonatal period, MCH/PHC programs need to take action to reduce malnutrition and infection. For example, they must promote breast feeding for at least the first 6 months of life. The managers suggested the implementation of the Child Survival and Development Strategy which includes growth monitoring.
IN POINT OF FACT 1991 Jun; (76):1-3.This paper describes the serious effect of diarrheal and acute respiratory (ARI) disease upon children under 5 years old, and international efforts undertaken by the World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce such mortality. Combined, these diseases account for more then 1/2 of all deaths in this age group, and constitute the most serious threat to their health. WHO estimates for 1990 that diarrheal illnesses caused 3.2 million childhood deaths and that ARI caused 4.3 million. While some child deaths are due to measles and pertussis, the majority is caused by pneumonia and the consequences of diarrheal illnesses. These deaths could be readily averted through the timely, effective treatment of trained health workers with essential drugs. Immunization as well as improved nutrition, particularly through the practice of exclusive breast feeding of the child's 1st 4-6 months of life, are addition weapons potentially employed against child mortality. WHO programs for diarrhea and ARI control focus upon simplified treatment guidelines, training, communication messages, drug supplies, and evaluation methodology. Despite obstacles such as the marketing of useless and/or potentially dangerous anti-diarrheal drugs and cough and cold remedies, and inappropriate breastmilk substitutes and unnecessary foods, widespread progress in program development and implementation has been made over the past decade. Increased amounts of oral rehydration therapy and solutions are available and used, while many health workers have benefited from training programs.
Rapid anthropologic assessment: applications to the measurement of maternal and child mortality, morbidity and health care.
[Unpublished] 1991. Presented at the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population [IUSSP] Committee on Population and Health and Cairo University Institute of Statistical Studies and Research, Center for Applied Demography Seminar on Measurement of Maternal and Child Mortality, Morbidity and Health Care: Interdisciplinary Approaches, Cairo, Egypt, November 4-7, 1991. 14 p.University Nations University (UNU) leaders requested rapid anthropological assessment procedures (RAP) guidelines in the early 1980s to examine health-seeking behavior in 16 developing countries. They were not content with the expense, time, and poor accuracy of standard survey techniques to study health care. UNU project researchers studies 42 communities in these countries. They used triangulation to assess the validity of their data and found the data to be accurate. RAP involves applied medical anthropologists and other social scientists with appropriate training to pass about 6 weeks in a community where a supposed effective primary health care (PHC) programs operates to learn the household and community perspective on PHC services. 6 weeks constitute a long time for health planners and policymakers, but for anthropologists this time period tends to be too. Yet the required time hinges on the amount and complexity of data needed. It is important that the anthropologists and/or other social scientists already know the language and the culture because they interview biomedical and indigenous health providers. RAP depends on limited objectives and on existing data and prior research. Research designers should modify the limited objectives or data collection guidelines to fit each culture and each project. RAP data collection techniques include formal and informal interviews, conversations, observation, participant observation, focus groups, and data collection from secondary sources. Indeed researchers should be able to adapt these various techniques during the project. Obstacles which RAP research designers must consider are: some anthropologists do not feel at ease with RAP; not all cultures are comfortable with an outsider coming into their community asking questions, thus highlighting the importance of using an anthropologist already known and trusted in the community; and the topic may not be appropriate for discussion in a community.
HEALTH POLICY AND PLANNING. 1991 Jun; 6(2):107-18.The WHO estimates that 74% of the world's children were fully immunized against poliomyelitis by early 1990. Despite this, the disease is still paralyzing almost 1/4 of a million individuals each year and killing perhaps 25,000. This paper, 1 of a series undertaken on specific diseases for the World Bank's Health Sector Priorities Review on disease of major importance in the developing world, reviews available evidence on the cost effectiveness of polio prevention. This prevention would take the form of either immunization or case management of polio to minimize and rehabilitate disabilities. The power of available vaccines and the characteristics of disease suggest the technical feasibility of eradication of disease from polio (but not the polio virus) as a goal for the year 2000. With sustained national and international support, it is thus reasonable to hope for eradication by that year or soon thereafter. Rehabilitation of those disabled by polio (and other causes) has been neglected both by governments and by the international community. Although hard evidence on cost and effectiveness remains to be gathered, what is know strongly suggests that effective rehabilitation programs could be implemented at low cost and with the economic and welfare benefits far exceeding the expenditures. (author's modified)
In: Disease and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa, edited by Richard G. Feachem, Dean T. Jamison. Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1991. 31-6.This article is an overview of 4 chapters of part I of the 1991 World Bank publication entitled Disease and Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. It discusses what the health community currently knows about the levels, trends, and patterns of mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, it points out that only limited data are currently available. Demographic techniques have evolved to overcome data limitations, however. These chapters also identify important information gaps that must be filled to plan interventions. These chapters reveal that mortality levels are higher in Sub-Saharan Africa than in other developing regions. Mortality of children <5 years old has decreased since the 1940s in most Sub-Saharan African countries, except for countries who have experienced war and civil unrest. Further Sub-Saharan Africa exhibits a specific mortality pattern: higher levels of infant, young child, and adult mortality exist in western Africa than in eastern or southern Africa. Nevertheless adult mortality in western Africa fell considerably between the 1950s-late 1970s, but it did not fall much in eastern African countries (their levels were lower initially though). This article suggests that donors could greatly contribute to developing planning ability in Sub-Saharan Africa by supporting the establishment of a vital registration system. Health planners often have access to hospital record and community survey data, however, but these data are biased. Further these chapters show that interventions to reduce mortality do not necessarily result in a reduction in morbidity. Rapid population growth and high fertility pose further problems for health planners.
[Unpublished] 1991. Presented at the 119th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association [APHA], Atlanta, Georgia, November 11-14, 1991. 7,  p.Maternal health affects child survival in many ways. For example, and infant in Bangladesh whose mother has died during childbirth has a 95% chance of dying in the 1st year. Further children <10 years old in Bangladesh, especially girls, who have lost their mother are 4 times as likely to also die. In addition, there is a relationship between protein energy malnutrition in mothers and low prepregnancy weight and meager wait gain during pregnancy which retards fetal growth resulting in a low birth weight (LBW) infant, LBW infants die at a rate 30 times that of adequate weight infants. In fact, child survival depends on maternal health even before the mother is able to conceive. Daughter as well as mothers in developing countries often eat last and smaller amounts of food than male family members. Females who remain poorly nourished often experience obstructed labor which causes several complications for the infant such as respiratory failure. Maternal infections such as malaria and sexually transmitted diseases are also closely linked to LBW. Some can also bring about preterm birth and congenital infections. Pregnancy and labor complications are responsible for about 500,000 maternal deaths annually. Hemorrhage, sepsis, eclampsia, and obstructed labor cause most of these deaths. A woman's fertility pattern also contributes to child survival. The high risk birth categories include too young, too old, too many children, and too closely spaced. In fact, the median mortality rate for infants born <2 years after the older sibling is 71% greater than that for those born 2-3 years apart. The World Bank recommends improved community based health care, improved referral facilities, and an alarm and transport system to improve maternal health. The World Bank, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, IPPF, and the Population Council support the Safe Motherhood Initiative which aims to reduce maternal morbidity and death by 50% by 2000.
[Unpublished] 1991. Presented at the Demographic and Health Surveys World Conference, Washington, D.C., August 5-7, 1991. 8 p.The maternal and child health/family planning (MCH/FP) program at WHO specifies the priorities for MCH/FP in the 1990s. Results of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in many, but not all, developing countries have shown overall improvement in fertility and maternal and child health, especially in the family planning and child survival movements. Maternal mortality did not change, however. Moreover, maternal mortality in some countries exceeded natural maternal mortality. These elevations sparked a 3rd movement in the late 1980s, safe motherhood. These results confirm that the public health community cannot become complacent. Indeed it must strengthen the infrastructure, management, and performance of the health system to maintain gains. This involves identifying a novel strategy to priority setting and program development which are adapted to the changing needs and circumstances of each country, and even within each country. In fact, firm program strategies and policies need to concentrate on maternal health and morbidity, newborn care, breast feeding, perinatal infections, and HIV/AIDS. Based on DHS data and on evaluations of MCH/FP programs, WHO lists crucial principles for successful programs. The 1st principle includes equity in access and use of social resources which includes disaggregating data according to geographic and population subgroups to find appropriate strategies to close the widening gap within and between countries. The next principle is community and health care provider participation and ownership. Indeed successful MCH/FP programs are those where the community identifies problems and needs and evaluates the program. The 3rd principle encompasses quality data collection to assess quality of care and program effectiveness. WHO has proposed 5 priorities for organization and management of MCH/FP programs. 1 priority which WHO suspects will generate the most debate is integration of family planning, child survival, and safe motherhood programs.
Socio-economic development and fertility decline: an application of the Easterlin synthesis approach to data from the World Fertility Survey: Colombia, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Tunisia.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1991. ix, 115 p. (ST/ESA/SER.R/101)The relationship between fertility decline and development is explored for Colombia, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia. The study applies Richard Easterlin and Eileen Crimmins; theoretical and empirical approach to analyzing World Fertility Survey (WFS) data in a comparative context. The paper specifically questions the strengths and weaknesses of the Easterlin-Crimmins framework when applied to developing country data, and what the framework implies about comparative fertility in these countries. 3 stages in all, an analyst 1st decomposes a couple's final number of children ever born through an intermediate variables framework. Stage 2 emphasized understanding the determinants of contraceptive use, while stage 3 explains the remaining stage-1 and stage-2 variables. A model linking the supply of children, the demand for children, and the cost of contraceptive regulation results. Stage 1 results were promising, stage 2 results were less encouraging, while stage 3 revealed a theoretically incomplete approach employing empirically weak WFS data. While the Easterlin-Crimmins approach may be promising, econometric, theoretical, and data quality and collection improvements are necessary. Among stage-3 variables open to manipulation, higher socioeconomic status was associated with delayed age at 1st marriage, lower infant and child death rates, lower numbers of children desired, increased knowledge of contraception, and reduced levels of breastfeeding. Apart from regional differences, the educational and occupational roles of women in the countries studied were of primary importance in understanding differential fertility.