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Rawal Medical Journal. 2018 Jul-Sep; 43(3):462-466.Objective: To evaluate the nutritional status of the Pakistani children aged 2-5 years. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 1474 children, aged 2-5 years, was undertaken from Multan, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Pakistan from March-June, 2016. The head circumference (HdC) measurement of each subject was taken. Following the WHO age and sex-specific cut-off points, nutritional status of children was determined. Results: The mean age and HdC of the total subjects was4.15±0.87 years and 48.51 ±1.79 cm, respectively. Mean HdC increased with advancement of age in both boys and girls. Moderate under-nutrition was more prevalent than severe under-nutrition in both genders. Based on the HdC, the overall (age and sex combined) percentage of under-nourishment was 16.2 while these percentages were 16.4 and 15.8 for girls and boys, respectively. Conclusion: The study showed that a considerable number of Pakistani children were undernourished. A high rate of under-nutrition was observed in girls than in boys.
Perinatal outcomes in twin pregnancies complicated by maternal morbidity: evidence from the WHO Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Nov 20; 18(1):449.BACKGROUND: Twin pregnancy was associated with significantly higher rates of adverse neonatal and perinatal outcomes, especially for the second twin. In addition, the maternal complications (potentially life-threatening conditions-PLTC, maternal near miss-MNM, and maternal mortality-MM) are directly related to twin pregnancy and independently associated with adverse perinatal outcome. The objective of the preset study is to evaluate perinatal outcomes associated with twin pregnancies, stratified by severe maternal morbidity and order of birth. METHODS: Secondary analysis of the WHO Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health (WHOMCS), a cross-sectional study implemented in 29 countries. Data from 8568 twin deliveries were compared with 308,127 singleton deliveries. The occurrence of adverse perinatal outcomes and maternal complications were assessed. Factors independently associated with adverse perinatal outcomes were reported with adjusted PR (Prevalence Ratio) and 95%CI. RESULTS: The occurrence of severe maternal morbidity and maternal death was significantly higher among twin compared to singleton pregnancies in all regions. Twin deliveries were associated with higher rates of preterm delivery (37.1%), Apgar scores less than 7 at 5th minute (7.8 and 10.1% respectively for first and second twins), low birth weight (53.2% for the first and 61.1% for the second twin), stillbirth (3.6% for the first and 5.7% for the second twin), early neonatal death (3.5% for the first and 5.2% for the second twin), admission to NICU (23.6% for the first and 29.3% for the second twin) and any adverse perinatal outcomes (67% for the first twin and 72.3% for the second). Outcomes were consistently worse for the second twin across all outcomes. Poisson multiple regression analysis identified several factors independently associated with an adverse perinatal outcome, including both maternal complications and twin pregnancy. CONCLUSION: Twin pregnancy is significantly associated with severe maternal morbidity and with worse perinatal outcomes, especially for the second twin.
The need for contraception in patients taking prescription drugs: a review of FDA warning labels, duration of effects, and mechanisms of action.
Expert Opinion On Drug Safety. 2018 Nov 3; 1-13.INTRODUCTION: This review provides a guide for the rational use of prescription drugs in patients of reproductive age. Areas covered: A comprehensive retrieval of the labels of FDA-approved drugs was performed to identify drugs where the label recommends contraceptive use during and/or after treatment. The acquired data were analyzed and organized into a table. Contraception was recommended or mandated for 268 single-ingredient drugs. These could be divided into four main categories, with many having effects across several categories: 177 drugs required contraception because they were associated with pregnancy loss or stillbirth, 177 drugs were associated with teratogenesis, 136 were associated with non-teratogenic adverse peri- or postnatal effects on the fetus (e.g. low birth weight), and 44 were associated with decreased efficacy of contraception or a change in ovulatory cycle. We also discuss the period of time contraception is required, as well as the known or hypothesized reasons for the reproductive toxicity of these agents. Expert opinion: We have provided a comprehensive overview of the FDA-approved drugs where the warning labels currently stipulate that contraception should be used. Although other references are available for clinicians, this review provides a useful source of information regarding the single-ingredient prescription drugs that may affect the outcome of pregnancy. This information is particularly relevant for researchers, as it provides an overview of the different drugs with reproductive toxicity, and because it highlights the specific needs for future research. In particular, more work (especially epidemiological studies) is needed to clarify the clinical relevance of these findings, most of which were obtained through animal studies.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2018 Dec; 96(12):798-799.Add to my documents.
Use of Service Provision Assessments and Service Availability and Readiness Assessments for monitoring quality of maternal and newborn health services in low-income and middl-income countries.
BMJ Global Health. 2018 Dec 1; 3(6):e001011.Improving the quality of maternal and newborn health (MNH) services is key to reducing adverse MNH outcomes in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Service Provision Assessment (SPA) and Service Availability and Readiness Assessment (SARA) are the most widely employed, standardised tools that generate health service delivery data in LMICs. We ascertained the use of SPA/SARA surveys for assessing the quality of MNH services using a two-step approach: a SPA/SARA questionnaire mapping exercise in line with WHO’s Quality of Care (QoC) Framework for pregnant women and newborns and the WHO quality standards for care around the time of childbirth; and a scoping literature review, searching for articles that report SPA/SARA data. SPA/SARA surveys are well suited to assess the WHO Framework’s cross-cutting dimensions (physical and human resources); SPA also captures elements in the provision and experience of care domains for antenatal care and family planning. Only 4 of 31 proposed WHO quality indicators around the time of childbirth can be fully generated using SPA and SARA surveys, while 19 and 23 quality indicators can be partially obtained from SARA and SPA surveys, respectively; most of these are input indicators. Use of SPA/SARA data is growing, but there is considerable variation in methods employed to measure MNH QoC. With SPA/SARA data available in 30 countries, MNH QoC assessments could benefit from guidance for creating standard metrics. Adding questions in SPA/SARA surveys to assess the WHO QoC Framework’s provision and experience of care dimensions would fill significant data gaps in LMICs.
JAMA. 2018 Sep 18; 320(11):1098.Add to my documents.
Lancet. 2018 May 12; 391(10133):1886.Add to my documents.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2018. 116 p.The guideline uses state-of-the-art evidence to identify effective policy options to strengthen community health worker (CHW) programme performance through their proper integration in health systems and communities. The development of this guideline followed the standardized WHO approach. This entailed a critical analysis of the available evidence, including 16 systematic reviews of the evidence, a stakeholder perception survey to assess feasibility and acceptability of the policy options under consideration, and the deliberations of a Guideline Development Group which comprised representation from policy makers and planners from Member States, experts, labour unions, professional associations and CHWs. Critical to the success of these efforts will be ensuring appropriate labour conditions and opportunities for professional development, as well as creating a health ecosystem in which workers at different levels collaborate to meet health needs. Adapted to context, the guideline is a tool that supports optimizing health policies and systems to achieve significant gains to meet the ambition of universal access to primary health care services.
Making the leap into the next generation: A commentary on how Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is supporting countries' supply chain transformations in 2016-2020.
Vaccine. 2017 Apr 19; 35(17):2110-2114.Add to my documents.
Engaging young people for health and sustainable development. Strategic opportunities for the World Health Organization and partners.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2018. 72 p. (WHO/CDS/TB/2018.22)This report builds on WHO’s long-standing work on young people’s health and rights, including the Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030), the Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!) guidance, and contribution to the new UN Youth Strategy. It was developed as part of the roadmap towards the development of a WHO strategy for engaging young people and young professionals. The world today has the largest generation of young people in history with 1.8 billion between the ages of 10 and 24 years. Many of them already are driving transformative change, and many more are poised to do so, but lack the opportunity and means. This cohort represents a powerhouse of human potential that could transform health and sustainable development. A priority is to ensure that no young person is left behind and all can realize their right to health equitably and without discrimination or hindrance. This force for change represents an unparalleled opportunity for the WHO and partners to transform the way they engage with young people, including to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This report describes strategic opportunities to meaningfully engage young people in transforming health and sustainable development. This will mean providing opportunities for young people’s leadership and for their engagement with national, regional and global programmes.
Private sector: Who is accountable? for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. 2018 report. Summary of recommendations.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2018. 12 p.This report presents five recommendations, which are addressed to governments, parliaments, the judiciary, the United Nations (UN) system, the UN Global Compact, the Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) partners, donors, civil society and the private sector itself. Recommendations include: 1) Access to services and the right to health. To achieve universal access to services and protect the health and related rights of women, children and adolescents, governments should regulate private as well as public sector providers. Parliaments should strengthen legislation and ensure oversight for its enforcement. The UHC2030 partnership should drive political leadership at the highest level to address private sector transparency and accountability. 2) The pharmaceutical industry and equitable access to medicines. To ensure equitable, affordable access to quality essential medicines and related health products for all women, children and adolescents, governments and parliaments should strengthen policies and regulation governing the pharmaceutical industry. 3) The food industry, obesity and NCDs. To tackle rising obesity and NCDs among women, children and adolescents, governments and parliaments should regulate the food and beverage industry, and adopt a binding global convention. Ministries of education and health should educate students and the public at large about diet and exercise, and set standards in school-based programmes. Related commitments should be included in the next G20 Summit agenda. 4) The UN Global Compact and the EWEC partners. The UN Global Compact and the EWEC partners should strengthen their monitoring and accountability standards for engagement of the business sector, with an emphasis on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. They should advocate for accountability of the for-profit sector to be put on the global agenda for achieving UHC and the SDGs, including at the 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the Health Summit. The UN H6 Partnership entities and the GFF should raise accountability standards in the country programmes they support. 5) Donors and business engagement in the SDGs. Development cooperation partners should ensure that transparency and accountability standards aligned with public health are applied throughout their engagement with the for-profit sector. They should invest in national regulatory and oversight capacities, and also regulate private sector actors headquartered in their countries.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2018. 80 p.In line with the mandate from the UN Secretary-General, every year the IAP issues a report that provides an independent snapshot of progress on delivering promises to the world’s women, children and adolescents for their health and well-being. Recommendations are included on ways to help fast-track action to achieve the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals - from the specific lens of accountability, of who is responsible for delivering on promises, to whom, and how. The theme of the IAP’s 2018 report is accountability of the private sector. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will not be achieved without the active and meaningful involvement of the private sector. Can the private sector be held accountable for protecting women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health? And if so, who is responsible for holding them to account, and what are the mechanisms for doing so? This report looks at three key areas of private sector engagement: health service delivery the pharmaceutical industry and access to medicines the food industry and its significant influence on health and nutrition, with a focus NCDs and rising obesity.
Maternal and Child Health. 2018 Sep 8;  p.Promoting exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) is a highly feasible and cost-effective means of improving child health. Regulating the marketing of breastmilk substitutes is critical to protecting EBF. In 1981, the World Health Assembly adopted the World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (the Code), prohibiting the unethical advertising and promotion of breastmilk substitutes. This comparative study aimed to (a) explore the relationships among Code enforcement and legislation, infant formula sales, and EBF in India, Vietnam, and China; (b) identify best practices for Code operationalization; and (c) identify pathways by which Code implementation may influence EBF. We conducted secondary descriptive analysis of available national-level data and seven high level key informant interviews. Findings indicate that the implementation of the Code is a necessary but insufficient step alone to improve breastfeeding outcomes. Other enabling factors, such as adequate maternity leave, training on breastfeeding for health professionals, health systems strengthening through the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, and breastfeeding counselling for mothers, are needed. Several infant formula industry strategies with strong conflict of interest were identified as harmful to EBF. Transitioning breastfeeding programmes from donor-led to government-owned is essential for long-term sustainability of Code implementation and enforcement. We conclude that the relationships among the Code, infant formula sales, and EBF in India, Vietnam, and China are dependent on countries' engagement with implementation strategies and the presence of other enabling factors.
Maternal and Child Health. 2018 Sep 11;  p.The Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) framework is an evidence-based set of cost-effective, integrated tools for training health and community workers to promote optimal nutrition practices for the first 1,000 days. This ENA pilot project (ENAPP) was implemented with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funding from August 2008 to September 2009 in six unions of the working area of an existing USAID-funded, Title II programme in southern Bangladesh. ENAPP, which targeted governmental and non-governmental service providers, was intended to strengthen the behaviour change component of the nutrition strategy of this project. Following a qualitative review of ENAPP's activities, this evaluation uses administrative (growth monitoring) data and propensity score matching of pre-intervention characteristics to create multiple counterfactuals for difference-in-difference estimations of the impact of ENAPP on child nutritional status. Records indicated that government and community healthcare workers received intensive training, and these staff reported that they could effectively integrate ENA messages into their existing responsibilities. Both longitudinal and cross-sectional analyses indicate that ENAPP was successful in increasing children's weight-for-age z-scores, and the difference in z-scores between the treatment and the comparison group increased with time. The materials and methods used in this pilot project should be scaled up, based on the success of these tools and the project's ability to link with and influence the local health system.
AIDS. 2016 Oct 23; 30(16):2569-2570.Add to my documents.
Adaptation of the WHO maternal near miss tool for use in sub-Saharan Africa: an International Delphi study.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2017 Dec 29; 17(1):445.BACKGROUND: Assessments of maternal near miss (MNM) are increasingly used in addition to those of maternal mortality measures. The World Health Organization (WHO) has introduced an MNM tool in 2009, but this tool was previously found to be of limited applicability in several low-resource settings. The aim of this study was to identify adaptations to enhance applicability of the WHO MNM tool in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Using a Delphi consensus methodology, existing MNM tools were rated for applicability in sub-Saharan Africa over a series of three rounds. Maternal health experts from sub-Saharan Africa or with considerable knowledge of the context first rated importance of WHO MNM parameters using Likert scales, and were asked to suggest additional parameters. This was followed by two confirmation rounds. Parameters accepted by at least 70% of the panel members were accepted for use in the region. RESULTS: Of 58 experts who participated from study onset, 47 (81%) completed all three rounds. Out of the 25 WHO MNM parameters, all 11 clinical, four out of eight laboratory, and four out of six management-based parameters were accepted, while six parameters (PaO2/FiO2 < 200 mmHg, bilirubin >100 mumol/l or >6.0 mg/dl, pH <7.1, lactate >5 mumol/l, dialysis for acute renal failure and use of continuous vasoactive drugs) were deemed to not be applicable. An additional eight parameters (uterine rupture, sepsis/severe systemic infection, eclampsia, laparotomy other than caesarean section, pulmonary edema, severe malaria, severe complications of abortions and severe pre-eclampsia with ICU admission) were suggested for inclusion into an adapted sub-Saharan African MNM tool. CONCLUSIONS: All WHO clinical criteria were accepted for use in the region. Only few of the laboratory- and management based were rated applicable. This study brought forward important suggestions for adaptations in the WHO MNM criteria to enhance its applicability in sub-Saharan Africa and possibly other low-resource settings.
Institutionalizing postpartum family planning and postpartum intrauterine device services in Nepal: role of training and mentorship.
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2018 Sep; 143(Suppl 1):43-48.Objective: To explore the perceptions of key stakeholders on different modalities of training and mentoring activities for healthcare providers of postpartum family planning and postpartum intrauterine devices (PPFP/PPIUD). Methods: In this qualitative study, data were collected from 40 participants in December 2017 via focus group discussions (FGD) and in-depth interviews (IDI) in three hospitals implementing PPFP/PPIUD services and government line agencies in Nepal. Data were analyzed through content analysis and grouped into themes and categories. Results: The majority of participants reported that PPFP/PPIUD training and mentoring was useful and contributed to their professional development. Most found that on- the- job training (OJT) was more effective than group-based training (GBT). Conclusion: Training and mentoring activities were perceived to be useful by health providers and OJT was the approach preferred by the majority. Further studies are necessary to explore the existing challenges and long-term effects of each modality of training and mentoring on health providers’ competency and attitudes and on the uptake of PPIUD by postpartum mothers.
Guidance on ethical considerations in planning and reviewing research studies on sexual and reproductive health in adolescents.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization, 2018. 52 p.This document is intended to address commonly occurring situations and challenges that one faces in carrying out research with adolescents (people aged 10–19 years), the majority of whom are deemed not to have reached the recognized age of majority in their respective settings. To this end, adolescents aged 18 and 19 years are classified as adults in many settings and have the legal capacity to make autonomous decisions regarding their participation in research. In this document, the term “children” refers to people below the age of 18 years, and the term “minor adolescents” refers specifically to people aged 10-18 years.
Safety Profile of Levonorgestrel: A Disproportionality Analysis of Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System (Faers) Database.
Journal of Reproduction and Infertility. 2018 Jul-Sep; 19(3):152-156.Background: Levonorgestrel is most commonly utilized as an emergency oral contraceptive. Little is known and/or studied about the adverse effects of levonorgestrel, therefore, current investigation was aimed to generate signal for unreported adverse drug reactions of levonorgestrel using disproportionality analysis in food and drug administration adverse events reporting system database. Methods: In FDA Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS) database, all adverse event reports for levonorgestrel between January 2006 to June 2015 were identified and disproportionality analysis was conducted for selected adverse events of levonorgestrel using Reporting Odds Ratio, Proportional Reporting Ratio and Information Component with 95% confidence interval. Results: A disproportionality analysis was done for 15 adverse events of levonorgestrel; out of these, signal for 10 adverse events was found and among them menstruation delayed was reported maximum (1791), followed by pregnancy after post-coital contraception (942), breast tenderness (901), metrorrhagia (899), dysmenorrhea (822), menorrhagia (541), nipple disorder (141), breast enlargement (77), ectopic pregnancy (61) and premenstrual syndrome (35). Pregnancy after post-coital contraception showed the highest signal having the Information Component value of 129.2, Reporting Odds Ratio value of 6.51 and Proportional Reporting Ratio value of 6.49. Conclusion: In this paper, ten novel AEs were identified that were disproportionately reported with the use of LNG by using data mining techniques. Although a causal relationship cannot be established, the number of cases reported suggests that there might be an association. If confirmed by epidemiologic studies, the findings from this study would have potential implications for the use of LNG and patient management in clinical practice.
Global Health, Science and Practice. 2018 Jun 27; 6(2):247-248.Add to my documents.
Global Health, Science and Practice. 2018 Mar 21; 6(1):8-16.Add to my documents.
Global Health, Science and Practice. 2018 Jun 27; 6(2):257-259.Add to my documents.
NewsCAP: The WHO releases Consolidated Guideline on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women Living with HIV.
American Journal of Nursing. 2018 Jul; 118(7):17.Add to my documents.
Adoption of the 2015 World Health Organization guidelines on antiretroviral therapy: Programmatic implications for India.
WHO South - East Asia Journal of Public Health. 2017 Apr; 6(1):90-93.The therapeutic and preventive benefits of early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV are now well established. Reflecting new research evidence, in 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended initiation of ART for all people living with HIV (PLHIV), irrespective of their clinical staging and CD4 cell count. The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) in India is currently following the 2010 WHO ART guidelines for adults and the 2013 guidelines for pregnant women and children. This desk study assessed the number of people living with HIV who will additionally be eligible for ART on adoption of the 2015 WHO recommendations on ART. Data routinely recorded for all PLHIV registered under the NACP up to 31 December 2015 were analysed. Of the 250 865 individuals recorded in pre-ART care, an estimated 135 593 would be eligible under the WHO 2013 guidelines. A further 100 221 would be eligible under the WHO 2015 guidelines. Initiating treatment for all PLHIV in pre-ART care would raise the number on ART from 0.92 million to 1.17 million. In addition, nearly 0.07 million newly registered PLHIV will become eligible every year if the WHO 2015 guidelines are adopted, of which 0.028 million would be attributable to implementation of the WHO 2013 guidelines alone. In addition to drugs, there will be a need for additional CD4 tests and tests of viral load, as the numbers on ART will increase significantly. The outlay should be seen in the context of potential health-care savings due to early initiation of ART, in terms of the effect on disease progression, complications, deaths and new infections. While desirable, adoption of the new guidance will have significant programmatic and resource implications for India. The programme needs to plan and strengthen the service-delivery mechanism, with emphasis on newer and innovative approaches before implementation of these guidelines.
Recommendations to Promote Safe and Effective Use of Contraceptives: World Health Organization [letter]
CHRISMED Journal of Health and Research. 2017 Oct-Dec; 4(4):291.The authors discuss the need to support and strengthen national family planning programs through more investment and better awareness to address the 220 million women who have an unmet need for family planning.