(1/373) An economic evaluation of "Health for All".
The World Health Organization's 'Global Strategy' is an ambitious vision, but to achieve its goals it must first be implemented. Implementation will require careful and detailed planning. This paper evaluates the possibilities of transforming the Global Strategy from a laudable policy initiative into an actual 'Plan for Health', from the point of view of a health economist. This economic evaluation assesses the probable costs of implementing various activities of the Strategy, and the likelihood that developing countries will be able to afford these costs, either on their own, or with the assistance of the developed countries. A final section considers the current global situation and presents trends over the last two decades. The numbers of countries that have already achieved the goals of the Strategy, that can be expected to achieve the goals of the Strategy by the year 2000, and that are unlikely to achieve these goals (on the basis of current trends) are shown. The WHO 'success indicator' based on numbers of countries is compared to a more epidemiological one based on deciles of the world's population. It is argued that, even several years after the initiation of the Global Strategy, insufficient information exists on the next logical step of transforming the Policy into a Plan. Unless adequate attention is paid to this vital step, implementation of the Strategy will inevitably be ad hoc and patchy. Further research on the costs of the activities proposed by the Global Strategy, and the probable effects on health of those activities, is desperately needed. (+info)
(2/373) Using problem structuring methods in strategic planning.
In this paper we present approaches to problem structuring that have been employed to derive planning guidelines as part of a comprehensive strategic planning process. The approaches were developed for use in the context of a developing country, where quantitative data is particularly scarce. They rely heavily upon the informed judgement of technical planning officers. We discuss ways of ensuring that the approach remains flexible and participative. (+info)
(3/373) Practice guidelines for the management of patients with histoplasmosis. Infectious Diseases Society of America.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this guideline is to provide recommendations for treating patients with the more common forms of histoplasmosis. PARTICIPANTS AND CONSENSUS PROCESS: A working group of 8 experts in this field was convened to develop this guideline. The working group developed and refined the guideline through a series of conference calls. OUTCOMES: The goal of treatment is to eradicate the infection when possible, although chronic suppression may be adequate for patients with AIDS and other serious immunosuppressive disorders. Other important outcomes are resolution of clinical abnormalities and prevention of relapse. EVIDENCE: The published literature on the management of histoplasmosis was reviewed. Controlled trials have been conducted that address the treatment of chronic pulmonary and disseminated histoplasmosis, but clinical experience and descriptive studies provide the basis for recommendations for other forms of histoplasmosis. VALUE: Value was assigned on the basis of the strength of the evidence supporting treatment recommendations, with the highest value assigned to controlled trials, according to conventions established for developing practice guidelines. BENEFITS AND COSTS: Certain forms of histoplasmosis cause life-threatening illnesses and result in considerable morbidity, whereas other manifestations cause no symptoms or minor self-limited illnesses. The nonprogressive forms of histoplasmosis, however, may reduce functional capacity, affecting work capacity and quality of life for several months. Treatment is clearly beneficial and cost-effective for patients with progressive forms of histoplasmosis, such as chronic pulmonary or disseminated infection. It remains unknown whether treatment improves the outcome for patients with the self-limited manifestations, since this patient population has not been studied. Other chronic progressive forms of histoplasmosis are not responsive to pharmacologic treatment. TREATMENT OPTIONS: Options for therapy for histoplasmosis include ketoconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole, amphotericin B (Fungizone; Bristol-Meyer Squibb, Princeton, NJ), liposomal amphotericin B (AmBisome; Fujisawa, Deerfield, IL), amphotericin B colloidal suspension (ABCD, or Amphotec; Seques, Menlo Park, CA), and amphotericin B lipid complex (ABLC, or Abelcet; Liposome, Princeton, NJ). (+info)
(4/373) Health impact assessment: a tool for healthy public policy.
Healthy Public Policy is one of the key health promotion actions. Advancement of Healthy Public Policy requires that the health consequences of policy should be correctly foreseen and that the policy process should be influenced so that those health consequences are considered. Health Impact Assessment is an approach that could assist in meeting both requirements. Policies often produce health impacts by multiple indirect routes, which makes prediction difficult. Prediction in Health Impact Assessment may be based on epidemiological models or on sociological disciplines. Health Impact Assessment must be based on an understanding of, and aim to add value to, the policy-making process. It must therefore conform to policy-making timetables, present information in a form that is policy relevant and fit the administrative structures of policy makers. Health Impact Assessment may be used to inform health advocacy but is distinct from it. There is a danger that Health Impact Assessment could be misunderstood as health imperialism. (+info)
(5/373) Tobacco cessation, the dental profession, and the role of dental education.
This article describes the development of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, tobacco cessation program based on twenty years of experience at the Indiana University (IU) School of Dentistry. It reviews the relationship between tobacco use and oral health, the nature of nicotine addiction and cessation approaches involving nicotine replacement therapy. In the early 1980s, tobacco control curriculum and cessation guidelines were introduced at the IU School of Dentistry and cooperative efforts initiated with other U.S. and Canadian dental schools. During the past decade, an interdisciplinary Nicotine Dependence Program has been developed to serve outpatients receiving treatment at all hospitals on the IU Medical Center campus. It is hoped that the models described here will be of value to other dental schools developing educational curricula and tobacco control and cessation programs. (+info)
(6/373) Accident and emergency services for children within Trent region.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the provision of accident and emergency (A&E) services for children within Trent region, and to compare these with published recommendations. METHODS: A postal questionnaire was sent to all A&E and minor injury units within Trent region providing services for children. Findings were compared with published recommendations including those of the Multidisciplinary Working Party into Accident and Emergency Services for Children. RESULTS: Thirty six units provided A&E services for children within Trent: 17 mixed units, 17 minor injury units and two children's units. Within mixed A&E units complete audio-visual separation from adult patients was provided by six units (35%), inpatient paediatric facilities were available at 11 units (65%) and a minimum of one registered children's nurse was always on duty in three units (18%). CONCLUSIONS: Few A&E units within Trent region currently meet the recommendations of the Multidisciplinary Working Party. The most common shortfall identified was in the provision of registered children's nurses. (+info)
(7/373) Patient selection criteria and management guidelines for outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy for native valve infective endocarditis.
Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT) for infective endocarditis (IE) is being applied widely, despite the absence of controlled data that demonstrates that outcomes are equivalent to those with standard inpatient antibiotic therapy. We review existing OPAT guidelines, published data on the timing of complications from IE, and data on risk factors that can be used to predict complications. These data are used to propose more stringent criteria for patient selection and clinical management of OPAT for native valve IE. We recommend a conservative approach (inpatient or daily outpatient follow-up) during the critical phase (weeks 0-2 of treatment), when complications are most likely, and we recommend consideration of OPAT for the continuation phase (weeks 2-4 or 2-6 of treatment) when life-threatening complications are less likely. (+info)
(8/373) Malaria chemoprophylaxis in the age of drug resistance. I. Currently recommended drug regimens.
As international travel becomes increasingly common and resistance to antimalarial drugs escalates, a growing number of travelers are at risk for contracting malaria. Parasite resistance to chloroquine and proguanil and real or perceived intolerance among patients to standard prophylactic agents such as mefloquine have highlighted the need for new antimalarial drugs. Promising new regimens include atovaquone and proguanil, in combination; primaquine; and a related 8-aminoquinoline, tafenoquine. These agents are active against the liver stage of the malaria parasite and therefore can be discontinued shortly after the traveler leaves an area where malaria is endemic, which encourages adherence to the treatment regimen. Part 1 of this series reviews currently recommended chemoprophylactic drug regimens, and part 2 will focus on 8-aminoquinoline drugs. (+info)