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  1. 1
    111441

    HIV / AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    World Bank

    PHNFLASH. 1996 Feb 2; (103):1-2.

    An estimated 1.2-2.0 million people had been infected by 1995 in Latin America and the Caribbean, and more than 300,000 new HIV infections occur annually. The lack of seroprevalence studies, however, makes reliable estimates difficult. To date, there are 126,000 cumulative AIDS cases and 59,162 deaths recorded in Latin America, and 8065 AIDS cases and 4778 deaths recorded in the Caribbean. New infections are particularly evident among the most socially and economically marginalized populations in the region, as well as among people aged 15-25 years. Relative to other population age groups, these latter individuals are more likely to be highly mobile and involved in tourism and commercial sex, factors which may increase one's vulnerability to infection. The World Bank has sponsored a regional initiative on HIV/AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean for the period 1996-98 designed to mobilize and unify national and international efforts against HIV and STDs by raising the awareness of regional government administrators, helping to develop a new generation of STD/AIDS control programs to follow the first generation of programs implemented in Brazil and Honduras, and helping the development of regional approaches to STD/AIDS control. The project will cost an estimated US$6.6 million, of which the World Bank will provide approximately US$1.0 million. The initiative will enable countries in the region to share the results of studies in different countries, to build upon the best practices of each others' programs, and to develop strategies for controlling AIDS and STDs across borders. The Bank has also financed projects or project components in Brazil, Haiti, and Honduras. These initiatives are briefly discussed.
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  2. 2
    111088

    Church and state at the United Nations. A case of the emperor's new clothes.

    Kissling F; Shannon D

    CONSCIENCE. 1996 Winter; 16(4):11-2.

    The Vatican invested considerable effort in the attempt to scuttle the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. The Catholic Church's involvement in the conference was highly obstructive. Many are increasingly wondering why a religion has a state-like presence in the international arena and have circulated petitions to have the UN look into the issue. The Vatican owes its participation in the UN to happenstance and diplomatic deference. It began with the membership of the Vatican City in the Universal Postal Union and the International Telecommunication Union, which the city-state joined before World War II due to its operation of postal and radio services. The UN, soon after its formation, invited these organizations and their members to attend UN sessions on an ad hoc basis. In 1964, Pope Paul VI named a permanent observer to the UN and UN Secretary-General U Thant simply accepted the designation and announced it soon thereafter. The Holy See therefore joins Switzerland as one of two Non-Member State Permanent Observers at the UN. The Pope addresses the General Assembly as the head of the Holy See, the supreme organ of government of both the Catholic Church and the Vatican City. The Vatican City, however, has only a weak claim to a seat in the UN, while the Holy See is an even more nebulous, religious construct with no claim at all.
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  3. 3
    111198

    Malawi wakes up to harsh AIDS reality.

    AIDS ANALYSIS AFRICA. 1996 Feb; 6(1):1.

    Considerable data on AIDS in Malawi are available at the local level, but much of the information long languished instead of being formally collected and put together to provide an overall picture of the epidemic in the country. A World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist, however, has completed the first comprehensive, nationwide survey of HIV prevalence rates in Malawi. 1.6 million of Malawi's 11 million population are infected with HIV, making it one of countries in Africa worst affected by the epidemic. In 1995 alone, there were an estimated 265,000 new HIV cases and 74,900 deaths from AIDS. There are also fears about the safety of the blood supply. The WHO survey suggests that three of the country's 62 hospitals are not testing blood for HIV. Moreover, the effectiveness of the system is undermined by the widespread carelessness and dishonesty of overworked technicians who conduct the tests. While the reasons are many and complex for the spread of HIV, it seems that the policies of former President Hastings Kamuzu Banda were a contributory factor. President Banda's neglect of grassroots health care, especially in rural areas, and his refusal to allow public debate on the disease no doubt fueled the spread of HIV in Malawi. Traditional sex practices also probably play a role. For example, in some ethnic groups, young teenage girls are sexually initiated by men specially chosen for their physical prowess. Any one of these men who happens to be HIV-seropositive and has sex with many of these young girls may pass the virus on to many other people.
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  4. 4
    111823
    Peer Reviewed

    Efficacy of a single oral dose of 200,000 iu of oil-soluble vitamin A in measles-associated morbidity.

    Rosales FJ; Kjolhede C; Goodman S

    AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY. 1996 Mar 1; 143(5):413-22.

    In 1991, in Ndola, Zambia, staff at urban health centers randomly allocated children with acute measles who did not require hospitalization to receive either a single oral dose of 200,000 IU of oil-soluble vitamin A (90 children) or a placebo (110 children). (A single oral administration of vitamin A at this dose is recommended by the World Health Organization [WHO]). This double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study aimed to determine whether or not a single oral dose of vitamin A would minimize measles-associated morbidity in children who do not require hospitalization. The cross-sectional analysis revealed that at week 4 the vitamin A group was more likely than the placebo group to have no symptoms of acute respiratory infection (ARI) (93% vs. 78%) and less likely to have pneumonia (0 vs. 12%) (p = 0.005). It did not find any significant association prior to week 4, however. None of the three longitudinal analyses found vitamin A to have a significant benefit on morbidity. These analyses considered the effect of treatment on the movement of individual patients between ARI health states. The odds ratio for pneumonia in children with measles-associated cough and for measles-associated cough or pneumonia in asymptomatic measles patients suggested that vitamin A minimized morbidity (0.73 and 0.52, respectively). Yet vitamin A failed to improve pneumonia (odds ratio = 1.23, in favor of placebo). These findings suggest that a single oral dose of 200,000 IU of oil-soluble vitamin A is not as effective at preventing measles complications as that indicated earlier for two 200,000 IU doses of water-miscible vitamin A. Thus, the WHO recommendations need to be reconsidered.
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  5. 5
    112716
    Peer Reviewed

    Regulatory actions to enhance appropriate drug use: the case of antidiarrhoeal drugs.

    Haak H; Claeson ME

    Social Science and Medicine. 1996 Apr; 42(7):1011-9.

    Inappropriate drug use is a major problem in the control of diarrheal diseases. Addressing the problem, the World Health Organization's (WHO) Program for the Control of Diarrheal Diseases reviewed the literature on the most commonly used antidiarrheal agents, and distributed the resulting document widely in 1990. Individual and group campaigns against the registration and use of antidiarrheal drugs also brought considerable attention to the issue in the popular media. This article evaluates the actions taken against antidiarrheal drugs by national drug regulators during and after these events, January 1989 through December 1993. Information on regulatory actions was requested from countries and extracted from published and unpublished sources. 16 countries reported regulatory actions on 21 occasions during the period of study, with the majority of actions taken against antimotility drugs. Few were against adsorbents, antidiarrheal drugs containing antimicrobials, or adult formulae. Six countries took action against large and heterogenous groups of antidiarrheal drugs, with most actions occurring within two years of the distribution of the WHO review and the attention in the media. Many more antidiarrheal drugs may lose their register in the future through a passive deregistration process. The deregistration of inappropriate drugs, however, will probably take quite a while, with widespread deregistrations unlikely. Moreover, regulatory actions alone are probably not enough to achieve a more appropriate use of drugs. Greater effect can be expected from simultaneous regulatory, managerial, and educational interventions directed at providers, combined with communication to the general public.
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  6. 6
    112739

    Hormonal contraception for men [letter]

    Griffin PD; Farley TM

    Lancet. 1996 Mar 23; 347(9004):830-1.

    The authors explain that Bonn's science and medicine report fails to do justice to recent advances in the search for effective, reversible contraceptive methods for men. Bonn refers to two World Health Organization sponsored clinical studies which established the contraceptive efficacy of hormone-induced azoospermia and severe oligozoospermia, and provided indirect information upon the characteristics and potential acceptability of such methods. Contrary to her supposition, there was no empirical evidence that the nine men in the first study who stopped taking testosterone injections before the full year of contraceptive efficacy did so due to increased aggressiveness. The potential for supraphysiological concentrations of testosterone to induce behavior or mood changes is, however, a genuine concern which needs to be addressed appropriately. Behavioral issues and acceptability to both partners are an important aspect of research into hormonal methods of male fertility regulation. The authors note that although currently available options for men are extremely limited, research into contraception for men is sadly underfunded and underresearched.
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  7. 7
    112655

    Putting women at center of programs. Sadik says women remain at center of UNFPA population and development programming.

    JOICFP NEWS. 1996 Apr; (262):1.

    The Nihon University International Symposium in Tokyo held March 4-7 was about life on earth in the 21st century. It was attended by 300 people. Dr. Nafis Sadik, executive director of UNFPA, gave an overview of the global population situation, noting that environmental degradation is closely linked to population issues as well as the issues of uneven development, poverty, income disparities, wasteful consumption, and gender inequality. The consumption of natural resources, which varies from country to country, is at the heart of the population-environment relationship. The UNFPA has always placed women at the center of its population and development programming. Dr. Sadik explained that the UNFPA's work in developing countries reflects an awareness of the interactions between women's status and environmental, population, and development factors.
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  8. 8
    112651

    WHO releases revised facts on malaria. International (global).

    VACCINE WEEKLY. 1996 Apr 8-15; 11-3.

    Malaria is the world's most important tropical parasitic disease. It kills more people than any other communicable disease except tuberculosis. In many developing countries, especially in Africa, malaria claims an enormous toll in terms of lives lost, medical costs, and lost productivity. The causative agents in humans are the following four species of Plasmodium protozoa: P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae. Of these, P. falciparum accounts for the majority of infections and is the most lethal. Malaria is, however, a curable disease if treated promptly and adequately. The prevalence, characteristics, transmission, drug resistance, research developments, and prevention and control of malaria are discussed.
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  9. 9
    112374

    WHO global AIDS statistics. AIDS cases reported to the World Health Organization as at 7 July 1995.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    AIDS CARE. 1996 Feb; 8(1):127-8.

    Worldwide, 1,169,811 AIDS cases had been reported to the World Health Organization as of July 7, 1995: 141,275 in Europe, 580,129 in the Americas, 418,051 in Africa, 23,912 in Asia, and 6444 in Oceania. At 441,528 cases, the US has the largest number of reported AIDS cases of any country in the world. It is estimated that there have been more than 4,500,000 cumulative AIDS cases worldwide in adults and children as of July 7, 1995: 4% of which are in Europe, more than 9% in the Americas excluding the US, 9% in the US, more than 70% in Africa, less than 6% in Asia, and less than 1% in Oceania. The actual reported proportion of cases per region are as follows: 12% in Europe, 12% in the Americas excluding the US, 38% in the US, 35.5% in Africa, 2% in Asia, and 0.5% in Oceania. The estimated distribution of cumulative adult HIV infections as of mid-1995 is as follows: 1.1 million in North America, 2 million in Latin America and the Caribbean, 600,000 in Western Europe, 150,000 in North Africa and the Middle East, more than 11 million in sub-Saharan Africa, more than 50,000 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, more than 50,000 in East Asia and the Pacific, 3.5 million in South and Southeast Asia, and more than 25,000 in Australasia. The estimated distribution of HIV prevalence in adults as of mid-1995 is as follows: more than 750,000 in North America, more than 1.5 million in Latin America and the Caribbean, 450,000 in Western Europe, more than 100,000 in North Africa and the Middle East, 8.5 million in sub-Saharan Africa, more than 50,000 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, more than 50,000 in East Asia and the Pacific, more than 3 million in South and Southeast Asia, and more than 20,000 in Australasia.
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  10. 10
    113222

    Technology to save millions, extends vaccine outreach programs. Vaccine management.

    VACCINE WEEKLY. 1996 Apr 22; 16.

    Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), Seattle, Washington, has collaborated in developing a technology that improves the delivery of vaccines in the developing world. HEATmarker is a vaccine vial label which changes color with exposure to heat over time. This allows health workers to verify--at time of use--that each vial of vaccine is in usable condition and has not lost its potency due to heat exposure. Vaccine vial monitors (VVMs) have recently been mandated on all oral polio vaccine purchased and distributed by UNICEF throughout the world. "Vaccine vial monitors will revolutionize the way vaccines are delivered, enabling them to be administered in remote areas, outside the reach of the traditional 'cold chain' that extends from manufacturer to consumer. As a result, millions more children in remote parts of the world will have access to oral polio and other vaccines," states Peter Evans of the World Health Organization (WHO), Global Programme for Vaccine and Immunization. Evans adds, "WHO expects that $10 million a year will be saved for oral polio vaccine alone." VVMs will enable health workers to use vaccine that would otherwise have been discarded. Until now, health workers disposed of any polio vaccine that may not have been properly refrigerated in transport or that had been opened but not used because they were unable to tell if it was potent. In the future, WHO intends to require VVMs on vaccines for measles, hepatitis B, and other childhood diseases, which will result in millions more lives and dollars being saved. (full text)
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  11. 11
    113360

    Sexual reality. The gap between family planning services and clients' needs.

    Gordon G

    In: Learning about sexuality: a practical beginning, edited by Sondra Zeidenstein and Kirsten Moore. New York, New York, Population Council, 1996. 363-79.

    IPPF's AIDS Prevention Unit (APU) conducted HIV prevention training workshops for key staff of family planning associations (FPAs) in West Africa. The experience of these workshops and the findings of a 1992 needs assessment among selected FPAs have articulated the nature of the gap between clients' needs and social norms and providers' values in relation to sexual behavior. This chapter of the book entitled Learning about Sexuality: A Practical Beginning examines how sexual options to minimize the risk of HIV infection (condom use, abstinence, fidelity within marriage, and nonpenetrative sex) correspond with the realities of the attitudes and sexual lives of different client groups. It also addresses how effective these options are in preventing HIV/AIDS. Another discussion revolves around the extent providers help clients determine the best HIV prevention strategy for themselves. The book also covers whether providers help clients overcome gender inequalities that place them at risk of HIV infection or reinforce gender stereotypes. Significant obstacles among the work of the APU include providers' long-standing attitudes, biases, and perception; consideration of counseling and education as if the clients can freely decide what to do about sex; providers' concern for social and moral well-being of clients; and conflict between contraceptive targets and the mandate to provide clients with the information needed to make informed choices about reproductive and sexual health. The book provides four steps to address these obstacles and to change the behavior of both FPA staff and clients in order to close the gap between their goals and perception: structured sessions on gender issues in FPA staff training and actively challenge gender discrimination and attitudes that result in sexual ill health; structured activities on religion, traditional sexual culture, and sexual health in FPA staff training; pilot projects that test the feasibility of FPAs using a participatory community development approach in sexual health; and network with groups that have resources to address some underlying determinants of sexual health.
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  12. 12
    113989

    AIDS deaths may exceed 100,000 per year in Uganda over the next 25 years.

    Hollander D

    International Family Planning Perspectives. 1996 Jun; 22(2):87-8.

    The World Bank began a study in 1990 to assess the demographic and economic impact of AIDS in Uganda. It determined that as of 1993, an estimated 15% of Uganda's adult population, 1.3 million people, was infected with HIV. The annual number of AIDS-related deaths has been climbing steadily and is not likely to peak until early in the next century. AIDS deaths may exceed 100,000 per year in Uganda over the next 25 years. The epidemic has also increased child mortality rates and decreased life expectancy at birth. These findings are based upon data from a variety of sources, including a 1987-88 serological survey, the 1991 census, the national AIDS control program, and numerous small-scale studies of HIV infection. The researchers based fertility and mortality estimates upon data from the 1988-89 Demographic and Health Survey. Current HIV and AIDS prevalence, projected prevalence, demographic implications, and recommendations are presented.
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  13. 13
    113870

    Inayatullah takes Vision 2000 forward. IPPF.

    Inayatullah A

    JOICFP NEWS. 1996 Jun; (264):6-7.

    Dr. Attiya Inayatullah is the newly appointed president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). She expresses her hopes that Japan people through its national and local government institutions and the Diet will continue to support IPPF objectives. Inayatullah commends the positive and consistent role played by the Japanese parliamentarians and recognizes the excellent work of the Municipal Coordinating Committee for Overseas Bicycle Assistance. Japan is of particular importance to the IPPF because it is actively helping the global process of democratization. Inayatullah discusses the IPPF's commitment to women, women and HIV/AIDS, empowering women, and the role of nongovernmental organizations.
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  14. 14
    114042

    UNFPA committed to ICPD goals.

    POPULATION HEADLINERS. 1996 Mar-Apr; (251):5.

    In April 1996, at the 52nd Session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), a UNFPA representative told participants that recent series of international conferences have acknowledged that development must focus on meeting human needs. The increasing urban population is in need of education, housing, employment, health care, improved water supply, sanitation, and public transportation. Countries of the Asia-Pacific region must deal with meeting these urban needs over the next quarter century. Urban population growth and urban poverty are part of the global agenda for the 21st century. Future UNFPA aid will center on helping individual countries achieve the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development by 2015. These goals revolve around education (especially for girls); reducing infant, child, and maternal mortality; and providing universal access to reproductive health services. UNFPA aims to continue to work with governments, ESCAP, and nongovernmental organizations in reducing poverty through sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.
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  15. 15
    114049

    Thai royalty honours four for family planning.

    POPULATION HEADLINERS. 1996 Jan-Feb; (250):2.

    A committee of health specialists selected four physicians and scientists out of 66 candidates to receive the distinguished Prince Mahidol Award. The Thai Royal Family awarded each of them medals, certificates, and US$50,000 for their exceptional contributions to family planning. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presented the awards to each recipient on January 31, 1996. UNFPA's Executive Director, Dr. Nafis Sadik, was recognized for her leadership at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. IPPF President, Dr. Frederick Sai, who also serves as a public health professor at the University of Ghana, received honors for promoting family planning in Africa. Dr. Carl Djerassi, an organic chemistry professor at Stanford University in California, was selected for his research in developing oral contraceptives. Dr. Egon Diczfalusy, a retired professor of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, was honored for his reproductive endocrinology research, especially his work on the reproductive system's steroid hormones. The Prince Mahidol Foundation serves to celebrate the birth of Prince Mahidol of Songkhla, the father of the King of Thailand and the Father of Thai Medicine.
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  16. 16
    112922

    Nafis Sadik on implementation of the Cairo Program of Action.

    Sadik N

    POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW. 1996 Mar; 22(1):193-7.

    The 29th session of the UN Commission on Population and Development was held in New York from February 26 through March 1, 1996. Comprised of representatives from 47 countries, the commission meets annually and provides advice to the Economic and Social Council on matters relating to population and development. The commission also monitors the work of UN bodies in the field. Important on the commission's agenda was the examination of progress on the implementation of the Program of Action adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt, in September 1994. A statement on this issue was delivered February 26 by Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). The UNFPA is the lead agency designated by the Secretary-General to implement the Program of Action within the UN system. Dr. Sadik's complete statement is presented.
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  17. 17
    113851

    Mass polio vaccination. Eradication by 2000 is a realistic goal [editorial]

    Chander J; Subrahmanyan S

    BMJ. British Medical Journal. 1996 May 11; 312(7040):1178-9.

    Mass administration of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) will effect eradicate poliomyelitis in developing countries. Since 1974 the World Health Organization (WHO) has operated the expanded program on immunization (EPI). Progress has been so successful that in 1988 WHO/EPI announced its commitment to global eradication of poliomyelitis by 2000. Strategies to achieve global eradication are increasing and sustaining coverage with PVO, conducting national immunization days, developing surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis, and mopping up vaccination campaigns. EPI helps countries change their national disease prevention programs into disease eradication programs. During 1988-94 the number of reported cases of poliomyelitis decreased by 84%. In 1994 India made up 93% of the regional total and 62% of the global total. Polio has almost disappeared from many developed countries. Since South East Asia is still a major global reservoir of polio viruses, WHO is implementing polio eradication strategies fully there. The mass polio vaccination campaign in most developing countries distributes two doses of PVO to all children aged 5 or less. In areas where wild poliovirus still circulates at low levels during the final stages of eradication, door to door administration of the two doses to all young children is undertaken in order to further reduce its circulation in these areas. This door to door campaign operates alongside routine polio vaccination. Pulse or cluster immunization is being successfully implemented in India. The effect of OPV is that it mimics natural infection and produces both humoral and intestinal immunity much faster than the inactivated polio vaccine. It blocks infection with the wild polio virus by establishing itself in the alimentary tract. Further, the vaccine virus spreads to children who have not been vaccinated, extending immunity to the wider population without additional expenditure. Improving vaccine delivery systems (improved maintenance of the cold chain) rather than changing immunization schedules is needed to achieve eradication. Wild poliovirus transmission has been interrupted in the Americas.
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  18. 18
    114031

    The ICPD Program of Action and its implications to population programs.

    Raymundo C

    In: Proceedings of the Operations Research Training Workshop for Program Managers and Researchers, January 15-21, 1996, Puerto Galera Hotel, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines, [compiled by] Philippines. Department of Health. Family Planning Service and Population Council. Asia and Near East Operations Research and Technical Assistance Project. Manila, Philippines, Department of Health, Family Planning Service, 1996. 13-8. (USAID Contract No. DPE-3030-C-00-0022-00)

    This document was prepared as part of the training material used during an operations research training workshop for program managers and researchers held in 1996 in the Philippines. The first part of the document describes the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) by placing it in the context of other UN-sponsored international conferences which have taken place since the 1974 World Plan of Action was devised in Bucharest. The relevance of the ICPD to the current world situation is explained by noting that the ICPD acknowledgement of the link between population and development represents a major advancement in the development paradigm which puts individual needs at the center. The concept of sustainable development, also advanced by the ICPD, requires a paradigm shift to the view that environmental protection can be linked to economic growth and poverty reduction. Following these initiatives, population concerns no longer rest with demographic targets, and family planning becomes important as a tool to empower people, especially women, to realize their individual goals. The second part of this paper summarizes the premises and program implications contained in the ICPD Programme of Action as they apply to 1) population, sustained economic growth, and sustainable development; 2) gender equality, gender equity, and women's empowerment; 3) family roles, rights, composition, and structure; 4) population growth and structure; 5) reproductive health and reproductive rights; and 6) health, morbidity, and mortality.
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  19. 19
    114587

    RI sends family planning consultants to Asia and Africa.

    POPULATION, FAMILY PLANNING, AND PROSPEROUS FAMILY NEWSLETTER. 1996 Mar; (2):8.

    The Office of the Minister for Population Affairs in mid-1996 planned to send nine family planning consultants to several countries in Asia and Africa to help make a success of the family planning programs in these countries. Population Affairs Minister, concurrently Chairman of the National Family Planning Coordinating Board (BKKBN), Haryono Suyono, when opening a training program for the family planning consultants in Jakarta, said that the training program was organized under a cooperation between Indonesia, the UN Family Planning Agency, and the US Government. The training was also a realization of South-South cooperation in family planning and population affairs agreed upon at the World Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994. Nine of the participants were from Minister Suyono's office and the Association of Indonesian Family Planning. The training will last four months and the participants will be thoroughly trained in computer application, English, and how a consultant should work. The instructors came from Johns Hopkins University in the US, BKKBN consultants, the International Population and Family Planning Training Centre, and English teachers from the US. The BKKBN has in the last five years trained a total of 29 family planning consultants for assignment in 10 Asian and African countries, including Ethiopia, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Laos, Fiji, and Vietnam. In the meantime, the International Family Planning and Population Training Centre in Jakarta has since 1987 trained 2500 family planning officials from 87 countries in Asia and Africa. (full text modified)
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  20. 20
    114167
    Peer Reviewed

    Safe use of iodized oil to prevent iodine deficiency in pregnant women. A statement.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 1996; 74(1):1-3.

    Salt iodization is the best way to correct iodine deficiency. However, in areas of moderate and severe iodine deficiency where salt iodization is not yet in place, periodic large doses of iodine are frequently administered to all women of childbearing age, orally or by injection, in the form of slowly resorbable iodized oil. The World Health Organization convened a meeting of a group of experts to review and evaluate the results of this practice with regard to its risks and expected benefits. The group determined that it is safe to administer iodized oil at any time during pregnancy to prevent and control moderate and severe iodine deficiency. Maximum protection against endemic cretinism and neonatal hypothyroidism will, however, be achieved when iodized oil is given prior to conception. These conclusions are approved by the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD). The potential benefits greatly outweigh the potential risks in areas of moderate and severe iodine deficiency disorders, where iodized salt is unavailable and unlikely to be made available within one to two years.
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  21. 21
    114068

    Statement.

    Sadik N

    [Unpublished] 1996. Presented at the Twenty-ninth Session of the Commission on Population and Development, New York, New York, 26 February 1996. 12 p.

    The author, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund, explains to the UN Commission on Population and Development how the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) brought the international community together around one of the world's most pressing issues and facilitated the establishment of consensus among both developed and developing countries on a wide variety of issues. The primary challenge now is to transform that consensus into action. The challenge has been taken up by developed countries, developing countries, regions, and multilateral agencies and organizations. Dr. Sadik presents reports to the commission describing trends and activities at different levels in the areas of reproductive health, reproductive rights, and population information, education, and communication.
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  22. 22
    114619

    Traditional medicine and WHO.

    Zhang X

    WORLD HEALTH. 1996 Mar-Apr; 49(2):4-5.

    In 1977, the year in which the World Health Organization (WHO) Traditional Medicine Program was established, the World Health Assembly urged governments to give their traditional systems of medicine the greater attention which they need and merit. Appropriate regulations should be developed and applied as suited to national health system needs. Traditional medicine plays a major role in primary health care in many developing countries, and its use has increased in recent years. WHO understands that while many elements of traditional medicine are beneficial, others are not. The organization therefore does not blindly endorse all forms of traditional medicine, but works to ensure that traditional medicine is examined critically and objectively, and that safe and effective forms of traditional medicine are developed and made available to the public. WHO supports research and training in traditional medicine in member states. National policy, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and training and research are discussed.
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  23. 23
    114793

    The EU and ICPD. Slow on the uptake.

    POPULI. 1996 Mar; 23(1):9-10.

    Members of the European Commission on Women are concerned that the European Union (EU) is failing to play an adequate role in financing the implementation of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development's (ICPD) Program of Action. It was observed in a Commission report quoted in the World Population Foundation NGO Newsletter that two years after the ICPD, progress has been very disappointing, both globally and in terms of the efforts made to realize accepted goals. The commission is drafting a resolution calling for more joint financing of population and development programs and for nongovernmental organizations (NGO) to be given more direct access to EU initiatives and funding. The resolution will be voted upon in the commission and tentatively in June in the European Parliament. Adoption of the resolution by the European Parliament will affirm the following beliefs: that population policies must be an integral part of economic, social, and cultural development, with their main objective being to improve the quality of life for everyone and to preserve it for future generations; that freedom of choice regarding reproduction is a fundamental human right; and that women's access to health services, reproductive health, and family planning remains inadequate.
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  24. 24
    114804

    Maternity. Greater peril?

    POPULI. 1996 Mar; 23(1):4-5.

    Worldwide, approximately 585,000 maternal deaths occur each year, 99% of them in developing countries. In the developing world, the maternal mortality ratio, the risk of dying during pregnancy or childbirth, ranges from slightly under 200 per 100,000 live births in Latin America and the Caribbean to more than 870 per 100,000 in Africa, with the highest ratios in East and West Africa. Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland have the lowest national figures, while the highest are in Sierra Leone and Afghanistan with 1800 and 1700 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, respectively. In Sierra Leone, one woman in every seven dies of pregnancy-related complications. A recent joint two-year World Health Organization and UNICEF study has determined that there are almost 80,000 more pregnancy-related deaths per year than previously believed.
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  25. 25
    114767

    AIDS: a global response [editorial]

    Piot P

    SCIENCE. 1996 Jun 28; 272:1855.

    There are an estimated 21 million people infected with at least one of the 10 known subtypes of HIV worldwide, with more than 8500 people newly infected daily. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 40,000 US citizens became infected last year with HIV. In heavily affected countries in Africa and Asia, where 33% of urban adults may be infected, AIDS deaths among young and middle-aged adults are threatening health systems, economies, and national stability. Global travel facilitates the spread of HIV worldwide. For the first time, however, a number of developing countries are registering a drop in new HIV infections, suggesting that prevention efforts focused upon safer sexual and drug-related behavior are working. Recent scientific breakthroughs are encouraging. Combination therapy with antiretroviral drugs may be able to not only defer the progression of disease and improve the quality of life, but turn HIV infection into a chronic nonprogressive condition. Furthermore, it has been determined that zidovudine can interrupt mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Research, however, remains central to preventing future HIV transmission. The development of accessible vaccines and vaginal microbicides are especially needed. The author notes that although 90% of HIV infections worldwide are in developing countries, AIDS intelligence and research and development are overwhelmingly concentrated in the industrialized world. In this context, efforts must be made to ensure the development of vaccines and therapies which are accessible and effective against AIDS in the developing world. The new Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has an important role to play in establishing a much needed partnership between developing and developed countries.
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