Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

WHEC Update - November 2006

A Newsletter of worldwide activity of Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)
November 2006; Vol. 1, No. 2

The purpose of the e-learning publication WomensHealthSection.com is to provide an overview of current clinical management guidelines in Women's Health, focusing on the components integral to providing optimum care. The articles are designed for all members of the interdisciplinary team: physicians, physicians-assistants, nurse practitioners, midwives, nurses, social workers, therapists and other members seeking to enhance their knowledge of women's health and appropriate care and management. WomensHealthSection.com is a vision for the Globalized World. The use of information science and telecommunications to support the practice of medicine when distance separates the caregiver from the patient is the way forward to make medical care more affordable and more accessible in every country. With the increasing integration of the world economy, issues of research and development in health sector has assumed a global dimension.

Although we always think big, our approach is to start small, do it really well, and then gradually expand. Most of our work relies on a network of partners. We have been really fortunate because of the dedication, competence and sheer hard work of our partners, and a measure of our success lies in the way they have made this project their own.

Great Expectations!

Your Questions, Our Reply:

What moves you? "What Works?"

MDGs # 4 & 5: In September 2000, representatives from 189 countries gathered at the Millennium Summit to set specific targets for human development and poverty reduction to be achieved by 2015. This global commitment has been summarized in eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which provide a framework for measuring development progress. Two of the eight goals focus on child and maternal mortality, underscoring the importance of these issues to global development:

  • Goal 4 aims to reduce by two-thirds the mortality rate of children under five from 1990 levels
  • Goal 5 aims to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarter from 1990 levels

When it comes to women's health and healthcare, no technique bears more fruit than divining a theme and developing variations. In a world obsessed with -- what is new and what is next -- education is still at the core, after decades, for the better health and the living conditions. There is nothing more classic than a bright idea. Consider this one: a federation of National OB/GYN Societies of all 191 Member States of the United Nations. Thinking globally advocating nationally a global movement can be established for better understanding of reproductive health and cultures. This will be helpful to support national efforts for accelerating universal coverage of essential interventions for maternal, newborn and child health in high-mortality countries. This movement is essential to raise the priority and mobilize the necessary financial investment for maternal, newborn and child health, globally and at the national levels.

To help secure coordination, and to strengthen the long-term commitment of different participants and NGOs, the new global Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health seeks to track progress, highlight inequality, and promote greater accountability. Education that empowers women to make decisions about their lives and health is the key to reduce maternal mortality. The tragedy is that these women die not from disease, but during the normal, life-enhancing process of procreation; every woman who dies, many more suffer from serious conditions that can affect them for the rest of their lives. Maternal mortality is an indicator of disparity and inequality between men and women.

There is now global momentum to address these issues and we have a unique opportunity to build on this. Leadership is an art, and there are no hard-and-fast rules.

About NGO Association with the UN:

Literacy as freedom: with over 860 million adults worldwide who cannot read or write -- one in five adults -- and more than 113 million children out of school, the United Nations has launched the Literacy Decade (2003-2012) under the theme "Literacy as Freedom". Literacy efforts have so far failed to reach the poorest and most marginalized groups, according to the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and priority attention will be given to the most disadvantaged groups, especially women and girls, ethnic and linguistic minorities, indigenous populations, migrant refugees, disabled persons, and out-of-school children and youth. UNESCO will coordinate the international efforts to extend literacy under the Decade. The implementation of the Decade's plan of action comprises five two-year periods structured around gender, poverty, health, peace and freedom.

Secretary--General Kofi Annan stated that "literacy is the key to unlocking the cage of human misery, the key to delivering the potential of every human being, the key to opening up a future of freedom and hope. We know from study after study that there is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls and women."

Collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO):

To help countries make healthcare programs a reality in the late 1990s, several international agencies and donors became concerned that technical guidelines and programs in the field of reproductive health were not being implemented in some countries. In 1999, WHO, USAID and other organizations launched what has become known as the Implementing Best Practices (IBP) initiative to help countries translate evidence-based policies, programs and guidelines into reality. IBP partners work on collaborative assignments and with country teams in Benin, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia to harmonize approaches, reduce duplication of effort and develop strategies. The partnership has also helped to develop an electronic communication system known as the IBP Knowledge Gateway. This web-based system allows communities of practice -- groups of people who share what they know -- to exchange knowledge and experiences in implementing reproductive health programs. The system was launched in late 2003 and has over 3800 members from 58 countries and 146 communities of practice. The IBP secretariat is based at WHO, Department of Reproductive Health and Research. By June 2006, 23 international organizations had joined the partnership. For details please visit: www.ibpinitiative.org

Collaboration with UN University (UNU):

Under the auspices of the United Nations University (UNU) the Global Virtual University (GVU) is a consortium of universities that work together to enhance learning for environmental sustainability. Through a range of online study programs and courses, the mission of GVU is to increase people's sensitivity to and involvement in finding solutions for environment and development issues. The consortium acknowledges the importance of education for development and is particularly designed to meet the educational needs of the developing countries.

Online learning (e-learning) forms the basic educational method for all our study programs and courses. This implies that a substantial part of teaching, collaboration, and supervision take place on the Internet. The pedagogy has a social constructivist approach, which means that group work, online discussions and joint assignments are important. It further implies that an active and regular participation among the students is essential. Students meet their classmates in virtual classrooms, in some cases supported by a face to face session in the beginning of the course.

Top Two-Articles Accessed in October 2006:

  1. Sonographic Screening for Down Syndrome
    Author: Dr. Fergal D. Malone, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY (USA); Professor and Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Rotunda Hospital, Dublin (Ireland).
  2. Contraception Counseling & Compliance
    WHEC Publication. Special thanks to Department of Reproductive Health and Research of World Health Organization for its contributions.

News, Invitations and Letters:

Background on the 21 November, 2006 forum on General Assembly and Non-Governmental Organization Relations: The Office of the President of the 61st Session of the General Assembly and the United Nations Foundation are convening this forum to provide an opportunity for an informal dialogue between Member States and non-governmental organizations on the future of the relationship between non-governmental organizations and the General Assembly. In recent years, the General Assembly has invited the input of the private sector and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, to its major deliberations. In June of 2005, the General Assembly held its first informal interactive hearings with the private sector and civil society, including non-governmental-organizations, as an input to the 2005 World Summit. In the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, World leaders welcomed the positive contributions of local authorities, the private sector and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, to the work of the United Nations and encouraged the continued dialogue between these actors and Member States.

Women Presidents of the General Assembly: When Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa of Bahrain was appointed President of the 61st session of the UN General Assembly; she became only the third woman to occupy the prestigious post. The other two -- Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit of India, who presided over the eighth session in 1953, and Angie Elisabeth Brooks of Liberia, over the twenty-fourth session in 1969 -- each had to chair during uncertain times for the United Nations. Jyoti Dar, Director of International Affairs and NGO Representative at UN for Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC), is grand-daughter of Mrs. Pandit. You will find the article very informative: http://www.un.org/Pubs/chronicle/2006/issue3/0306p06.htm

Special Thanks:

WHEC thanks Dr. Robert L. Barbieri, Professor and Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA (USA) for his support, kindness and friendship. It is an honor to work with him on this project, and his work in reproductive health is priceless. Thanks again for sharing it with us.

My appreciation and deeply felt regards for the skills of Victoria A. White, CEO, eclecTechs whose suggestions and feedback contributed so much to the ultimate outcome of this e-learning publication. It is a privilege to work with her entire team.

Beyond the numbers...

Neither a wish nor a hope nor a prayer will grow food or build a shelter or maintain a business or invent a computer / internet or discover a cure for a disease or devise a proper political system or preserve / protect human rights / relationships. All of the values on which our life, well-being and happiness depend require -- A Process of Thought and Effort.

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