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Year: 2008
This issue of id21 insights focuses on financing primary healthcare services:
  • Financing primary health care: Today, millions of people in low- and middle-income countries do not have access to basic, good quality health services
  • Skilled delivery care in Indonesia: Providing adequate access to maternal health care is a test of the entire health system. Care for most women before, during and after delivery can be provided within a well equipped primary care setting. Where complications arise there is the need for speedy referral to higher level facilities. Primary care is thus a main care provider as well as a crucial link to more specialist forms of care.
  • The story of primary health care: The idea of primary health care (PHC) emerged in the 1960s, in recognition of the shortcomings of the health systems inherited by developing countries after independence. Such urban, centralised and curative-oriented health systems were poorly matched to the needs of their people.
  • Contracting out health services: Contracting out public services is a way for governments to complement their own delivery of services. It is particularly effective for high risk or hard-to-reach populations that can be more effectively served by private groups. It can also contribute to more efficient delivery of primary health care (PHC).
  • Better access to effective antimalarials: Malaria is one of the main reasons why people use health services in sub-Saharan Africa, placing a considerable burden on primary health care.
  • Efficiency and equity through a sector-wide approach in Uganda: Financing Uganda's health care services used to be based on a minimum package which cost more than the financial resources available. Donor aid contributed between 40 to 50 percent of these costs. Financial allocations were also biased towards national level hospitals and wages.
  • Tackling Malawi's human resources crisis: The achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 will only be possible if we can successfully strengthen the capacity of health systems in middle and low-income countries.

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Year: 2008
This issue of id21 insights focuses on nutrition of women and children:
  • Improving the nutrition status of children and women: The high world food prices that we are currently experiencing provide a chilling reminder of the vulnerability of large parts of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to hunger and undernutrition
  • Why is undernutrition not a higher priority for donors? The prevention of chronic undernutrition is vital for reducing mortality and morbidity, for economic productivity, and for the respect and protection of human rights. Yet nutrition interventions tend to be low priorities for donors and developing country governments.
  • Strong public-private sector partnerships can help to reduce undernutrition: Global progress towards reducing undernutrition has been made through enlightened public policies, targeted development assistance, private sector actions and commitments from civil society. Yet every year, the deaths of more than 3.5 million children under the age of 5 can be attributed to undernutrition.
  • The success of salt iodisation: A shortage of iodine in a diet can cause cretinism, mental retardation and premature birth. These iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) can be eliminated by adding iodine to cooking salt.
  • The price of hunger: The first Millennium Development Goal – to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger – reflects the fact that undernutrition is both a symptom and a cause of poverty. The first measure of success is well known: to halve the number of people earning less than US$1 a day. The other – to halve the number of people suffering from inadequate food consumption – is equally important but less well known.
  • The persistence of child malnutrition in Africa: Malnutrition affects about 30 percent of children in Africa, caused by low birth weight and post-natal growth faltering. Child malnutrition is a persistent problem. The long term trend shows only slow improvement, and malnutrition rates worsen during droughts, economic crises, conflicts and displacement, and HIV.
  • Nutrition for mothers and children: Article 25.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes that motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. Yet maternal and child undernutrition are still highly prevalent in most developing countries.
  • Why have donors committed so few direct investments to eliminate child undernutrition? The mandate of most international donors is to reduce poverty, suffering and inequity. Addressing child undernutrition falls within this. However, current donor investment to directly address undernutrition is estimated to be well under half of the resources required.
  • What can be done to accelerate progress against undernutrition?  Many organisations work to eliminate undernutrition in children and pregnant and lactating women in developing countries. These organisations – international organisations, donors, academia, civil society and private sector – are loosely linked as an international nutrition system. However, this system is fragmented and dysfunctional.

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Year: 2008
The Mountain Forum Bulletin focuses on the theme of climate change in mountains and adaptation to climate change
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