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Primary health care, social determinants of health and health public policies : indispensable agents for equity in health

EVANS, Timothy

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This was a key note speech summarises the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board's resolutions on social determinants of health and primary health care based health systems. There are six general themes: values; measurement and monitoring; walking the talk in the health care sector; beyond the health care sector; the global frontier; and leadership and leadership capacity. The speech written and delivered by the Assistant Director General of WHO

Knowledge for action on equity in health in Uganda


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This is the report of a national meeting to promote policies for equity in health. It brought together government, academic and civil society institutions to explore, understand and propose options for reducing inequalities in health in Uganda

Closing the gap in a generation : health equity through action on the social determinants of health|Final report of the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health


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This is the final report of the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (2005-2008). The report gives three main recommendations: 1 improve daily living conditions 2. Tackle the inequitable distribution of power, money, and resources 3. Measure and understand the problem and assess the impact of action. The Commission was created to provide evidence on policies that improve health by addressing the social conditions in which people live and work. The report is addressed to WHO, national governments, civil society, and other global organizations

Social determinants of health in countries in conflict : a perspective from the Eastern Mediterranean region

WATTS, Susan
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO), Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean

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The objectives of this review are to: assess the impact of conflict on the health of people in affected countries of the Region; document how conflict affects social determinants, and thus results in adverse health outcomes; present the results of an innovative qualitative study that captures civilian suffering and resilience in a conflict setting, through collaboration with civil society organizations; identify some examples of activities and interventions that may help to mitigate the impact of these conflicts on the health and well-being of affected populations; and identify policy implications. The study identifies three social determinants that have a bearing on health and are peculiar to a conflict setting: the loss of human rights, breaches of medical neutrality, and progression from stress to distress and disease that results from constant, unremitting exposure to a life-threatening situation. This review was requested by the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health

World health report 2008|Primary health care : now more than ever


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This report considers four sets of reforms that reflect a convergence between the values of primary health care, the expectations of citizens and the common health performance challenges that cut across all contexts. These include: universal coverage reforms, service delivery reforms, public policy reforms, and leadership reforms. "While universally applicable, these reforms do not constitute a blueprint or a manifesto for action. The details required to give them life in each country must be driven by specific conditions and contexts, drawing on the best available evidence"

Health in poverty reduction strategy : Bangladesh perspective

December 2003

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Case study analyses whether Poverty Reduction Programs (PRSPs) are delivering for health. Case study describes obstacles faced by the poor in accessing health services. Paper advocates a need for bottom up process with more involvement of the poor in policy formulation and implementation

Current issues in sector-wide approaches for health development : Tanzania case study

BROWN, Adrienne

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[Publisher's abstract:] A case study of experiences with an advanced sector-wide approach for health development in Tanzania, where a significant number of activities in the health sector are supported by pooled donor funds disbursed through the government system. These funds are integrated into the government budget cycle, with donors increasingly agreeing to make commitments and disbursements in line with government budgetary requirements. The case study opens with an overview of the country's economic, political, and health situation, concentrating on the implications of recent public sector and government reforms. The next section explains the financing, monitoring, and management of the country's sector-wide approach to donor coordination and budgeting. Eight strategies, adopted to improve the availability and quality of essential health services, are also briefly discussed to illustrate how adoption of a sector-wide approach can help tackle inequities in the health system. Having examined key features of the country's advanced sector-wide approach, the case study considers lessons learned and their applicability to similar efforts in other countries. Questions discussed include the importance of government leadership and ownership, the role of donor involvement in joint disbursement procedures, and the extent to which signed agreements can make donor funds more predictable. The study concludes that, despite high aid dependency, government ownership of the programme is growing, and national commitment to sector programmes and public expenditure reform has created a positive environment for expansion. The high costs of transactions and the additional administrative burden imposed on governments remain major problems

Sector-wide approaches for health develpment : a review of experience


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[Publisher's abstract:] Summarizes lessons learned in five countries which are attempting to implement a sector-wide approach to health development. The sector-wide approach is a comparatively recent mechanism for coordinating the roles of governments and donors. A significant characteristic of this approach is the use of all significant funding to support a single sector policy and expenditure programme, under government leadership, with eventual reliance on the government to disburse and account for all funds. The approach also involves a transition of donor contributions away from project-funded vertical programmes and towards a single budget administered by the government. Case studies of the successes and failures of this approach were conducted in Cambodia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Viet Nam. Although these countries represent a range of different stages of implementing the approach, the review reached a number of conclusions about shared problems and impediments to progress. These include weaknesses in government monitoring procedures and a corresponding reluctance of donors to relinquish control, increased demands on staff within ministries of health, and a management complexity that can overwhelm government capacity. On the positive side, the review found evidence of greater agreement on a more restricted range of priorities, better integration of individual programmes within the budget planning process, better links between policy and implementation, and improved understanding of barriers to service utilization, including the role of corruption and incentive problems. On the basis of this assessment, the review issues six key recommendations for improved sector-wide management of projects and resources

European portal for action on health equity

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"This portal is a tool to promote health equity amongst different socio-economic groups in the European Union. Here, you can find information on policies and interventions to promote health equity within and between the countries of Europe, via the socio-economic determinants of health. "The information presented is the result of the collaboration of a wide range of health and social actors in the EU, that have come together in the context of a pan-European initiative that aims to stimulate action for greater health equity." DETERMINE is an initiative from 2007-2010 to take forward the work of the World Health Organization's Commission on the Social Determinants of Health

Eastern Mediterranean health journal [formerly Teaching & learning news]

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The official health journal published by the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of the WHO. It is a forum for the presentation and promotion of new policies and initiatives in health services, and for the exchange of ideas, concepts, epidemiological data, research findings and other information, with speical reference to the Region. All articles are peer reviewed
Free online
Printed copies by subscription

British medical journal (BMJ)

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This major weekly medical journal is now available on the Internet free of charge. This site contains the full text of all articles published in the BMJ from January 1994. You can search all or selected BMJ issues for a word in the abstract or article, for a particular article or by date. Other features include, topical e-mail discussion groups, and 'customised alerts' allowing the contents pages of each issue to be e-mailed to you or even details of just those articles that interest you. Also links to the Medline database.
Free (Internet)
£318 (institutions)
£138 (individuals)


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