Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

WHEC Update - January 2008

A Newsletter of worldwide activity of Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)
January 2008; Vol. 3, No. 1

Practice & Policy

Wish you the very best for the New Year from all of us at Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

Doing good is becoming the business of business. We believe that doing well and doing good are inextricably linked. Worldwide problems as diverse as poverty, disease, lack of education and pollution, which were historically addressed by political and social activists, are now being tackled by businesses as well. Creating cultures that care is our mission. Expanding global markets, outsourcing and the spread of Internet to the remotest regions of the world have enlarged the concept of what "community" means. WomensHealthSection.com is emerging as a powerful force for social action and change. Complicated global problems require innovative thinking and new levels of commitment, even as debate rises about where to focus time and resources. The problems of the world are also the problems of business. In the days and year ahead, business leaders will feel a growing mandate to treat social responsibility as a strategic imperative. The mission of Women's Health and Education center (WHEC) is to facilitate change and improve the quality of life in countries around the world by providing financial, social and technical support so communities can become self-sustaining.

The anticipation is building. WHEC Update in 2008 explores United Nations Charter. You will see many things about the WomensHealthSection.com that may surprise you. A new angle on classic, and our masterpiece series: Redefining Healthcare (health economics). The demand for health-for-all is one of the defining movements of 21st Century. As a pioneer in creating new break-through throughout this project / program, WHEC is leading the way in this movement, as well as redefining Continuing Medical Education. The Masterpiece Series on health economics pays tribute to the UN System and our readers! e-Health networks can remove distance and time barriers to the flow of information and knowledge for health. It is important to focus attention on the use of available knowledge by underserved communities, such as developing country health systems. Goods are traded, but services are consumed and produced in the same place. In terms of both individual expertise and institutional capability, traditional educational methods are inadequate to meet the needs of health sector in many countries. Internet-based medical education offers a partial solution and Internet offers promise as an alternative provider of local training. When we had decided to launch WomensHealthSection.com our vision was -- it had to be timeless, classic and be sensitive to the cultures. Cultural Diversity is now the norm in the medical practice in each and every country. Curriculum development is an ongoing process and we constantly review it for further improvement and relevance.

Welcome to the Working Group of the WHEC!

Healing Our World
Rita Luthra, MD

Your Questions, Our Reply:

Why do healthcare workers migrate? Do you have opinion on policy options to manage migration and suggestions for the developing countries to reverse the "brain-drain"?

Human Migration: The history of humanity is a history of migration -- and has been since the first humans on earth. Immigrants and emigrants -- invading hordes and war refugees -- mass migrations -- all of these terms describe aspects of a complex problem that is of crucial global importance today. Environmental catastrophes, rapid population growth, and economic stagnation in some regions; sluggish population growth accompanied by strong economic expansion in others; political disputes and regional conflicts, civil wars, and famines -- all of these factors will continue to cause large-scale population migrations and waves of refugees in the 21st century. In a global economy, hardly a single country will be spared the consequences of the developments.

The overall economic and social contexts in which healthcare workers make the decisions to migrate are: wars, deprivation, and social unrest may all provoke waves of migration. The migration of health workers is primarily demand led, with workforce shortages in some destination countries, such as USA and UK. The availability of employment, particularly in the developed world, has a significant impact on the decision to migrate. In general, migration is influenced by social networks, which offer support to new migrants and often connections to employment. Nurses have links with nursing organizations and networks that may foster further migration. These networks then assist new migrants with social and cultural assimilation. A similar picture emerges for countries with colonial and political ties, where there are already established cohorts of migrants.

The factors affecting health professionals' decision to migrate are:

  • Want better or more realistic remuneration
  • Want a more conductive working environment
  • Want to continue education or training
  • Want to work in better managed health system

Strategies to address brain drain: The issues surrounding brain drain are complex. For developing countries, scientific trainees who fail to return are a drain on the economy and on capacity building. While abroad, they can contribute to scientific advances of importance to their home country and serve as mentors for other trainees. Continuing Medical Education (CME) initiatives are one example of such efforts, which can be of benefit to donor, and recipient countries both.

About NGO Association with the UN:

The Millennium Declaration, signed by world's leaders of 189 countries in 2000, established 2015 as the deadline for achieving most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The majority of MDG targets has a baseline of 1990, and is set to monitor achievements over the period 1990-2015.

Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty & Hunger

TARGET: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day. Worldwide, the number of people in developing countries living on less than $1 a day fell to 980 million in 2004 -- down from 1.25 billion in 1990. The Extreme poverty is beginning to fall in sub-Saharan Africa. The benefits of economic growth in the developing world have been unequally shared, both within and among countries. Between 1990 and 2004, the share of national consumption by the poorest fifth of the population in developing regions decreased from 4.6 to 3.9 per cent (in countries where consumption figures were unavailable, data on income were used). Widening income inequality is of particular concern in Eastern Asia, where the share of consumption among the poorest people declined dramatically during this period. Still, inequality remains the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean and in sub-Saharan Africa, where the poorest fifth of the people account for only about 3 per cent of national consumption (or income). Globally, the proportion of children under five who are underweight declined by one fifth over the period 1990-2005. Eastern Asia showed the greatest improvement and is surpassing the MDG target, largely due to nutritional advances in China. Western Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean have also demonstrated significant progress, with underweight prevalence dropping by more than one third. The greatest proportions of children going hungry continue to be found in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Poor progress in these regions means that it is unlikely that the global target will be met. If current trends continue, the world will miss the 2015 target by 30 million children, essentially robbing them of their full potential.

TARGET: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. Child hunger is declining in all regions, but meeting the target will require accelerated progress.

Collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO):

The European Network of Health Promoting Schools the alliance of education and health

Birth of the concept: Schools intend to help pupils acquire the knowledge and develop the skills they need to participate fully in adult life, but all too often fall short of this goal. In 1991, three international agencies in Europe -- the European Commission (EC), the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Council of Europe (CE) -- launched an innovative project to combine education and health promotion in order to realize the potential of both. Along with the three leading organizations, dozens of European countries and hundreds of schools have formed the European Network of Health Promoting Schools (ENHPS) to create within schools environments conducive to health. Working together to make their schools better places in which to learn and work, pupils and school staff take action to benefit their physical, mental and social health. In the process, they gain knowledge and skills that improve the outcomes of education. Health education has a long tradition in schools, but has usually been only a part of the curriculum and focused on single causes of ill health in individuals, such as smoking and alcohol and drug abuse. Starting with this link between education and health, the three leading organizations developed the idea of integrating health promotion into every aspect of the school setting, addressing all the people connected with it: pupils, their teachers, all other school staff, parents and eventually the wider community. A 1990 conference on health education, sponsored by EC, CE and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, recommended that the three organizations jointly plan and manage ENHPS. It built on the collaborative work done in the 1980s under the CE pilot project "Education for Health". This joint work is in line with WHO's current priorities for health promotion and its use of the settings approach: addressing a particular setting to enable all the people linked with it to improve their health. The settings approach is the foundation for WHO projects for healthy cities, hospitals and prisons, as well as schools. ENHPS is also in the spirit of the EC Council Resolution of 23 November 1988 on the implementation of health education in schools and a 1990 EC conference on health education and disease prevention in schools. EC, CE and WHO work together to create health promoting schools throughout Europe.
Details: http://www.euro.who.int/document/e62361.pdf (pdf)

Bulletin of the World Health Organization; Volume 86, Number 1, January 2008, 1-80 Table of contents

Collaboration with UN University (UNU):

UNU-WIDER (World Institute for Development Economics Research) Expert Series on Health Economics:

Aid to Fragile States: Do Donors Help or Hinder?

The record of aid to fragile and poorly-performing states is the real test of aid effectiveness. Rich countries can justify aid to fragile states both through altruism and self-interest. But, with some exceptions, donors have appeared at the wrong times and with the wrong attitudes, even sometimes undermining development progress. State failure has dimensions of both will and capacity. Failure demands constructive engagement by donors, in some cases to save people in weak states from their leaders, and in all cases to save the states from circumstances which they cannot control. This paper examines the aid relationship with respect to three weak countries. Burma presents a case of comprehensive failure of political will and capacity, but isolating the regime, as some donors have chosen to do, will only perpetuate the plight of the population. Rwanda provides an alarming example of donor complicity in state collapse. The country has now rebounded from the terrible genocide of 1994, but some donors still cannot set aside their political and cultural biases. Zambia has lived through many years of bilaterally-assisted economic mismanagement, and also proved to be a highly unsuitable case for Bretton Woods treatment. It is doing better now that the country is more willing and able to take control of its development agenda. The paper concludes with eight principles for donors to observe in engaging more productively with fragile states.
UNU -- WIDER; Discussion Paper No. 2007/01 Stephen Browne* May 2007

(Details of the paper can be accessed from the link of UNU-WIDER on CME Page of WomensHealthSection.com)

United Nations Foundation:

The UN Foundation was created in 1998. The Honorable Timothy E. Wirth is President of the United Nations Foundation. He was United States Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs and a member of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. The UN Foundation builds and implements public-private partnerships to address the world's most pressing problems, and broadens support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. The UN Foundation is a public charity. The UN Foundation strengthens and supports the UN and its causes through a blend of advocacy, grant-making, and partnerships. Wherever possible, it aligns these core organizational assets behind the large-scale problems we address.

Advocacy: From the outset, it has worked to strengthen the relationship between the UN and the U.S. government—with a focus on getting Congress to clear up billions of dollars in arrears owed by the U.S. to the UN, and on continuing to pay the dues on time and in full. This effort—led by the UN Foundation's sister organization, the Better World Fund—built the base for broader public outreach campaigns about the importance of international cooperation and a strong U.S.--UN relationship.

Grant-making: Since its inception in 1998, the UN Foundation and Better World Fund have awarded grants amounting to over $900 million—including nearly $400 million in funds from dozens of partners and thousands of grassroots donors—in support of UN projects and activities in 115 countries.

Partnerships: The UN Foundation makes it easy to engage in the work of the UN. As a platform for partnering with the UN, it helps corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals make a difference in the important work the UN does across a broad range of issues. The role in these partnerships varies—from catalyst to convener, advocate to grant-maker, fiduciary to fundraising ally—but in each case, it is able to achieve an outcome that is greater than what any single actor would have accomplished working alone. These efforts are conducted in close coordination with the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), the strategic counterpoint within the UN system.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):

UNESCO was created in 1946 to build lasting world peace based on the intellectual and moral solidarity of humankind. Its areas of work are education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture and communication. Its programs aim at promoting a culture of peace and human and sustainable development. They focus on: achieving education for all; promoting environmental research through international scientific programs; supporting the expression of cultural identities; protecting and enhancing the world's natural and cultural heritage; and promoting the free flow of information and press freedom, as well as strengthening the communication capacities of developing countries. UNESCO maintains a system of 190 National Commissions and is supported by some 5,000 UNESCO Associations, Centers and Clubs. It enjoys official relations with 350 NGOs, and also cooperates with various foundations and international and regional networks. UNESCO's governing body -- the General Conference -- is made up of all member states and meets every two years. The Executive Board, consisting of 58 members elected by the Conference, is responsible for supervising the program adopted by the Conference. UNESCO has a staff of 2,145. Its regular budget for 2002-2003 was $544 million. Headquarters: 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07-SP, France.

United Nations Charter:

We the Peoples of the United Nations .... United for a Better World

The Charter of the United Nations was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on 24 October 1945. The Statute of the International Court of Justice is an integral part of the Charter. Amendments to Articles 23, 27 and 61 of the Charter were adopted by the General Assembly on 17 December 1963 and came into force on 31 August 1965. A further amendment to Article 61 was adopted by the General Assembly on 20 December 1971, and came into force on 24 September 1973. An amendment to Article 109, adopted by the General Assembly on 20 December 1965, came into force on 12 June 1968. The amendment to Article 23 enlarges the membership of the Security Council from eleven to fifteen. The amended Article 27 provides that decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members (formerly seven) and on all other matters by an affirmative vote of nine members (formerly seven), including the concurring votes of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

The amendment to Article 61, which entered into force on 31 August 1965, enlarged the membership of the Economic and Social Council from eighteen to twenty-seven. The subsequent amendment to that Article, which entered into force on 24 September 1973, further increased the membership of the Council from twenty-seven to fifty-four. The amendment to Article 109, which relates to the first paragraph of that Article, provides that a General Conference of Member States for the purpose of reviewing the Charter may be held at a date and place to be fixed by a two-thirds vote of the members of the General Assembly and by a vote of any nine members (formerly seven) of the Security Council. Paragraph 3 of Article 109, which deals with the consideration of a possible review conference during the tenth regular session of the General Assembly, has been retained in its original form in its reference to a "vote, of any seven members of the Security Council", the paragraph having been acted upon in 1955 by the General Assembly, at its tenth regular session, and by the Security Council.

Chapter I -- Purposes and Principles
Article 1
The Purposes of the United Nations are:

  1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
  2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
  3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
  4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

Article 2
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
  1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
  2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
  3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
  4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
  5. All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.
  6. The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.
  7. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII.

To be continued...

Top Two-Articles Accessed in December 2007:

  1. Adolescent Health Care;
    WHEC Publications. Special thanks to the World Health Organization for priceless contributions.
  2. Group B Streptococci Perinatal Infections: A Comprehensive Review;
    Author: Dr. Ronald S. Gibbs, Professor and Chair, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado (USA)

News, Invitations, and Letters:

Regional implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002. Note by the Secretary-General: The Secretary-General has the honor to transmit to the Commission for Social Development at its forty-sixth session the report of the regional commissions submitted in response to Commission resolution 45/1, entitled "Modalities for the first review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002". The present report is submitted by the regional commissions in response to Commission for Social Development resolution 45/1 in which the Commission requested all regional commissions to forward their findings of the first regional review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, along with identified priorities for future action regarding its implementation, to the Commission at its forty-sixth session in 2008. The report provides regional perspectives on the activities related to the implementation of the Madrid Plan of Action and underlines the enormous challenges that persist for the ageing population in the regions. Future priority actions at the regional level to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the ageing process will have to be tailored to each region, taking into account needs and circumstances and the differing nature of the process of ageing at the regional and subregional levels. The report offers a number of recommendations for consideration by the Commission for Social Development.
Details: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=E/CN.5/2008/2

10-Year Strategic Review: Children and Conflict in a Changing World
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF): A ten-year strategic review report by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and UNICEF discusses the evolving and severe impact of conflicts on children and measures progress made since the Graça Machel report in 1996. The report puts pressure on all UN Member States to fulfill their responsibilities to children by giving them access to basic services like education, health, nutrition, water, and sanitation. It also recommends ending impunity for those responsible. http://www.un.org/children/conflict/_documents/machel/MachelReviewReport.pdf (pdf)

A companion piece to the report entitled Will You Listen? compiles the views and recommendations of over 1,700 children in 92 countries. Their thoughts were collected as a contribution to the review through a series of focus group discussions and an online questionnaire. Focus group discussions were conducted by UNICEF, UNFPA, and NGO partners in 18 countries, and involved over 1,385 participants in 125 focus groups.

Intergovernmental Negotiations and Decision Making at the United Nations: A Guide
United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS), Nov 2007, Second Edition
The second edition of NGLS's popular Intergovernmental Negotiations and Decision Making at the United Nations: A Guide (pdf) explains the governance and decision-making fora and processes of the UN system. Section One explains the principal UN organs of intergovernmental decision making; the negotiating blocs of Member States at the UN; the various types of documentation; and the nature of UN decisions and the weight they carry internationally. This updated second edition includes information on new UN bodies and processes following on from the outcomes of the 2005 World Summit. Section Two provides practical knowledge, advice and guidance to non-governmental representatives who wish to engage with the UN system, ranging from accreditation to the preparatory process, to engaging in follow-up activities after a meeting.

Special Thanks:

WHEC thanks Dr. Francis H. Boudreau, Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Boston, MA (USA) for his priceless support and friendship. St. Elizabeth's Medical Center will always be home to all of us at Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC). Thank you very much.

Beyond the numbers...

The school is an extraordinarily effective setting in which to improve the health of students, families and members of the community. It is a means of supporting the basic human rights of both education and health.

Women's Health & Education Center
Dedicated to Women's and Children's Well-being and Health Care Worldwide