It has been recognized that the remarkable decline in infant mortality and the extension in human lifespan involving both developing and developed countries alike, has been influenced by social and economic developments and public health orientated measures (such as clean water and sewerage) rather more than by developments in medical research. However, the identification of important disease risk factors for a number of common conditions such as smoking, solar exposure, dietary fat and alcohol has led to further reductions in disease prevalence and mortality, at least in some countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) assigns high priority to the prevention of non-communicable age-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and chronic lower respiratory diseases. They are now the leading causes of death, in both industrialised and developing countries, mostly due to increased life expectancy and urbanisation with associated changes in lifestyle and environment. Tobacco smoking, physical inactivity and resulting obesity are established risk factors for many chronic diseases.
In order to understand differences in suicide rates between the countries affiliated to the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), the present paper investigates whether there is a relationship between the existence of religious sanctions and aggregate national suicide rates as reported to the World Health Organization. Through their participation in this study, 49 IASP national representatives reported on the existence of religious sanctions against suicide. It was discovered that countries with religious sanctions were less likely to return rates of suicide to the WHO.
The year 1996 witnessed the cloning of the lamb Dolly, based on the revolutionary somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technique, developed by researchers from the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland. This fact marked a relevant biotechnoscientific innovation, with probable significant consequences in the field of public health, since in principle it allows for expanding possibilities for the reproductive autonomy of infertile couples and carriers of diseases of mitochondrial origin.
OBJECTIVE: To assess prescribing practice of Primary Health Care (PHC) workers in church owned health care facilities using WHO drug use indicators. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study in which twenty primary health care facilities were randomly selected. Prescribing indicators were obtained by analysing outpatient records retrospectively for the past 14 months between January 1997 and February 1998. This period was chosen because of compete records of outpatient attendances. Patient care and facility indicators were recorded prospectively during the study period.
Numerous documents (declarations, codes, recommendations, guidelines) issued by eminent institutions recommend that the donation of blood should be voluntary and unremunerated. This does not preclude the possibility: 1) that donors receive some form of reimbursement; 2) that subsequent procedures, which inevitably incur costs, may involve considerable financial activity; 3) that legislation in some nations may allow trade in certain types of human biological material; 4) that voluntarily donated human blood be used to derive products that are subsequently marketed.
The World Health Organization defines palliative care as "the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment." One of the primary issues of palliative care for patients with advanced cancer is symptom control and quality-of-life issues. The purpose of the hypnotic model presented here is to improve the patient's total psychological, social, and spiritual well-being. There exists a need for a broad and inclusive model of mind-body interventions for palliative care.
Antimalarial drug resistance is a major public health challenge and the principal reason for the erosion of efficacious treatments. Cost and the limited number of antimalarial drugs in current use impose considerable constraints on malaria control, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The paper describes a multilateral, multidisciplinary research project on artemisinin-based combination therapy, which offers a new and potentially highly effective way to prevent or retard the development of drug resistance.