Bringing Justice to Health profiles 11 legal empowerment projects based in Indonesia, Kenya, Macedonia, Russia, South Africa, and Uganda. These projects were selected because they show the range of approaches to legal empowerment that they support in their broader effort to promote health-related human rights interventions. The report tells the personal stories of people around the world - such as sex workers, people who use drugs, palliative care patients, people affected by HIV, and Roma - for whom human rights violations are part of everyday life. Sexual violence, discrimination in housing, unwarranted dismissal from employment, unfair evictions, denial of child support, and police harassment are only a few such violations. The report shows how the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that founded projects to address these issues set about resolving problems in a way that is designed to empower those who are often least able to exercise their rights.
Governance and participation in health
There is a global trend towards the use of ad hoc participation processes that seek to engage grassroots stakeholders in decisions related to municipal infrastructure, land use and services. The authors present the results of a scholarly literature review examining 14 articles detailing specific cases of these processes to contribute to the discussion regarding their utility in advancing health equity. They explore hallmarks of compromised processes, potential harms to grassroots stakeholders, and potential mitigating factors. The authors conclude that participation processes in urban areas often cut off participation following the planning phase at the point of implementation, limiting convener accountability to grassroots stakeholders, and, further, that where participation processes yield gains, these are often due to independent grassroots action. Given the emphasis on participation in health equity discourse, this study seeks to provide a real world exploration of the pitfalls and potential harms of participation processes that is relevant to health equity theory and practice.
In this article, some of the factors that contribute to poor performance in achieving population health goals are examined, such as lack of shared responsibility for outcomes, lack of co-operation and collaboration, and limited understanding of what works. It also considers challenges to engaging stakeholders at multiple levels in building collaborative partnerships for population health. It outlines twelve key processes for effecting change and improvement, such as analysing information, establishing a vision and mission, using strategic and action plans, developing effective leadership, documenting progress and using feedback, and making outcomes matter. The article concludes with recommendations for strengthening collaborative partnerships for population health and health equity. These include establishing monitoring and evaluation systems, developing action plans that assign responsibility for changing communities and systems, facilitating natural reinforcement for people working together across sectors and ensuring adequate funding for collaborative efforts. Governments should also provide training and technical support for partnerships, establish participatory evaluation systems and arrange group contingencies to ensure accountability for progress and improvement.
Little is known about the interventions required to build the capacity of mental health policy-makers and planners in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The authors conducted a systematic review with the primary aim of identifying and synthesising the evidence base for building the capacity of policy-makers and planners to strengthen mental health systems in LMICs. The authors searched MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Web of Knowledge, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL, LILACS, ScieELO, Google Scholar and Cochrane databases for studies reporting evidence, experience or evaluation of capacity-building of policy-makers, service planners or managers in mental health system strengthening in LMICs. Reports in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French or German were included. Additional papers were identified by hand-searching references and contacting experts and key informants. Database searches yielded 2922 abstracts and 28 additional papers were identified. Following screening, 409 full papers were reviewed, of which 14 fulfilled inclusion criteria for the review. Data were extracted from all included papers and synthesised into a narrative review. Only a small number of mental health system-related capacity-building interventions for policy-makers and planners in LMICs were described. Most models of capacity-building combined brief training with longer term mentorship, dialogue and/or the establishment of networks of support. However, rigorous research and evaluation methods were largely absent, with studies being of low quality, limiting the potential to separate mental health system strengthening outcomes from the effects of associated contextual factors. This review demonstrates the need for partnership approaches to building the capacity of mental health policy-makers and planners in LMICs, assessed rigorously against pre-specified conceptual frameworks and hypotheses, utilising longitudinal evaluation and mixed quantitative and qualitative approaches.
"As supporters of women's rights worldwide, we are deeply disturbed by the statement made by a US delegate at the recent Preparatory Meeting for the forthcoming Fifth Asian and Pacific Population Conference that will take place 11-17 December 2002 in Bangkok. The US has threatened to withdraw from the Cairo Programme of Action of 1994 unless the words reproductive health services and reproductive rights are taken out or changed. This is a shocking development which is a threat to women's rights and women's health world wide. We demand that the Cairo Program of Action that has been endorsed by 179 nations be upheld. Reproductive health services and reproductive rights are essential human rights. Reproductive rights and reproductive health services are integral to the Cairo Program of Action. If the US breaks their commitment to the United Nations and to the world community, there will be disastrous consequences for women in all parts of the world who are in need of safe and effective contraceptive and abortion information and services. The position that the Bush administration has taken sets back the efforts of women's organisations by several decades and needs to be resisted. We urge you to make your own statement of protest and send it to the US administration, to the UN and to sign our petition on line at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/USantiWO/petition.html."
"As supporters of women's rights worldwide, we are deeply disturbed by the statement made by a US delegate at the recent Preparatory Meeting for the forthcoming Fifth Asian and Pacific Population Conference that will take place 11-17 December 2002 in Bangkok. The US has threatened to withdraw from the Cairo Programme of Action of 1994 unless the words 'reproductive health services' and 'reproductive rights' are taken out or changed. This is a shocking development which is a threat to women's rights and women's health world wide. We demand that the Cairo Program of Action that has been endorsed by 179 nations be upheld. Reproductive health services and reproductive rights are essential human rights. Reproductive rights and reproductive health services are integral to the Cairo Program of Action. If the US breaks their commitment to the United Nations and to the world community, there will be disastrous consequences for women in all parts of the world who are in need of safe and effective contraceptive and abortion information and services. The position that the Bush administration has taken sets back the efforts of women's organisations by several decades and needs to be resisted. We urge you to make your own statement of protest and send it to the US administration, to the UN and to sign our petition on line at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/USantiWO/petition.html."
A group of leading international humanitarian, development, social justice, environmental, and workers' organisations have warned that June 2012’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) looks set to add almost nothing to global efforts to deliver sustainable development. The warning from Development Alternatives, Greenpeace, the Forum of Brazilian NGOs and Social Movements for Environment and Development (FBOMS), International Trades Union Confederation (ITUC), Oxfam, and Vitae Civilis comes at the end of two weeks of negotiations between governments on the conference outcomes, with less than 50 days before the summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 - 22 June. The group warns that the current negotiating text does not adequately capture human rights and principles of equity, precaution, and 'polluter pays', despite the urgency provided by the current financial crises, growing inequalities, broken food As a benchmark against which to assess the outcome of Rio+20, the organisations have set out a 10-point agenda that includes global goals for sustainable development, designed to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and realise justice and human rights, while respecting the finite limits of Earth's natural resources.
In 1987, May 28th was proclaimed the International Day of Action for Women's Health. Health is a human right for all and, as asserted in many international human rights covenants and agreements, the right to health cannot be fulfilled if women's sexual and reproductive rights are not addressed. However, health sector reforms and privatisation of health services around the world are jeopardising women's access to health and sexual and reproductive rights. Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) invites you to support promoting women's sexual and reproductive health and rights by organising your own activity or event on the 28th of May.
This article reports on the work of HealthNewsReview.org to monitor the quality of health and medical news coverage. To combat inaccuracies, HealthNewsReview requires three reviewers to assess each article, applying 10 criteria. These include whether the journalists have adequately considered the cost of the intervention, its potential harms and benefits, whether they had compared new ideas with existing alternatives, and whether they solely relied on a press release or used independent sources. Projecting forward, the author observes that there should be room for promoting health literacy, for example, explaining that people should focus on absolute not relative risk reduction. People should not be amazed by claims that a drug reduced the risk of a problem by 50% (relative risk reduction) when that may mean that the absolute risk reduction was only from 2 in 100 in the untreated group to 1 in 100 in the treated group – a 1% absolute risk reduction.
Improving quality of primary care is a key focus of international health policy. Two methods of improving the quality of interpersonal care in primary care have been proposed. One involves the feedback of patient assessments of interpersonal care to physicians, and the other involves brief training and education programmes. This study therefore reviewed the efficacy of (i) feedback of real patient assessments of interpersonal care skills, (ii) brief training focused on the improvement of interpersonal care and (iii) interventions combining both (i) and (ii). Nine studies were included (two patient based feedback studies and seven brief training studies). Of the two feedback studies, one reported a significant positive effect. The authors conclude that there is limited evidence concerning the effects of patient based feedback. There is reasonable evidence that brief training as currently delivered is not effective, although the evidence is not definitive, due to the small number of trials and the variation in the training methods and goals.