Bulletin of the World Health Organization

In this month's Bulletin

Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2009;87:81-81. doi: 10.2471/BLT.09.000209

This month’s cover shows a doctor working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It illustrates health service delivery, one of the six building blocks of health systems (see box below).

In an editorial, Edmund Ramsden (82) discusses John B Calhoun’s classic research into the association between population density and social pathology in rodents and humans. In a second editorial, Cesar G Victora et al. (83) call for a common approach to measuring the success of child survival programmes. Shankar Prinja & Rajesh Kumar (84), in our third editorial, ask whether the world can reduce major health inequalities within one generation.

We interview Dhiman Barua & Dilip Mahalanabis (91–92), whose work changed the world’s approach to saving the lives of cholera patients.

Germany: measles outbreak investigation

Ole Wichmann et al. (108–115) call for an immediate nationwide catch-up vaccination campaign to close critical immunity gaps.

Sudan: lessons learned from a revolving drug fund

Gamal Khalafalla Mohamed Ali (139–142) suggests that the successful experience of Khartoum state could be replicated in other low-income communities.

Pakistan: why do babies die?

Imtiaz Jehan et al. (130–138) found a high neonatal mortality rate in an urban population despite good access to health care.

Belize: going digital

Janelle Chanona (87–88) reports on the cutting-edge health information system that links the Ministry of Health with the country’s hospitals, laboratories and clinics.

India: tracking India’s children

Shankar Prinja et al. (116–122) test WHO’s Child Growth Standards against the growth curves of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics.

United Republic of Tanzania: failure to follow guidelines

Research by Nicholas D Walter et al. (99–107) investigates the reasons for health workers failure to follow guidelines for the integrated management of illness in severely ill children.

Thailand: public contribution to health agenda

Apiradee Treerutkuarkul (89–90) reports from Bangkok on the consultative process that heralded Thailand’s first National Health Assembly.

Zimbabwe: solutions for cholera not always simple

Sarah Cumberland (85–86) reports on a recent cholera outbreak that highlights failures in cholera control across the globe.

Mozambique & the United Republic of Tanzania: preventing malaria in infants

Guy Hutton et al. (123–129) estimate the cost-effectiveness of intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine.

Marshall Islands: confirming measles cases

Terri B Hyde et al. (93–98) recommend limiting laboratory testing to individuals who meet the clinical case definition and have not been recently vaccinated.

Conducting trachoma surveys

Jeremiah Ngondi et al. (143–151) highlight cluster random sampling as the best method for conducting trachoma surveys.

Plagues of poverty

Hermann Feldmeier & Jorg Heukelbach (152–159) advocate integrating the control of epidermal parasitic skin diseases with that of other neglected diseases.

In recognition of WHO's drive to revitalize primary health care, each month's cover of the Bulletin this year will feature a photo illustrating one of the six building blocks of health systems:

  • Service delivery
  • Health workforce
  • Health information systems
  • Medical products and technologies
  • Financing systems
  • Leadership and governance.