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Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 1996 Jan. 35 p. (UNAIDS/96.5)These guidelines are destined for policy makers and programme planners wishing to introduce national external quality assessment schemes (NEQAS) for serological testing for human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV). They describe some important basic principles and the main practical aspects of NEQAS. The objectives of external quality assessment schemes are briefly discussed below and elsewhere (References 1 and 2 in bibliography, Annex 2). It is now widely accepted that quality assurance, quality control and quality assessment constitute an essential part of HIV testing and of diagnostic testing in general. Quality assessment is one component of a total quality assurance programme. The availability of excellent HIV tests does not automatically guarantee reliable laboratory results. Many steps are involved between the moment when a specimen enters the laboratory and the moment when the result of the test is reported to the physician, and at each step something can go wrong. Therefore each government should ensure that sufficient support is made available for a National Reference Laboratory to provide a suitable programme to monitor and if necessary improve the quality of HIV testing in the country. A well-functioning national programme is an important step towards achieving high-quality laboratory performance nationwide. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, . 10 p. (Facts about UNAIDS)National governments have the primary responsibility for dealing with HIV/AIDS within their own borders, even though many individuals and groups -- from government as well as the wider society -- must be part of the national response. The role of UNAIDS is to strengthen the ability of countries to respond to the epidemic, and to coordinate the UN system's support to that end. To be effective, the national response must be broad-based and multisectoral. AIDS remains an important health issue, but many of the causes and consequences of the epidemic lie outside the health sector. With its unique, collaborative approach, UNAIDS can support countries in the following ways as they mount an expanded response to the epidemic: By advocating more effectively for the introduction of AIDS issues into the country's health, economic and social development agendas. Each UN organization can work with its major counterparts to promote cross-sectoral collaboration; By involving a greater number of partners in AIDS activities. Each UN organization can help involve partners not yet participating in the response to the epidemic, including government departments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector; By allocating resources more efficiently and effectively in support of national efforts. Working together, the UN organizations can identify overlaps, gaps and opportunities for integrating AIDS into related programmes; By making better use of local and regional technical expertise available in the UN system. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 1996. 9 p. (Facts about UNAIDS)Around 6 million people worldwide have died of AIDS since the start of the epidemic. Well over 20 million are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Already, there are communities and even whole cities where one out of every three adults is infected, and the repercussions of these dense clusters of illness and death will linger for decades. The epidemic and its impact are becoming a permanent challenge to human ingenuity and solidarity. Since the first of January 1996, UNAIDS -- the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS -- has carried the main responsibility within the UN system for helping countries strengthen their long-term capacity to cope with this challenge. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the new programme is cosponsored by six organizations of the UN family -- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank. Together with its cosponsors and other partners around the world, UNAIDS is hard at work on its mission -- leading and catalysing an expanded response to the epidemic to improve prevention and care, reduce people's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, and alleviate the epidemic's devastating social and economic impact. (excerpt)
WHO healthy cities and the US family support movements: a marriage made in heaven or estranged bed fellows?
Health Promotion International. 1996; 11(2):137-142.The family support movement in the US emerged at about the same time that the WHO Healthy Cities project was gaining momentum in Europe, and the underlying principles and ecologic frameworks of the two have much in common. However, while many 'Healthy Cities' in Europe have included activities that benefit families, this has not been made a major focus. There seems to be little awareness of experience gained in the US in terms of establishing programs with limited or no government funding, using volunteers, and developing social marketing and advocacy strategies sustain long term viability. Similarly, cities and states in the US are struggling to develop networks of family support programs and they appear to be doing this without the benefit of experience gained in Healthy Cities projects on how to engage political leadership, develop public policies, establish intersectoral councils, fund a coordinator position, mobilize neighborhoods, and evaluate community wide health promotion programs. The purpose of this paper is to examine how these two movements might join forces and learn from each other. (author's)
New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University, Economic Growth Center, 1996 Jan. 34 p. (Center Discussion Paper No. 746)This paper accepts the premise that positive sum games exist in all dimensions of North-South economic contacts but that the management of conflicts concerning the distribution of the gains requires careful attention. It then proceeds to analyze the current state of play and the character of these conflicts in each of the main arenas, focussing heavily on trade, but also discussing public and private capital movements, technology transfer and intellectual property rights issues and labor mobility. It concludes with a discussion of possible changes in international institutions and governance. (author's)
New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University, Economic Growth Center, 1996 Sep. 28 p. (Center Discussion Paper No. 762)This paper reviews the development experience since the 1980's and finds room for guarded optimism about what we can learn from it. Firstly, a global consensus is emerging on the need for macro-economic stability through prudent fiscal, monetary and foreign exchange policies. However, at the micro or structural level, while governments need to decentralize their decision- making authority more fully than they have thus far, in reaction to the recent reappraisal of the East Asian model there is some danger that development policy will swing too far in rejecting liberalization and returning to government intervention. Secondly, the paper points out that, while there exists a well-recognized causal nexus between exports and growth, the reverse causation also holds, i.e. domestic growth patterns conditioned by education and R&D expenditures and policies determine whether or not a country can take full advantage of existing export opportunities. Finally, although fast-disbursing policy-based loans have not been as successful as they could be, largely because of the World Bank's chosen modus operandi, they represent potentially highly effective instruments that should not be abandoned. Rather, the Bank should help render such loans more fully "owned" by recipients, replace country-specific lending quotas by aid ballooning related to carefully worked out reform packages, and develop a better division of labor with other multilateral and bilateral donors. (author's)
Rwanda: over 1 million refugees return in last half of 1996 - includes related articles on Rwanda's food economy and Women's Collective. [Rwanda : plus d'un million de réfugiés de retour au pays au cours de la deuxième moitié de l'année 1996 - selon des indications issues d'articles portant sur l'économie alimentaire du Rwanda et le Collectif des femmes]
UN Chronicle. 1996 Winter; 33(4): p..An estimated 1.3 million refugees returned to Rwanda between July 1996 and the beginning of January 1997, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Out of that total, an estimated 720,000 came back from camps in Zaire after the intensification of hostilities in the eastern part of that country in August and September. The overwhelming majority returned in November. A further exodus of refugees - this time from the United Republic of Tanzania - began later in the year and ended in early January 1997, bringing another 485,000 Rwandans home. Since July, 88,000 refugees have also returned from Burundi, with several thousand others coming from Uganda. The Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Raymond Chretien of Canada, said on 13 December the realization that a temporary multinational humanitarian force might be deployed on the ground, following the Security Council's authorization of such a force on 15 November (S/RES/1080(1996)), had "accelerated tremendously the return of refugees". Speaking to the press at United Nations Headquarters, he called it "an indication that the international community could make a difference if it had the will to do so". (excerpt)
Too soon for twilight, too late for dawn: the story of children caught in conflict - includes related articles on the UN General Assembly's stand on child-related issues, participation of children as soldiers, and recommendations for the protection of children during armed conflict - Cover story.
UN Chronicle. 1996 Winter; 33(4): p..In the last decade more than 2 million children have been killed, more than 4 million have survived physical mutilation and more than 1 million have been orphaned or separated from their families. All as a result of war. Joy unblemished as they play outside school, tumbling through the grass with friends, running under a gushing stream of water on a hot evening or down hills stung by snow. Laughter and love. These are the memories of the more innocent times evoked in the minds of many of us as we reminisce about our own childhoods. Where we had time to grow up and only slowly learn the darker ways of the world. But such memories are unimaginably distant from the reality that millions of children, caught up in the deadly games of adults, must confront. Instead, for the increasing numbers of children living in war-torn nations, childhood has become a living nightmare. A just-released United Nations study on the impact of armed conflict on children paints a truly devastating picture of untold suffering and cruelty, of a world increasingly "being sucked into a desolate moral vacuum. This is a space devoid of the most basic human values; a space in which children are slaughtered, raped and maimed; a space in which children are exploited as soldiers; a space in which children are starved and exposed to extreme brutality." The report was the outcome of a two-year investigation that included field visits to battle-scarred areas, dramatic case studies, input from eminent personalities and experts, and consultations with Governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), armed opposition movements and children themselves. (excerpt)
Enhancing support of African development - includes a definition of the African Initiative - Special Initiative on Africa - Cover story.
UN Chronicle. 1996 Summer; 33(2): p..The Special Initiative on Africa, launched globally on 15 March by the Secretary-General along with the executive heads of all UN agencies and organizations represented in the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), aims to give practical expression to the policy commitments made in the past, such as the UN New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s. Unprecedented in scope, the Initiative reflects the priority accorded to Africa's development by the international community, the mandates emanating from the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and major UN conferences, as well as the undertakings made individually and collectively by African Governments to accelerate the development of their countries. (excerpt)
UNCHS - Habitat: global facilitation of human settlements efforts - United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, includes a related article announcing an April 1996 Washington, D.C. conference on Habitat II.
UN Chronicle. 1996 Spring; 33(1): p..The United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS)--widely known as Habitat--was established in Nairobi in 1978, two years after the first Habitat Conference. It formulates and implements relevant UN programmes and serves as a think-tank within the UN system, assisting Governments in improving the development and management of human settlements. Habitat activities are based on the concept that human settlements "are the physical articulation of the social, economic and political interaction of people living in communities", states a UNCHS brochure. "Whether the communities are urban or rural, their development involves a transformation of the environment from its natural state to a built one. The elements required to meet basic human needs include housing and its related infrastructure, places of work, social services and recreation, and the institutions to produce and manage them." (excerpt)
International thinking on population policies and programmes from Rome to Cairo: Has South Africa kept pace?
South African Journal of Demography. 1996; 6(1):49-56.This paper reviews global thinking on population policy expressed at the world conferences on population matters from 1954 to 1994. The review is complemented by an overview of trends in South Africa that constituted a de jure population policy during the apartheid era. There is also a brief discussion of the Population Green Paper tabled in 1995, aimed at the establishment of a national population policy for South Africa. This is evaluated against the Programme of Action decided on at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt, in 1994. There is an indication that finally, South Africa can be said to be genuinely moving in the direction of respect for human rights in its population policies in harmony with global convention. In a sense, it is catching up with global trends in the population field after years of isolation resulting from sanctions against the apartheid government. (author's)
MCH News. 1996 May; (2):6-7.Prolonged and obstructed labour are important causes of both maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. In the early 1970s, Hugh Philpot designed and developed the partograph in Zimbabwe to help prevent such problems and adverse outcomes during the active management of labour. He showed that the partograph helped to reduce prolonged labour, caesarian sections, labour augmentation and perinatal deaths. Anecdotal reports also mentioned of how the partograph made the occurrence of ruptured uteri much rarer, and implied that it had contributed to a reduction in maternal mortality. Anyone with experience of working in deprived areas where maternal care is predominantly managed by poorly supported midwives, and where the expertise for doing an emergency hysterectomy is limited or non-existent, will testify to the great value of the partogram. And yet, more than twenty years since its development, the partogram is still infrequently and inconsistently used in this country (both in rural and urban areas). (excerpt)
Progress in Reproductive Health Research. 1996; (37):6-7.Since the 1960s, thousands of studies have been published on the safety and effectiveness of contraceptive methods. Over this period, new contraceptive methods have been introduced and methods that were being used in the 1960s have been improved. However, many of the advances that have been made in contraception have not been accompanied by updating of family planning policies and prescribing practices to reflect the progress. This has prevented the full range of methods from being available to many potential users. (excerpt)
Fuera del Closet. 1996 Sep; (10):4-5.The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (a human being under the age of 18) declared the right of children to health and protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. This was reiterated by the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights. The Declaration of the Conference on Human Rights urged the governments to step up their efforts to protect and promote the human rights of women and children. It called for the elimination of gender-based violence and all forms of sexual harassment and exploitation. (excerpt)
Fuera del Closet. 1996 Sep; (10):6-7.Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), including HIV/AIDS, represent more than 10% of the diseases suffered by men and women worldwide. The World Health Organization recognizes that these diseases are most common in young, sexually active people between the ages of 15 and 24, and their incidence is on the rise. (excerpt)
[Intrafamily violence from the perspective of international conferences: the role of the United Nations] La violencia intrafamiliar desde la perspectiva de las conferencias internacionales: el papel de las Naciones Unidas.
In: Memorias del Encuentro Continental sobre Violencia Intrafamiliar, [compiled by] United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM]. Mexico City, Mexico, UNIFEM, 1996. 17-18.The interest and the efforts of the United Nations Organization with regard to the subject of violence and, in particular, intrafamiliar violence has been manifested on very different occasions. The United Nations' Decade for Women (1976-1985) significantly contributed to bring to light the problem of violence against women. Additionally, the issue was debated in 1985 in the Seventh United Nations Conference on Crime Prevention and Treatment of Delinquents. In 1985, the United Nations General Assembly invited the member States to act to prevent violence within the home and suggested measures by which the judicial system could deal with the problem in a just and humanitarian way. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1996.  p. (WHO/FRH/MSM/96.8)A Technical Working Group on Antenatal Care was convened in Geneva, 31 October - 4 November 1994, by the World Health Organization. The original objectives of the Technical Working Group were: 1. To review current antenatal care practices and make recommendations for the identification of high-risk pregnancies and their management, taking into account the timing of the pregnancy, resources available, and skills of the health worker; 2. To draw up recommendations on antenatal care and specifically outline the tasks and procedures health workers are expected to perform at different levels of the health care system; 3. To review the basic equipment, procedures, and supplies used in antenatal care from the point of view of cost, maintenance, scientific validity, and skills required to employ them appropriately; 4. To examine how to optimize antenatal care in terms of clinical tasks and procedures in relationship to the timing of the visits, distance to referral centres, and frequency of attendance. (excerpt)
Iodized oil during pregnancy. Safe use of iodized oil to prevent iodine deficiency in pregnant women. A statement by the World Health Organization.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1996.  p. (WHO/NUT/96.5)The risks and expected benefits from iodized oil, given orally or by injection, to pregnant women in areas of severe iodine deficiency where iodized salt is not available were evaluated. The conclusions, which were approved by the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD), showed that for preventing and controlling moderate and severe iodine deficiency, the giving of iodized oil is safe at any time during pregnancy. Maximum protection against endemic cretinism and neonatal hypothyroidism will be achieved when iodized oil is given before conception. The potential benefits greatly outweigh the potential risks in areas of moderate and severe iodine deficiency disorders, where iodized salt is not available and is unlikely to be made available in the short term (1-2 years). (author's)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Division of Child Health and Development, 1996 Nov.  p. (Update No. 22)The question of whether breastfeeding plays a significant role in the transmission of hepatitis B has been asked for many years. It is important given the critical role of breastfeeding and the fact that about 5% of mothers worldwide are chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers. Examination of relevant studies indicates that there is no evidence that breastfeeding poses any additional risk to infants of HBV carrier mothers. The use of hepatitis B vaccine in infant immunization programmes, recommended by WHO and now implemented in 80 countries, is a further development that will eventually eliminate risk of transmission. This document discusses the issues relevant to breastfeeding and HBV transmission, and provides guidance from a WHO perspective. (excerpt)
Chung-Hua Fu Chan Ko Tsa Chih / Chinese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1996 Mar; 31(3):131-133.The quality of obstetric care is critical for maintaining the safety and health of mothers and their children. In 1989, the World Health Organization announced four priorities in terms of promoting the safety and health of mother and child: (1) improving the social status of women; (2) making prenatal health care available to all mothers; (3) providing necessary obstetric care to all high risk pregnant women; and (4) making it possible for all couples to practice family planning. In September 1990, the World Summit Meeting on Children published two important documents: the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and the Action Plan for the 1990's. Prime Minister Li Peng of China demonstrated our commitment by signing the two documents in March 1991. It has been four years since March 1992, when China's State Council issued the Development Plan for Chinese Children in the 1990s. It is essential to further improve the quality of obstetric care throughout China for the sake of maintaining the safety and health of mothers and their children. (excerpt)
Meeting on training in reproductive health for CCEE / NIS. Report on a WHO meeting, Copenhagen, 26-28 June 1995.
Copenhagen, WHO, Regional Office for Europe, 1996. , 15 p. (EUR/ICP/FMLY 94 03/MT04; EUR/HFA Target 16)Responding to the needs for training in reproductive health, European public health training programmes have been increasingly offering training to participants from countries of central and eastern Europe/newly independent states of the former Soviet Union (CCEE/NIS). The WHO Regional Office for Europe convened a meeting to identify ways to better coordinate and cooperate in efforts made by the various schools, institutions and organizations with courses in reproductive health. After an overview of the current situation in reproductive health in CCEE/NIS (including the epidemiology of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS) and a summary of the relevant research activities in the Region, participants presented their training programmes and discussed training objectives for the future. Two working groups were formed to address clinical/research and management/behavioural training needs, respectively. Finally, the participants drew conclusions and made recommendations on ways to better coordinate training activities and facilitate twinning arrangements between relevant organizations, calling for coordination by WHO and the establishment of a clearing-house based in the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Governments, donors and individuals were called upon to support and advocate reproductive health programmes and services. (author's)
Epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases in Eastern Europe. Report of a WHO meeting, Copenhagen, Denmark, 13-15 May 1996.
Copenhagen, Denmark, WHO, Regional Office for Europe, 1996. , 14 p. (EUR/ICP/CMDS 08 01 01)In response to the alarming rise in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the newly independent states, the WHO Regional Office for Europe, WHO headquarters and the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS organized a meeting of experts from the most affected countries to exchange information and to identify priority actions for the control of the epidemic. The participants included 15 experts from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The participants called for urgent action, including a careful assessment of the existing systems for STD control, reallocation of resources among the various activity areas and strong advocacy to generate awareness at the top level of government and strengthen its support for the recommended initiatives. They also urged that national coordination of programmes to promote sexual health and prevent STDs and HIV be strengthened, that statutory services be made more accessible and acceptable to patients and that efforts be made to ensure that all health workers managing patients with STDs, including those in the private sector, provide high-quality care. (author's)
Civil-Military Alliance Newsletter. 1996 Aug; 2(3):3-4.This article presents excerpts from a speech by Malawi’s First Vice President and Minister of Defence, the Right Honourable Justin C. Malewezi at the opening address to the policy workshop.
[Hanover, New Hampshire], Civil-Military Alliance to Combat HIV and AIDS, 1996.  p. (Occasional Paper Series No. 2)CONCLUSION: The armed forces that do not deal with HIV prevention will be condemned to deal with AIDS. One can paraphrase the military leader quoted at the outset of this paper by saying that the armed forces that ignore the mission of HIV prevention will be "destined to repeat the errors of history by failing to perceive the impact of [this] disease." The armed forces of all countries must face the increasing risk of HIV infection in their ranks, and address the prevention of AIDS as a priority mission. (excerpt)
Copenhagen, Denmark, WHO, Regional Office for Europe, 1996.  p. (EUR/ICP/CMDS 96 06 01 03)The WHO/UN Children's Fund Strategy for diphtheria control includes three main recommendations: 1) mass immunization; 2) early diagnosis and proper treatment of cases; and 3) management of close contacts by the use of antibiotics. Whereas the first two recommendations have been implemented in all New Independent States having epidemic diphtheria, in some countries there is a controversial discussion regarding the use of antibiotics for close contacts. Therefore, WHO, with assistance of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and US Agency for International Development/Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival has drafted guidelines regarding the antibiotic prophylaxis of contacts of diphtheria cases based on international experience. The guidelines include reprints of publications demonstrating the success of this strategy. (author's)