Displaying 1-20 of 104 key documents
Source: Maria Socorro I. Diokno
This chapter of the Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) Development Toolkit — a document that aims to help address the role of human rights in development — looks at the full spectrum of the rights invoked by HRBA in relation to development, and fleshes out their concrete implications on the work that development planners undertake.
It also examines how human rights-based approaches to development planning operate in regional and national settings, and maps the multiple factors that affect the implementation of HRBA in development.
It includes diagrams that illustrate the pathway of each particular human right within the developmental infrastructure, with a view to revealing the deep social impacts found at each step of the pathway. The chapter illustrates how rights are not simply abstract principles, but normative mechanisms with profound effects on the way that development is practised on the ground.
Source: UN University | April 2012
This online book aims to offer insight into development issues related to climate change and indigenous peoples that can be useful in policymaking. It provides an overview of more than 400 relevant projects, case studies and research activities.
Different sections cover climate and environmental changes, including local observations, and the impact of these changes on indigenous communities. The book also outlines mitigation and adaptation strategies — based on traditional knowledge and survival skills — that are being implemented by them.
The authors highlight that climate change effects reported by indigenous people include loss of livelihoods; land degradation; impacts on food security; health issues; and water shortages that can affect agriculture, infrastructure, forestry and energy amongst others areas.
Source: UK Department for International Development (DFID) | December 2010
This peer-reviewed report, from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), summarises current evidence on malaria, covering topics that range from epidemiology to public health interventions, disease management and elimination. It focuses on areas where policy or practical decisions have to be made, mainly by DFID and its development partners.
The paper is divided into sections that provide an overview of issues such as determinants of infection, high-risk groups, artemisinin and insecticide resistance, and interventions such as vector control. These correspond to areas relevant to decision making, with the report being a 'portal' to more detailed information rather than a definitive document. Because many of the issues addressed are context-specific, the paper should be read in conjunction with country profiles published by DFID as well as country-specific data available in the World Malaria Report.
Source: The Royal Society Philosophical Transactions B | 12 October 2011
This special issue of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Science explores how vaccines can fulfil their full potential for addressing global health challenges. It charts the progress to date, reviewing successes as well as challenges in the development and distribution of both human and veterinary vaccines.
The articles describe how vaccines can help mitigate and treat the world's major infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, as well as chronic diseases, such as cancer. They explore vaccine policy and financing, ways to accelerate the development of new vaccines, issues surrounding public acceptance, and the logistics of getting vaccines to where they are needed. Also discussed is the use of vaccines to treat diseases in livestock — making an important link between health interventions, agricultural output and economic consequences.
The papers in this issue were presented at the meeting, 'New vaccines for global health', held at the Royal Society in London, United Kingdom, in November 2010.
Source: Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) | December 2010
This document from the Medicines Transparency Alliance — founded by the World Bank, the WHO and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) — gives an account of a pilot programme that investigated the medicines supply chain to identify problems that prevent vulnerable people from accessing essential medicines. It presents findings from Ghana, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, the Philippines, Uganda and Zambia. The programme relied on different stakeholders from government, civil society and the private sector to collect, share and analyse data. The evidence gathered through the project was used to inform policy in these countries.
Source: Chatham House | November 2010
This briefing paper, aimed at policymakers and researchers, discusses the regulatory implications of having varied definitions of the term 'counterfeit' and outlines successful law enforcement initiatives to halt the trade in fake drugs. The paper outlines the problem of counterfeit medicines and the urgent issues to be considered by the international community before taking additional steps to tackle it. It discusses the controversy around intellectual property rights and counterfeits, and investigates the motives behind some anti-counterfeiting initiatives that seem to be more concerned with protecting patents.
Source: Cell | September 2007
This article provides an overview of global efforts to develop turmeric — a curry spice that is also used in a variety of Indian traditional remedies — into a modern therapeutic drug. The author highlights some of the hurdles to developing turmeric, including intellectual property barriers, turmeric's insolubility in water and its poor bioavailability. He also describes current efforts including ongoing lab and clinical trials.
Source: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine | October 2005
This review article outlines the basic principles of traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, and the differences in how these are being integrated into national health systems. The authors discuss progress in drug discovery including traditional medicinal plants and the role of supporting industries — from breeders to manufacturers — in commercialising traditional medicine.
Source: SciTopics | January 2009
This article, by integrative medicine expert Bhushan Patwardhan, highlights the role of traditional medicine in modern drug discovery. Patwardhan explains the driving forces behind efforts to mine traditional medicine for new drugs, outlines the different approaches that can be taken and provides examples of current efforts and success stories.
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) | 2009
This book, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), reviews the policies, programs and investments that have been crucial in promoting agricultural development and alleviating poverty, hunger and malnutrition across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
By identifying cases where interventions — to enhance productivity, combat disease, conserve natural resources or expand market opportunities — have been especially successful, this book draws out some valuable lessons that can be applied to other efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger.
Successes highlighted include the Green Revolution in Asia, community forestry in Nepal and land tenure reform in China.
Source: Springer | 2008
The author list for this collection of chapters, with names like Cesar Victora and Carine Ronsman, reads like a 'Who's Who' in nutrition and health for the developing world. The chapter topics are wide-ranging and include subjects such as the economics of nutrition programmes, the extent to which scientific data influences nutrition policies, and the challenge of providing food aid during humanitarian emergencies.
Each chapter is organised as a scientific paper. Most usefully perhaps, the authors of each chapter include both their conclusions, and a separate list of recommendations for researchers and policymakers.
Source: Center for Global Development
This paper, published by the Center for Global Development, describes the institutional hurdles to increasing funding for nutrition policies and programmes.
Drawing on a series of interviews with key stakeholders in the field of global nutrition, the authors identify the major institutional strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in global nutrition. They point to donors' growing awareness of nutrition and an increase in national planning and engagement in some countries including Uganda, as well as the birth of partnerships such as the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.
But, say the authors, there is no obvious leader with adequate resources and a clear mandate to improve nutrition in the international community. International players are also disconnected from country policymaking and implementation.
The authors suggest that donors create a shared set of principles for coordinating nutrition funding. They also call on leaders within UN agencies to increase the agenda of nutrition security within the UN itself.
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change | 2003
The third IPCC assessment report, Climate Change 2001, includes this section on the links between climate change and health. It offers a detailed look at how variations in climate, such as temperature or rainfall, could affect vector-borne disease. In particular, it evaluates computer models that predict climate impact on dengue fever and malaria. The assessment also looks at specific diseases such as leishmaniasis or schistosomiasis, explaining how the disease is spread and how changes in the environment might alter that spread.
The authors take a holistic look at the various factors involved. For example, in assessing schistosomiasis, they also consider the irrigation systems that will likely be needed to cope with expected water shortages resulting from climate change. The schistosomiasis parasite uses water snails as an intermediate host, so irrigation systems will need to be designed in such a way that they do not cause snail populations to multiply.
An update to the research on climate and vector-borne disease is also included in the fourth IPCC assessment report[796kB] although not in as much detail.
This Nature paper reviews evidence that a changing climate poses significant health risks and that global warming over the past few years has already increased illness and death worldwide.
Infectious diseases are strongly affected by climatic variations because the vectors that carry the bacteria or viruses do not have thermoregulatory mechanisms, say the authors. One of the most important existing sources of climatic variability is El Niño. This weather system has been shown to influence malaria in South America, rift valley fever in east Africa, cholera in Bangladesh and dengue fever in Thailand. If, as some scientists have suggested, climate change alters El Niño, the consequences will be significant.
The authors say there are some promising early warning systems for infectious disease. In Botswana, for example, two-thirds of the inter-annual variability of malaria can be predicted from sea surface temperatures and monthly rainfall.
Source: Bulletin of the WHO | 2000
As global temperatures rise, vector-borne disease is set to increase in the developing world but patterns will vary across countries. This review looks at how the prevalence of vector-borne disease will change in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.
As the authors explain, urbanisation levels will determine which diseases are likely to hit hardest. For example, dengue fever is a largely urban disease and will affect South America, where over 70 per cent of the population live in cities, far more than it will Sub-Saharan Africa, where less than 30 per cent of people live in urban areas. Malaria, by contrast, will have a bigger impact in Africa.
As ecosystems change, so will the distribution of vector species. Some will find their habitats expanded. A positive note is that most vectors cannot survive above about 40 degrees Celsius, so regions in which warming tips the temperature over this level could well see a drop in vector-borne disease — this is starting to be seen in Senegal, for example.
But the precise extent to which climate variability affects vector-borne disease is yet unknown, say the authors, which hampers evidence-based policy change.
Source: The Lancet | May 2009
This report provides a policy framework for assessing the impacts of climate change on health, including vector-borne disease, by considering five challenges: informational, poverty and equity-related, technological, sociopolitical and institutional.
It begins with a detailed outline of climate science so far and the financial cost of adaptation. The informational challenges relate to better monitoring and surveillance to gather urgently needed data on disease and mortality in different regions, and early warning systems to predict extreme weather events and associated disease outbreaks. Technological challenges include the development of vaccines for diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.
How do policymakers tackle such challenges? A key move will be for government and non-government agencies, academia and civil society to collaborate internationally. Surveillance and primary health information systems in developing countries must be improved and local communities need to share adaptation strategies.
Adapting to climate change also means investing in food security, clean water supplies and reforestation. Policymakers also need to stimulate industry to develop low-cost methods for recycling wastewater and desalinating sea water. Mitigating and adapting to climate change, say the authors, has become inextricable from policies to eradicate poverty or closing the gap on social inequalities and health.
Source: WHO | May 2009
This article, published by the WHO, answers frequently asked questions about the A(H1N1) influenza virus, or 'swine flu'. It provides information on the availability, production and effectiveness of A(H1N1) vaccines.
The WHO says that no effective A(H1N1) vaccines are currently available (May 2009) but adds that work is underway to develop one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, for example, has identified and prepared candidate vaccine strains and is distributing them to all interested parties on request.
A vaccine could be available in five to six months after a pandemic strain has been identified but the WHO notes that more than 90 per cent of the global capacity for vaccine production lies in Europe or the United States — which may have implications for vaccinating people in developing countries. While these countries are well-versed in distributing vaccines through mass campaigns, they may face difficulties in ensuring timely access to enough supplies of vaccine.
Source: WHO | May 2009
This article, published by the WHO, assesses the potential for a global pandemic of A(H1N1) influenza, or 'swine flu'. The authors outline the properties of influenza viruses that are needed to create a pandemic and discuss population vulnerability and pandemic severity. They highlight the populations at most risk, for example people with underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease, and the role that nutritional status and the quality of health services can play in influencing a pandemic's severity.
In assessing the 2009 swine flu outbreak, they draw attention to the fact that mutations often occur in influenza viruses, which means that while the emerging virus may be mild, it could return in several months in a much more lethal form.
The authors say that A(H1N1) is a new influenza virus not previously seen in humans or animals. They suggest that it is more contagious than seasonal flu, but note that outside Mexico where the outbreak began, the virus is causing very mild illness in otherwise healthy people. They emphasise the risk to people suffering from other chronic diseases and note that the WHO estimates that 85 per cent of these people are in developing countries.
Source: Nature | April 2009
This timeline, published by Nature, lists key dates and events in the 2009 outbreak of A(H1N1) influenza, or 'swine flu'. Drawing on information from the WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others, it details confirmed and reported cases of A(H1N1), highlights the geographical spread of the virus and links to official documentation and key research findings as they are released.
This fact sheet from the WHO outlines the basics about swine influenza, or "swine flu", including what it is, what its implications are for human health and how people become infected.
Swine flu is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs. It can sometimes cause disease in humans — either from infected pigs or, occasionally, through human-to-human transmission. It cannot be caught by eating properly handled and prepared pork.
No vaccine can stop swine flu causing illness in humans, but two classes of drugs are available. Most previously reported cases recovered fully without medical attention or antivirals.
There is a risk that swine flu could lead to a pandemic because most people are not immune to the virus. But the impact of such a pandemic is difficult to predict.
Typical symptoms resemble seasonal flu — a high fever, cough and/or sore throat. If you feel unwell, the WHO advises staying at home, resting, contacting your doctor before going to see them, and covering your nose and mouth when out of the house.
To protect yourself from swine flu, the WHO recommends avoiding contact with sick pigs or people, washing your hands regularly, practicing good health habits and following advice from local health authorities.