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REVIEWS OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES. 1983 May-Jun; 5(3):452-9.This summary of the worldwide impact of measles discusses epidemiology, reported incidence, clinical severity, community attitudes toward measles, and the impact of immunization programs on measles. Measles, 1 of the most ubiquitous and persistent of human viruses, occurs regularly everywhere in the world except in very remote and isolated areas. Strains of measles virus from different counties are indistinguishable, and serum antibodies from diverse population have identical specificity. Yet, the epidemic pattern, average age at infection, and mortality vary considerably from 1 area to another and provide a contrasting picture between the developing and the developed countries. In the populous areas of the world, measles causes epidemics every 2-5 years, but in the rapidly expanding urban conglomerations in the developing world, the continuous immigration from the rural population provides a constant influx of susceptible individuals and, in turn, a sustained occurrence of measles and unclear epidemic curves. In the economically advanced nations, measles epidemics are closely tied to the school year, building up to a peak in the late spring and ceasing abruptly after the summer recess begins. Maternal antibody usually confers protection against measles to infants during the 1st few months of life. The total number of cases of measles reported to WHO for 1980 is 2.9 million. Considering that in the developing world alone almost 100 million infants are born yearly, that less than 20% of them are immunized against measles, and that various studies indicate that almost all nonimmunized children get measles, less than 3 million cases of measles in 1980 is a gross underestimate. There was adecrease in the global number of reported cases of measles during the 1979-80 period due primarily to the reduction in the number of cases in the African continent and, to a lesser extent, in Europe. It is premature to conclude that such a reported decline is real and that it reflects the beginning of a longterm trend. The contrast between the developed and the developing worlds is most marked in relation to the severity and outcome of measles. Case fatality rates of more than 20% have been reported from West Africa. It has been estimated that 900,000 deaths occur yearly in the developing world because of measles, but data available to WHO indicate that the global case fatality rate in the developing world approaches 2% (in contrast to 2/10,000 cases in the US), and the actal mortality may be greater than 1.5 million deaths per year. The advent of WHO's Expanded Program on Immunization has brought about an awareness of the measles problem. Whenever and wherever measles vaccine has been used effectively on a large scale, a marked reduction in the number of cases has been recorded.
[World population at a turning point? Results of the International Conference on Population, Mexico, August 14-16, 1984] De wereldbevolking op een keerpunt? Resultaten van de Internationale Bevolkingsconferentie, Mexico, 6-14 augustus 1984.
Brussels, Belgium, Centrum voor Bevolkings- en Gezinsstudien [CBGS], 1985. viii, 274 p. (CBGS Monografie No. 1985/3)The aim of this report is to summarize the results of the International Conference on Population, held in Mexico City in August 1984, and to review the findings of working groups and regional meetings held in preparation for the conference. Chapters are included on developments in the decade since the 1974 World Population Conference, world population trends, fertility and the family, population distribution and migration, mortality and morbidity, population and the environment, results of five regional U.N. conferences, the proceedings and results of the Mexico City conference, and activities involving Belgium.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1985 Oct; 1-8.Yugoslavia was formed on December 1, 1918 from the kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro plus parts of the Turkish and Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its population has the greatest ethnic and religious deversity of any in Eastern Europe. The main language is Serbo-Croatian. Yugoslavia has worked hard to maintain its independence despite pressure from the international Communist organization Cominform. Since the 1960s they have been identified as a leader of nonaligned nations. 6 republics comprise the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and each of these republics has its own government modeled on the federal structure. The federal government has executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The Constitutional Court rules on the constitutionality of all laws and regulations. The League of Communists is the only political party allowed to function; however, it does permit open expression of differences on some major policy issues. Since the end of World War 2, the Yugoslav economy has become an industrialized, midlevel technological economy and the standard of living has risen. Yugoslavia has tried to maintain a rough balance in trade relations with Western nations, with the socialist bloc, and with the developing world. Agricultural production has risen steadily over the years but its full poteential has not yet been realized. Yugoslavia has tried to establish friendly relations with most states, especially in Western Europe. The US has made an effort to support Yugoslavia in its attempt to maintain independence and through cultural, commercial, and political involvement has attempted to offer alternatives to being dependent on the Soviet Union. Relations have been further strengthened by continuing high-level visits by heads of state. While there are differences of view on many foreign policy issues, the US has respected Yugoslavia's position and has offered continued support.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1987 Sep; 1-8.The Kingdom of Belgium which borders on the nations of France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and the Federal Republic of Germany, is one of the smallest European countries and is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch. The branches of its government are the executive (with a king, a prime minister, and a Council of Ministers), the legislative (a bicameral Parliament and various regional and cultural assemblies), and the judicial (a Court of Cassation modelled on the French system). 30% of Belgium's gross national product comes from machinery, iron and steel, coal, textiles, chemicals, and glass. During the 80 year period which preceded WWI, Belgium remained neutral in an era of intra-European wars until German troops overran the country during their attack on France in 1914. Some of the worst battles of that war were fought in Belgium. Again in 1940, Belgium was occupied by the Germans. There was a government-in-exile in London; however the King remained in Belgium during the war. The course of Belgian politics was determined largely by the division of the Belgian people into 2 major language groups--the Dutch speakers and French speakers. Regional and language rivalries are taken into account in all important national decisions. The 3 major political parties representing the main ideological tendencies are the Socialists, the Socialist Christians, and the Liberals. Belgium is one of the most open economies in the world and is a densely populated, highly industrialized country in the midst of a highly industrialized region. An economic austerity program was instituted at the beginning of this decade which included devaluation of the Belgian franc, reduction of government expenditures, a partial price freeze, etc. Improvements have been seen as a result of this program. Although US investment has declined in recent years, total US direct investment is estimated at $5.28 billion and there are 899 US companies currently operating in Belgium. As a member of NATO, Belgium's armed forces are part of the NATO integrated military structure. Belgium is a proponent of close cooperation with the US and they seek improved East-West relations. In this vein, Belgium works closely with the US both bilaterally and multilaterally to liberalize trade, and to foster economic and political cooperation and assistance to developing countries.
New York, New York, UNFPA, . v, 36 p. (Report)The former government of Romania sought to maintain existing population and accelerate population growth by restricting migration, increasing fertility, and reducing mortality. The provision and use of family planning (FP) were subject to restrictions and penalties beginning in 1986, the legal marriage age for females was lowered to 15 years, and incentives were provided to bolster fertility. These and other government policies have contributed to existing environmental pollution, poor housing, insufficient food, and major health problems in the country. To progress against population-related problems, Romania most urgently needs to gather reliable population and socioeconomic data for planning purposes, establish the ability to formulate population policy and undertake related activities, rehabilitate the health system and introduce modern FP methods, education health personnel and the public about FP methods, promote awareness of the need for population education, and establish that women's interests are served in government policy and action. These topics, recommendations, and the role of foreign assistance are discussed in turn.