Displaying 1-14 of 14 key documents
Source: World Health Organization (WHO) | June 2012
This report gives an overview of the last 40 years of work carried out by HRP, the Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, which was established in 1972, following a World Health Assembly resolution.
HRP aims to advance sexual and reproductive health. The organisation is the central mechanism within the United Nations system for research into human reproduction — bringing together policymakers, scientists, healthcare providers and community representatives to identify and address priorities for the sexual and reproductive health agenda.
The report highlights key achievements, including helping to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV; promoting human rights and gender equality in sexual and reproductive health; and widening access to family planning.
Source: Working Group on Clinical Trials and Regulatory Pathways | November 2011
This report provides policy recommendations to help deliver safer and cheaper medical products to people suffering from neglected diseases in developing countries, where they are needed the most.
Although more drugs and vaccines are reaching late-stage clinical development, says the report, they are held back by a lack of funding to support clinical trials, as well as clinical research and regulatory capacity in settings where neglected diseases are endemic. This undermines safety and the validity of clinical data.
The report recommends a two-pronged approach to improving the quality and regulation of clinical trials in the developing world: establishing regional regulatory pathways for the oversight of clinical trials, and building quality and cost-efficiency into trial design and implementation. It also recommends practical steps that can be taken by donors, drug and vaccine developers, and regulatory authorities to begin implementing the changes.
Source: WHO | April 2011
This report examines the threat posed by non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries, which carry nearly 80 per cent of the world's burden of cardiovascular disease; diabetes; cancer; obesity; and chronic respiratory disease. It includes tables and maps of global, regional and country-specific trends including estimated mortality rates. The data are also used to predict future trends and assess factors contributing to non-communicable disease.
Drawing on what developed countries have learned about these diseases, the report outlines options for tackling them, such as early detection and treatment. To encourage immediate action, it puts forward a series of highly cost-effective solutions that are affordable even where resources are limited. It also emphasises the need for strong health-care systems, improved surveillance and monitoring, and nongovernmental and civil society participation in efforts to reduce the burden of non-communicable disease.
Source: WHO Mental Health and Poverty Project | December 2010
This report presents evidence that people with mental health conditions meet major criteria for vulnerability and should be targeted for protection by development programmes. Mental illness such as schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder are common but largely neglected.
The WHO makes the case that because of their vulnerability, people with mental health problems need to be given opportunities for education and work, and to be included in decisions that affect them.
It argues that mental health should be built into sectoral and broader plans for development, with government agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders playing a key role in ensuring this. To make implementation a reality, interventions and mainstreaming efforts should be funded adequately, and recipients of development aid should be encouraged to address the needs of people with mental health conditions. The report recommends actions as a starting point towards these aims.
This report presents the findings of the WHO's flagship Vision 2030 study. Comprised of a series of summary and technical papers and fact sheets, the Vision 2030 report provides a comprehensive overview of current and projected climate change and its potential impacts on drinking-water and sanitation systems. The report also points to solutions to improve the resilience of infrastructure and services to predicted changes in rainfall.
Source: The Overseas Development Group | July 2003
This report examines the impact of HIV/AIDS on people's livelihoods in rural areas of Africa, China, Central Asia, India and Russia.
The authors consider labour economising technologies, and set out the potential policy options. They conclude that providing anti-retroviral drugs would have an immediate, and a long-term effect on food security and is the only way of ensuring continued access to labour in the rural sector.
Source: WHO | May 2005
This WHO report summarises the findings of a global survey on national policy and regulation of traditional medicine in 141 countries. It presents data on existing policies for traditional medicine and regulation of herbal medicines. The report highlights common hurdles to implementing these and provides a profile of each country surveyed.
Source: WHO | March 2005
This study assesses whether traditional medicine can contribute to more affordable global healthcare. It uses flowcharts to map out factors such as healthcare infrastructure and social mores that lead much of the developing world to use traditional medicine, and explains the different medicinal systems in use around the world. The author concludes that traditional medicine is a public health asset, provided it can be sufficiently standardised and verified.
Source: The American Academy of Microbiology
This report summarises current understanding of antibiotic resistance, the scope of the problem, and the methods available for detecting and preventing it. It highlights unique challenges faced by developing countries including poor research infrastructure and counterfeit antibiotics.
The authors highlight the need to build laboratory capacity, improve diagnostic tools, establish surveillance programs and implement tighter controls on antibiotic use in these countries.
Source: WHO | 2005
This report from the WHO assesses the potential for creating early warning systems for vector-borne disease. It reviews the current state of research for several diseases such as dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria and West Nile virus.
The report includes an algorithmic framework for developing early warning systems, outlining data requirements and the different components of the system. It also contains two useful tables: one on the sensitivity of different infectious diseases to climate; and one summarising the existing research, identifying in which region the disease is most common, data availability and proposed actions.
A key problem in developing early warning systems, as highlighted by this report, is that non-climatic risk factors such as population immunity and food security strongly affect the potential for a disease outbreak. Equally challenging is the poor disease surveillance in many developing countries — the authors call on these countries to strengthen these systems, to help in the fight against climate change.
The report concludes that it will be important for researchers not to design these systems in isolation — health policymakers should be included at all stages of the design.
Source: Institute of Medicine | 2008
This extensive report from the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies takes on the considerable challenge of understanding how, and to what extent, climate change will affect infectious diseases.
The report provides detailed summaries of current knowledge on diseases such as cholera and rift valley fever. Several pages are devoted to reviewing the latest climate science to contextualise the effect on infectious disease; it also includes several maps on climate anomalies to show how they are linked to disease.
One section highlights methods to assess climate change impacts on infectious diseases. These include analyses of historical records; monitoring programs, especially those that track disease in wild animals; and comparisons of satellite-derived environmental measurements with epidemiological data.
The report concludes with an analysis of the challenges facing policymakers. In many cases, it says, the best public health measures against climate change are those that strengthen health systems in general, such as better training for professionals and better disease surveillance. Policymakers will need to move away from the traditional thinking of individual policies for individual diseases, towards a joined-up approach aimed at tackling "systemic, long-term" stresses that cause a range of effects.
Source: World Health Organization | May 2008
This report is the WHO's official record of data produced by its technical programmes and regional offices in close consultation with countries and in collaboration with researchers and development agencies. The WHO produces the statistics to provide an evidence base for strategies to improve global public health.
The report clearly shows that the global burden of disease is shifting from infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases, with chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke now being the chief causes of death globally. The shifting trends indicate that leading infectious diseases — diarrhoea, HIV, tuberculosis, neonatal infections and malaria — will become less important causes of death globally over the next 20 years.
The report documents in detail "the levels of mortality in children and adults, patterns of morbidity and burden of disease, prevalence of risk factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption, use of health care, availability of health care workers, and health care financing."
Source: WHO/Global Forum for Health Research | 2007
This joint publication between the World Health Organization and the Global Forum for Health Research reveals mental health research capacity in 114 low-income and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The extensive review identified over 10,000 articles, 4,633 mental health researchers and 3,829 other stakeholders. The authors argue that this is "the first systematic attempt to confirm the pressing needs of improving research capacity in mental health".
The publication provides useful details in table and charts, analysed by group of stakeholders and by region, on topics such as: researchers' profiles; priority-setting process; amount and type of research production; services and technical support available to them; courses and trainings offered; funding patterns; and dissemination of research findings. The appendix provides two extensive lists — by country — of policy and practice that resulted from research evidence, as well as research evidence that was never translated into policy and practice.
Nine recommendations indicate how the management of mental health research can be strengthened so that it meets the national needs of the countries as well as contributes to the global fund of knowledge. The authors say their report thus enables evidence-based decision-making in funding and priority setting in the area of mental health research in low-income and middle-income countries.
Source: World Health Organization | October 2005
This extensive report was one of the first to document the scale of the problem of chronic diseases in developing countries, and crucially, to offer guidance on feasible and practical methods of tackling them.
The document starts by laying out in detail the profiles of chronic diseases in different countries, projections for the future, and how chronic diseases are linked with poverty. It also examines in depth the economic costs of such diseases and the macroeconomic consequences of not tackling them quickly enough. The authors outline interventions — whether community, workplace, or school — that have robust evidence supporting them.
The report ends with a call for a unifying framework of global health experts and stakeholders, in which the government has a key role. It also specifies what policymakers need to do to ensure that measures to tackle chronic diseases are put into action.