Youth's reproductive health needs are increasingly urgent: While most young people become sexually active before the age of 20, few use reliable contraception and many are at risk of unplanned pregnancy. Meanwhile, up to half of all new HIV infections occur in many parts of the world in people under age 25. Appropriately, policy-makers, program managers, and providers are anxious to address these problems. Before acting, however, they should consult a large body of research concerning youths' reproductive health. The FOCUS on Young Adults Program, which operated from 1995 to 2001 with funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), assembled essential research to guide development of reproductive health projects for young adults. Surveys in 10 countries clarified how various factors affect adolescent sexual and risk-taking behaviors. FOCUS also analyzed interventions and evaluations of programs addressing policies and clinical services for youth, and knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of youth. In total, it identified 39 programmatic interventions that had been rigorously evaluated. In general, FOCUS found that adolescent reproductive health programs did not increase sexual risk-taking behaviors and that they influenced knowledge and attitudes more than behaviors, which were usually only minimally affected. The following are more specific conclusions based on the 39 rigorously evaluated interventions, of which more than half (21) were school-based, with other programs working through mass media (6), communities (4), the workplace (4), and health facilities (4) School-based programs often increase knowledge and influence attitudes. Half of the interventions affected short-term behavior, including delaying sexual debut and reducing the number of sexual partners. While school-based programs offer a chance to reach many youth, issues still to be addressed include what is taught, by whom, at what age, and how. Mass media programs, which usually included social marketing campaigns, can also reach many youth. They are most effective when combined with personal contact or referrals to health services. The mass media interventions improved knowledge and attitudes and appeared to affect behavior in some cases. Their impact on in-school youth was greater than their impact on out-of-school youth. Community-based programs, which commonly include peer education, appear promising and are popular, but many questions remain unanswered. Such programs have not yet been shown to be sustainable or cost-effective. Workplace programs, which targeted out-of-school youth employed by the army, brothels, and factories, improved knowledge and attitudes. But these programs had less impact on behaviour. Health facility-based programs have tried to make clinical services friendly to youth or to add such services to youth centers. These efforts have generally not increased youths' use of clinical services. How can this research help program planners devise interventions, allocate limited resources, expand pilot projects, and collaborate with related youth projects? From its survey research, its rigorous evaluations of 39 interventions, and its reviews of qualitative and other research, the FOCUS program made several recommendations. These include broad-based advocacy to support reproductive health efforts aimed at youth, well-designed reproductive health education in schools, and condom promotion through social marketing programs and mass media. FOCUS also suggested that program managers and policy-makers incorporate monitoring and evaluation from the start, tailor a mixture of programs and policies to the target population, and design projects anticipating their expansion. (Source: Personalized Pop Reporter, 6 October 2003).
The African Health Sciences Congress (AHSC) is a premier scientific meeting. Each year, the congress is hosted by a National Health Research Institute in collaboration with other institutions interested in undertaking health related activities. The congress provides a forum for scientists from all over the world to meet and disseminate information emanating from their research activities. The congress also brings together various cadres from decision and policy makers, medical practitioners, other health workers, international donor agencies, related NGOs, institutional managers etc to discuss recent trends in health care delivery and emerging and re-emerging health problems. Scientific Programs : · HIV/AIDS, STD and TB · Malaria and other Vector Borne Diseases · Nutrition and Health · Information Technology and Networking In Health Sector Development · Herbal/Traditional Medicine · Sexual and Reproductive Health · Gender and Health · Zoonotic Diseases of Public Health Importance · Dynamics of Human Behavior & Diseases In Communities · Clinical Trials, Drug and Vaccine Development · Epidemiology and Disease Control · Pharmacovigilance and Drug Resistance · Urbanization, Environment and Health Development Contact details: The Secretariat P. O. Box 1242, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Tel: 251-1-766418/756310/130642 Mob: 251-9-209071 Fax: 251-1-756329 or 251-1-757722 E-mail: email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Systems Trust
The Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme (ISRDP) is an initiative driven from the Presidents office. The ISRDP is a ten-year programme emphasising the integration of planning for services and is a major new developmental role for local government. Thirteen of the most disadvantaged rural district municipalities in South Africa have been identified for this programme. These following district councils have been identified as the pilot sites or 'nodal' points in the programme: Chris Hani, Oliver Tambo, Ukhahlamba, Alfred Nzo, Zululand, Bohlabelo, Central Karoo, Kgalagadi, Umzinyathi, Sekhukhune, Thabo Mofutsanyane, Ugu, and Umkhanyakude.
The health department will launch a policy that aims to improve the health of pupils, many of whom do not go to clinics and are likely to have undetected problems. Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang will launch the School Health Policy today at the JM Ntsime Secondary School in Rustenburg. Among the policy's aims are that nurses and other healthcare workers will visit every school over four years to check the health of Grade R and Grade 1 pupils. Nurses visit some South African primary schools, including many in Cape Town, at least once a year to check the health of young children. Health is also taught as part of the lifeskills curriculum. But in too many schools this is not yet happening, said Estelle de Klerk, director of the health department's child and youth health directorate. The Schools Health Policy is part of a broader programme called the Health Promoting Schools programme, which aims to use all school resources to improve children's health. In the first phase: nurses or other healthcare workers will visit the schools once or twice yearly to examine children's eyesight, hearing and mouths and cheek for speech impediments and injuries of all Grade Rs and Grade 1s; health education lessons will become part of all lifeskills programmes, and pupils will be taught to be alert to their health problems and those of peers; and, pupils with problems will be referred to clinics for treatment, and nurses will cheek up, on their following visit, whether the problems have been treated. The aim is that this phase will have been implemented in 30% of all schools by the end of next year, and in every school by the end of 2007. The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) and the national Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) yesterday welcomed the policy, but warned that the health department would need to allocate a sufficient budget.(Source: Jo-Anne Smetherham: The Cape Times, 22 July 2003)
Low-Tech Strategies for Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health. This is a 12-day intensive course for master trainers within health education programmes. The course addresses the challenges they face in preparing local trainers and educators for health promotion in resource-constrained communities. Human sexuality, behaviour change communication and the nuts and bolts of training are central themes in this course. Participants explore culture-based methodologies for communicating health messages and are supported in their application of these methodologies in sexual and reproductive health education. The course culminates in participants' development and presentation of low-tech teaching aids from common, every-day materials.For further information and registration contact: Ms. Busi Marule, Margaret Sanger Centre International South Africa, P.O. Box 848, Auckland Park 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa, Tel: +27-11-726-1172 Fax: +27-11-726-2424, mailto:email@example.com
This international symposium is convened by the Medical Research Council of South Africa and the International Medical Exchange, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, the Georgetown University Medical Center and the Africa Telehealth Educational Project. The event will be held at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West near Cape Town. This symposium will address the development of Health Initiatives for the millennium, with a specific focus on the role and impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) in Africa and with a view to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). It will bring together health policy and decision makers such as, Permanent Secretaries, Medical Directors, Ministry of Health representatives and other government officials; health care professionals -physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals; and ICT experts, industry representatives, educators, entrepreneurs, and other professionals, from Africa, Canada, and the U.S.A. The Symposium will examine the role of ICT in, and its impact on, the attainment of the six health objectives of NEPAD by African countries, with particular attention on the development of human resources for health, and will lead to the development of a strategic plan for leveraging advances ICT to assist in building effective health care systems in Africa.
The Industrial Health Research Group (IHRG) requires an HIVAIDS education and training facilitator with working experience in the public health sector. To apply, please send your CV and a letter of application summarising how your knowledge and experience meet the criteria for this position and include the names, and contact details of two referees, to: The Director, Industrial Health Research Group, Protem 1, Lower Campus, UCT. Phone: 021 6503508 Fax: 021 6855209 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Closing date for applications 18 March, 2002.
The course will enable you to improve your knowledge and develop your skills to plan, manage and evaluate effective sexual and reproductive health programmes.The emphasis throughout will be on what is feasible and achievable in a limited resource environment without high-level technology. In more detail the course will include: The environment for RH planning; equity issues: gender and poverty; tools for problem analysis; effective strategies (including health education); option analysis; project planning cycle; integrated programmes; improving quality from patient/client, provider and external perspectives; human resources planning, development and management, financial planning and management, management of change Participants should be: Public and private sector professionals with responsibility for planning, financing, implementing and evaluating reproductive health programmes, including; Staff from national and sub-national ministries of health; Staff from donor agencies, NGOs and international organisations; Trainers from training and research institutions working in reproductive health; and Academics working in the areas of reproductive health or the social sector. Participants from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Eurasia will find the material most relevant. Course co-ordinators: Marianne Lubben-Dinkelaar, Director of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Research Programme and Nancy Gerein, Senior Fellow at the Nuffield Institute (Email email@example.com). The application form can also be downloaded from the International Development pages of the Nuffield Institute for Health website
The course will provide a general introduction to community-based health education and health promotion and its flexible structure will allow the participants to take specialist pathways such as Promotion of rational drug use, school health promotion and training/curriculum development. The course is ideally suited to persons from government and NGOs who need a short intensive introduction/updating in recent developments in communication/health promotion.
Further details from: Overseas Admissions Tutor Health Education Queens Square House Leeds Metropolitan University Calverley Street Leeds LS1 3HE, UK Tel. +44 113 2831915 Fax +44 113 2831916; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Health Systems Trust
As the wheels of health care reform move, so should the training curricula for health workers. Various authors have a number of times stated that the nurse is the single most important frontline health worker in a clinic setting. Without the nurses intervention the health care centre/clinic cannot function adequately. It is therefore critical that nurse education and the supply of nurses form an integral part of teh transformation of health services in South Africa. This months issue is dedicated to nurse training with particular focus on the district health system (DHS). In a nutshell the DHS is the best vehicle for delivering primary health care (PHC) since it promotes collaboration between all sectors and reduces fragmentation and duplication of services. Questions such as, are nurses adequately prepared for current health care reforms? are considered in this Update. The current gaps in training, suggestions and recommendations to address these are revisited. Selected key participants in nurse education from the level of the South African Nursing Council (SANC) to nurses themselves, share their views and experiences in this Update.