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Provisional list of participants
( 2010-06-28 )
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Development of national health plans and strategies
( 2010-06-27 )
Abstract

National health plans and strategies have been placed at the centre on WHO’s support to countries by the high-level Global Policy Group on which the Regional Director represents the South-East Asia Region. Countries have been developing national health plans for sometime now and WHO has a history in supporting this process in countries as well. The renewed interest in reviewing national health plans is a result of the increasing complexity in which these are formulated and implemented in, particularly with respect to the significant health impact of activities in sectors other than health. The Global Policy Group recommended to develop a Framework for National Health Policies, Strategies and Plans that is comprehensive with respect to consolidating both health sector sub-plans (e.g. intervention specific plans) and multi-sector health activities (e.g. issues like climate change) as well as consistent with overall medium-term expenditure and development plans and goals, especially the MDGs. Further, a tool kit to support this Framework is being finalized. In collaboration with all levels of the Organization, WHO will then initiate capacity building of WHO Country Office staff with the possibility of including country officials as agreed. This activity will start in September 2010 with countries that are to review national health plans in the next 12-18 months. In line with the Global Policy Group’s decision, the Regional Office has developed summary guidelines for assessing gaps in current national health plans in Member States. Detailed assessments in six countries have been carried out and findings shall be discussed at a regional consultation in August 2010 with the specific objective of agreeing on country needs and WHO’s role in addressing these as well as finalizing the Framework from a Regional perspective. The Framework will be presented to the 128th Executive Board in January 2011 for discussion and submission to the 64th World Health Assembly. The attached working paper (Doc. SEA/RC63/9) is submitted to the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting for its review and recommendations. The recommendations made by the HLP Meeting will be submitted to the Sixty-third Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.

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Special Programmes : UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction: Policy and Coordination Committee (PCC) – report on attendance at PCC in 2010 and nomination of a member in place of Indonesia whose term expires on 31 December 2010
( 2010-06-26 )
Abstract

The Twenty-third Meeting of the Policy and Coordination Committee of the UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme for Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (“the Programme"), was held in Geneva, Switzerland on 24-25 June 2010. The attached document is a brief report on the deliberations of the meeting.

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Regional strategy on universal health coverage
( 2010-06-25 )
Abstract

There has been strong and consistent commitment to improving equity in health through universal coverage in the Region as well as global level from WHO and Member States. An overall financing strategy towards achieving this goal has been developed for the Asia-Pacific Region jointly by South-East Asia Region Office and Western-Pacific Region Office. Further, these regional priorities will be a focus of the forthcoming 2010 World Health Report, Financing for universal coverage. Key challenges to financing for universal coverage in the Region are high and potentially impoverishing out-of-pocket spending on health; a large and poor informal sector that is most vulnerable to the high cost of access to care; a large and mostly unregulated private sector that dominates provision of care; and an increasing burden of non-communicable disease requiring high-cost individual care. There are three choices in progress towards universal coverage that health financing reform needs to consider: priority population to be reached with a chosen benefit package at a feasible public subsidy. A practical approach to shift from out-of-pocket payments towards equity and universal coverage is a step-by-step move, first to an intermediate stage of a mix of community initiatives to protect the informal sector and social insurance for the formal sector with general government revenues focusing on public health and the poor; and, a next stage that consolidates community and social insurance into national level social protection schemes with continued public investment in public health and target population. In-depth technical assessments of the potential of this approach to sustainable financing for universal coverage in Member States is recommended to formulate a strategy for the Region to be considered by the Sixty-fourth Regional Committee in 2011 for further action. The attached working paper is submitted to the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting for its review and recommendations. The recommendations made by the HLP Meeting will be submitted to the Sixty-third Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.

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Strategic planning for development of human resources for health in the Region
( 2010-06-24 )
Abstract

Due to the growing burden of chronic diseases during the last two decades which require a continuum of care, especially community-based care, new pressures have emerged on the health workforce in Member States of the South-East Asia Region. All SEAR Member States face several common health-workforce-related problems and issues, which led the Regional Office to develop a strategic plan for health workforce development. This Regional Strategic Plan for Health Workforce Development in SEAR identified 10 strategic areas which mainly included scaling up health workforce production, knowledge generation and management and capacity building on health workforce management. The Member States have been encouraged to develop their own strategic plans for which technical support is being provided to plan their health workforce strategies and strengthen regional and national training capacities. Regional partnerships and networks have been established. Regional health workforce information has been strengthened through the development of a Regional HRH Observatory with HWF database. The issue of international migration of health workforce is being addressed. In addition teaching of public health and community-based health workforce is also being strengthened in SEAR Member States. Tangible results have been achieved through strategic planning for development of human resources for health in the Region. The attached working paper (Doc. SEA/RC63/8) is submitted to the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting for its review and recommendations. The recommendations made by the HLP Meeting will be submitted to the Sixty-third Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.

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Governing bodies : key issues and challenges arising out of the sixty-third World Health Assembly and the 126th and 127th sessions of the WHO Executive Board
( 2010-06-24 )
Abstract

The attached working paper highlights the most significant and relevant decisions and resolutions emanating from the Sixty-third World Health Assembly (held from 17-21 May 2010) as well as the 126th and 127th sessions of the Executive Board (held from 18-23 January 2010 and on 22 May 2010 respectively). These decisions and resolutions are particularly relevant to the Member States of the WHO South-East Asia (SEA) Region, have obvious and immediate implications for them, and would merit follow-up action by both Member States as well as WHO at the Regional Office and country office levels. The background of the selected decisions/resolutions, highlights from the main operative paragraphs of these selected decisions/resolutions, as well as the regional implications of each decision and/or resolution, as applicable, and actions proposed for Member States and WHO have been presented. The attached working paper (SEA/RC63/14) is submitted for consideration by the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting, with particular reference to the regional implications and actions proposed to be taken towards implementation of the recommendations contained in the selected decisions/resolutions. The HLP meeting may wish to consider the decisions/resolutions as relevant (details of these resolutions are provided in the annex to this paper). The views and recommendations of the HLP meeting will be submitted to the Sixty-third Session of the Regional Committee for review and noting, as appropriate.

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Capacity building for member states on global health
( 2010-06-24 )
Abstract

The term - “global health” is rapidly replacing its commonly used form i.e, “international health”. This change has emerged as part of the larger political and historical process. The term “global health” has been used since the early days of establishment of the World Health Organization in the late 1940s. In general, it implies the situation where the health needs of the people of the whole planet are responded to, above the concerns of particular nations. A joint collaboration among the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, and the ThaiHealth Global Link Initiative Program, (TGLIP) resulted in organizing the First Regional Training Course on Global Health in May 2010. The first module – an introductory course on global health - organized from 1-5 May 2010 in Nakhon Pathon, Thailand was attended by participants from seven countries of the South-East Asia Region, who were selected from among the delegates attending the Sixty-third World Health Assembly. It was followed by the second module of practical experience and learning through attendance at the Sixty-third World Health Assembly from 17-21 May 2010 in Geneva. A wrap-up session- the third module - was conducted on 22 May 2010 in Geneva. It is envisaged to organize regional training courses on global health conducted in Member States on a rotation basis. The attached working paper is submitted to the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting for its review and recommendations. The recommendations made by the HLP Meeting will be submitted to the Sixty-third Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.

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Regional strategy on health information systems
( 2010-06-24 )
Abstract

Public health decision-making is critically dependent on the timely availability of sound data. The role of the health information system is to collect, analyse and disseminate such data. Health information systems in countries of the WHO South-East Asia (SEA) Region are at various stages of development and there are several global initiatives, networks, programmes and projects that have been launched by development partners to assist Member States in health information system development. The WHO Regional Office for the South-East Asia took the initiative to develop a strategic framework to guide countries in strengthening and reorienting their national health information systems. After a series of country consultations a 10-Point Regional Strategy for Strengthening Health Information Systems was developed in 2005. The strategy was endorsed at the fifty-ninth session of the Regional Committee in August 2006. All countries have reviewed their national health information systems and taken action to align them with the regional strategic framework. Since there are many new developments in the field of health information and information communication technology, one of the Member States has suggested including “Regional Strategy on Health Information Systems” as an agenda item for the Sixty-third Session of the Regional Committee. The attached working paper is submitted to the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting for its review and recommendations. The recommendations made by the HLP Meeting will be submitted to the Sixty-third Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.

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Special Programmes : UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme of Research and Training in Tropical Diseases: Joint Coordinating Board (JCB) – Report on attendance at JCB in 2010 and nomination of a member in place of Bhutan whose term expires on 31 December 2010
( 2010-06-22 )
Abstract

The Joint Coordinating Board (JCB) of the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases Research (TDR) acts as the governing body of the Special Programme and is responsible for its overall policy and strategy. This paper describes the background and composition of the JCB TDR and the action to be taken by the Regional Committee. Since the term of office of Bhutan ends on 31 December 2010, the HLP Meeting may consider electing, in this session, one of the Member States of the Region to serve on the JCB for a four-year term of office from 1 January 2011. The recommendation of the HLP Meeting will be submitted to the Sixty-third Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.

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Follow-up action on pending issues and selected regional committee resolutions/decisions for the last three years : nutrition and food safety in the South-East Asia Region (SEA/RC60/R3)
( 2010-06-22 )
Abstract

The working paper on nutrition and food safety in the South-east Asia Region provides a brief overview of the nutrition and food safety situation in Member States of the South-East Asia (SEA) Region. It indicates that while overall food consumption has increased and nutrition indicators have shown improvement, the global economic crisis and climate change may lead to food insecurity and increase in the number of malnourished individuals. The paper describes some of the key nutrition and food safety indicators in the Region. Activities in nutrition and food safety undertaken during the reporting period and proposed activities to be conducted in the biennium are also tabulated. It concludes by identifying a range of supportive actions from Member States with regard to the promotion of nutrition and food safety in the SEA Region: to increase political commitment in order to promote national nutrition and food safety programmes; to mainstream nutrition and food safety issues into all national health policies and strategies and ensure the implementation of global strategies on infant and young child feeding, food safety, diet, physical activity and health; to strengthen nutrition surveillance systems and implement the WHO Child Growth Standards and Growth References through their full integration into child and adolescent health programmes; to develop and maintain sustainable and comprehensive preventive measures for reducing the burden of foodborne diseases encompassing the complete food-production chain from farm to consumption; to enable active and appropriate participation of national authorities in activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, INFOSAN and other international networks; and to strengthen the laboratory capacity for investigating and reporting on foodborne diseases outbreaks. The attached working paper (Doc. SEA/RC63/17) is submitted to the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting for its review and recommendations. The recommendations made by the HLP Meeting will be submitted to the Sixty-third Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.