A national program for control of acute respiratory tract infections: the Philippine experience.
Maturing programs on child immunization and diarrheal diseases, a community-based research project, and a rational drug-use program facilitated the launching in 1989 of a nationwide Philippine Control of Acute Respiratory Infections program (Phil-CARI). From 1990 to 1991 the Phil-CARI expanded rapidly, training >80% of its middle managers and frontline health care providers on the case-management protocols of the World Health Organization for acute respiratory infection. Multiple donors and good collaboration with various societies and medical schools assisted the program. However, by 1992, there were difficulties in maintaining training quality, follow-up, and supervision. Donor assistance dwindled and the health care delivery system decentralized. Government procurement systems were unable to meet the logistics demands of the program. The monitoring and evaluation system was inadequate to measure impact. The Phil-CARI provides lessons in searching for more sustainable approaches and systems to meet the various demands of a nationwide ARI control program and to create the desired impact. (+info)
Three countries' experience with Norplant introduction.
Despite international efforts to plan for Norplant introduction, the method has drawn the attention of critics of family planning programmes, and has raised several issues for debate since it was introduced into family planning programmes. The experiences of three countries with the introduction of Norplant highlight some of the unique features of the method that have affected its introduction. Indonesia, Bangladesh and the United States represent diverse cultural settings and systems of family planning provision. Experience in each country has highlighted the need to focus on quality of care for clients, most notably the need for good counselling and attention to removal as well as insertion. The cost of Norplant also has influenced its introduction in each country. Another issue includes the need to work with women's health advocacy groups, which is illustrated particularly in Bangladesh. Finally, the role of litigation in the United States, and its potential role in influencing Norplant introduction in other countries, is discussed. These three countries' experience illustrate the importance of understanding the programmatic context of contraceptive introduction. (+info)
The impact of charging for insecticide on the Gambian National Impregnated Bednet Programme.
During the second year of the Gambian National Impregnated Bednet Programme (NIBP) charges for insecticide ($0.50 per net) were introduced into the half of the primary health care villages in the country where insecticide have been provided free of charge the previous year. Free insecticide was provided in the remaining villages that had acted as controls during the previous year. In villages where insecticide was provided free, 77% of nets were treated with insecticide. In contrast, in villages where charges were made coverage was only 14%. During the first year of the NIBP, mortality in children was significantly lower in villages where insecticide was provided free than in the control villages. Introduction of a charge for insecticide into the first group of villages and the provision of free insecticide in the latter abolished this difference. The cash income of rural Gambians is very limited and payment of even $2-3 for insecticide treatment for all the bednets in a household represents a substantial outlay. Further education on the benefits of treatment of nets and/or the provision of cheaper insecticide will be required before the full benefits of this powerful new malaria control measure can be fully realised in the Gambia. (+info)
Eradicating guinea worm without wells: unrealized hopes of the Water Decade.
At the start of the United Nations International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade in the 1980s, guinea worm disease was targeted as the major indicator of the success of the Decade's efforts to promote safe water. By the late 1980s, most of the guinea worm endemic countries in Africa and South Asia had established guinea worm eradication programmes that included water supply as one of their main technical strategies. By surveying the water supply situation in Ifeloju Local Government Area (LGA) in Oyo State, Nigeria, in June 1996, as a case study, it was possible to determine the role that water supply has played in the eradication effort. Although two major agencies, the former Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure and UNICEF, provided hand dug and bore-hole wells respectively in many parts of the LGA, coverage of the smaller farm hamlets has been minor compared to efforts in the larger towns. This is ironic because the farm hamlets served as a reservoir for the disease in the 1980s, such that when the piped water system in the towns broke down, guinea worm was easily reintroduced into the towns. The survey of 188 ever-endemic hamlets with an estimated population of 23,556 found that 74.3% of the people still drink only pond water. Another 11.3% have wells that have become dysfunctional. Only 14.4% of this rural population has access' to functioning wells. Guinea worm was eliminated from 107 of the hamlets mainly by the use of cloth filters and chemical treatment of ponds. While this proves that it is possible to eradicate guinea worm, it fails to leave behind the legacy of reliable, safe water supplies that was the hope of the Water Decade. (+info)
Racial bias in federal nutrition policy, Part I: The public health implications of variations in lactase persistence.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the basis for all federal nutrition programs and incorporate the Food Guide Pyramid, a tool to educate consumers on putting the Guidelines into practice. The Pyramid recommends two to three daily servings of dairy products. However, research has shown that lactase nonpersistence, the loss of enzymes that digest the milk sugar lactose, occurs in a majority of African-, Asian-, Hispanic-, and Native-American individuals. Whites are less likely to develop lactase nonpersistence and less likely to have symptoms when it does occur. Calcium is available in other foods that do not contain lactose. Osteoporosis is less common among African Americans and Mexican Americans than among whites, and there is little evidence that dairy products have an effect on osteoporosis among racial minorities. Evidence suggests that a modification of federal nutrition policies, making dairy-product use optional in light of other calcium sources, may be a helpful public health measure. (+info)
Closer to a compromise on the direction of environmental research.
The Committee for the National Institute for the Environment (CNIE) was created in 1990 "to improve the scientific basis for making decisions on environmental issues," possibly through the establishment of a separate institute devoted to the environmental sciences. But while the goals proposed for the National Institute for the Environment were universally applauded, Congress was averse to adding a new agency to the federal bureaucracy. Recently, a compromise plan has been proposed that could expand the science base without having to create a new agency. On 29 July 1999, the National Science Board approved an interim report recommending an expanded program of environmental research and research planning, education, and scientific assessment with a funding target of an additional $1 billion over five years. The report stresses the importance of environmental research in formulating environmental protection programs and contains 12 recommendations intended to enhance and complement existing research activities in environmental sciences and engineering. If the National Science Foundation implements the recommendations in the report and if Congress appropriates funds for that purpose, the need for additional funding for new science activities identified by the CNIE should be satisfied. (+info)
Impact of the Massachusetts tobacco control programme: population based trend analysis.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of the Massachusetts tobacco control programme, which, since its start in January 1993, has spent over $200m-"the highest per capita expenditure for tobacco control in the world"-funded by an extra tax of 25 cents per pack of cigarettes. DESIGN: Population based trend analysis with comparison group. SUBJECTS: Adult residents of Massachusetts and other US states excluding California. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Per capita consumption of cigarettes as measured by states' sales tax records; prevalence of smoking in adults as measured by several population-based telephone surveys. RESULTS: From 1988 to 1992, decline in per capita consumption of cigarettes in Massachusetts (15%) was similar to that in the comparison states (14%), corresponding to an annual decline of 3-4% for both groups. During 1992-3, consumption continued to decline by 4% in the comparison states but dropped 12% in Massachusetts in response to the tax increase. From 1993 onward, consumption in Massachusetts showed a consistent annual decline of more than 4%, whereas in the comparison states it levelled off, decreasing by less than 1% a year. From 1992, the prevalence of adult smoking in Massachusetts has declined annually by 0.43% (95% confidence interval 0.21% to 0.66%) compared with an increase of 0. 03% (-0.06% to 0.12%) in the comparison states (P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that a strongly implemented, comprehensive tobacco control programme can significantly reduce tobacco use. (+info)
Advanced Technology Program's information infrastructure for healthcare focused program: a brief history.
This review examines how a "bottom-up" model of a civilian technology program works by recounting the story of the "genesis" of the Information Infrastructure for Healthcare (IIH) focused program of the Advanced Technology Program. The IIH program began with an exchange of ideas among members of the private and public sectors (through the submission of "white papers" by members of industry, workshops conducted by the ATP, and meetings among persons from both groups) to identify the technologies that are necessary for the development of a national information infrastructure in health care. What the ATP hoped to gain through this process and how the private sector responded are noted. A statistical description of the participants and a discussion of changes in the ATP review and selection process is included. (+info)