Displaying 1-20 of 57 key documents
Source: World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) | 2010
This document examines ethical and human rights-based approaches to climate change and climate-related vulnerability. It was published by the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), an independent expert advisory committee tasked with guiding the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) in its implementation of ethical frameworks in science, technology and development.
In particular, the report focuses on ethical issues brought about by climate change, and discusses both general and specific principles that could be adopted to respond to these issues.
These include protecting human rights; providing equitable access to medical, scientific and technological developments, including the rapid sharing of knowledge about such developments and the sharing of benefits, with particular attention to the needs of developing countries; holding polluters accountable for the cost of their pollution; and ensuring that development is sustainable.
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: The Department For International Development (DFID) | February 2012
This report looks at the contribution of models to identify the characteristics of livestock systems which are likely to lead to the emergence of zoonoses hotspots, with emphasis on developing countries.
It focuses on mathematical and economic models, and includes a short review of the current usage of models — and particularly network and agent-based methods — in studying zoonotic disease outbreaks.
The report concludes that most models capture outbreaks over a relatively short time and largely ignore socioeconomic and climate change drivers. It suggests that a new modelling framework is needed, along with improved data collection and uncertainty analysis and communication.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization | March 2012
This report provides a visual overview of the trends and factors shaping global food and agricultural systems, including their interactions with broader environmental and socioeconomic concerns. It presents a selection of indicators on food and agriculture by country, aiming to be a reference point for policymakers, donor agencies, researchers, analysts and the public. These indicators are based on the FAOSTAT statistical database, which includes survey data submitted by countries, supplemented by national data.
Four sections cover provide an exhaustive overview of key themes: the state of agricultural resources, including pressures from demographic and macroeconomic change; food insecurity and malnutrition; the role of trade in meeting demands for food and feed; and the sustainability of agriculture in the context climate change and the need to provide ecosystem services.
Source: Global Environment Facility (GEF) | March 2012
This report gives an overview of how water resources can be protected and used efficiently based on the work of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It provides examples of how the work has encouraged cooperation across sectors and national borders. Case studies cover topics including pollution control, sustainable use of water for food security, and energy security through water management.
The authors conclude with a description of initiatives that aim to improve public health through wastewater management and ecological sanitation. They suggest that cooperation towards a shared goal is needed to sustain the benefits of water systems. The report is available in English, French and Spanish.
Source: Ramsar Convention and the WHO | March 2012
The report looks at the linkages between wetlands, human health and well-being, and examines the potential of to improving health while conserving wetland ecosystems. It aims to provide advice to wetland managers and decision makers, and to facilitate dialogue between wetlands and human health experts.
The report gives an overview of how wetland ecosystems influence health — benefits such as the provision of water, as well as hazards such as exposure to infectious disease. It outlines three approaches to harnessing the benefits of wetland ecosystems for human health. These include recognising the human needs satisfied by access to wetlands, such as water, food and social cohesion; medicinal plants and other health products; and the economic value of wetlands to improving socioeconomic conditions.
The authors call for a change in wetland management perspective, better policy development, and new instruments and approaches. They recommend stronger partnerships between sectors, governments and nongovernmental organisations.
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: 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: Médecins Sans Frontières | May 2011
This report, from medical aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières, explores the impact of and lessons learned from the use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV/AIDS since 2000, when it began providing this to people in need of urgent treatment. It presents results of a survey conducted in 16 countries with different prevalence levels of the disease, which together account for 52.5 per cent of the global HIV/AIDS burden, and outlines the progress, strengths and weaknesses of the international response to the disease.
The report provides an overview of key treatment strategies to improve care and reduce its cost for patients and health systems; discusses the impact of decreased donor funding; and suggests policies that can help lower drug costs, for example, or foster innovations for more effective and affordable treatment. Most HIV-prevalent countries still lack the capacity to treat more than 50 per cent of their population in need of ART, or to provide ART in more than 50 per cent of existing facilities — underlining the need for more domestic and external resources.
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 | December 2010
This report, published by the WHO, collates data obtained over 8 years by WHO assessment teams working in 26 African countries. The teams analysed different aspects of national regulatory systems such as management, funding and quality control procedures. Poor regulatory systems in impoverished nations are often blamed for allowing the spread of counterfeit drugs in the developing world. The report says that although mechanisms for drug regulation existed in every country, and there were guidelines for quality-control inspections, these were often not well executed because of a severe lack of resources and staff.
Source: IFPRI | February 2011
This report explores the role of agricultural growth in reducing and preventing undernutrition — deficiencies in energy, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals.
It describes how agricultural growth increases the capacity of households to produce more nutritious food and to buy more nutritious food by boosting income levels. Agricultural growth also improves nutrition through a broader effect on the economy, such as increasing government revenues to fund education, health, infrastructure, and nutrition intervention programmes.
The report gives an overview of the relationship between nutrition and growth, examines different growth patterns and their nutritional outcomes, and identifies factors that influence this dynamic — such as a country's stage of economic development.
A new paradigm for agricultural development is needed, says the report, where agricultural growth leads not only to increased production and reduced poverty, but also to improved nutrition. It concludes with recommendations for future research, and aims to provide policymakers with knowledge about development and investment strategies that can improve nutritional outcomes.
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.
Source: Meridian Institute | January 2005
This report, published by the Meridian Institute describes the growing interest of developing countries including Brazil, China, India and South Africa, in nanotechnology. The ways nanotechnology applications could solve health, sanitation, and pollution problems and provide faster, cheaper information and communication technology are outlined. The challenges of using and developing nanotechnology for and in developing nations including the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders are also discussed.
The Meridian Institute says nanotechnology can play a role in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. As a result, rich nations should dedicate a reasonable portion of their overseas development assistance to nanotechnology.
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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: Royal Society | October 2009
Food security is a major challenge in global health. Agriculture will need a significant boost if we are to feed the expected global population of nine billion people in 2050. This detailed report outlines the case for 'sustainable intensification'.
Climate change is already putting pressure on existing agricultural systems and will likely continue to alter rainfall patterns, temperatures and soil quality. But climate change isn't the only culprit — agricultural output has also fallen through growing pesticide resistance and low crop diversity.
The report argues that crop management must take these biological factors into account. But to be sustainable it must also support poor farmers and rural populations. This will require technological approaches underpinned by robust science, says the report.
The authors provide a detailed overview of how climate change will affect food production and the latest genetic techniques available to boost output. No single approach is going to work, and splitting agriculture into different camps — genetically modified or not, for example — will have no traction. The key is to consider the problem holistically and see how different approaches could be combined for the best results.
The report calls for agricultural sciences to be placed at the forefront of innovation, and supports its position in university courses, arguing that if agriculture is to see a revolution, it will need talented scientists.