Bulletin of the World Health Organization

In this month's Bulletin

Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2009;87:161-161. doi: 10.2471/BLT.09.000309

This month’s cover shows a scientist taking samples to test for avian influenza in China. It illustrates medical products and technologies, one of the six building blocks of health systems (see box below).

In an editorial, George P Schmid et al. (162) highlight the unexplored story of HIV/AIDS in older and elderly individuals. It links with a news feature highlighting Brazil’s efforts in this field. In two other editorials, Mark Petticrew (163) and Elizabeth Waters (164) argue that systematic reviews are useful for tackling questions about what works in public health.

In recognition of the theme of this year’s World Health Day on 7 April – safe health facilities in emergencies – we interview (171–172) Dr Mohammed R Al Kashif, who coordinated hospitals and other health facilities across the Gaza Strip during the recent violence. We also interview Teddy Boen, from Indonesia, and Tony Gibbs, from Barbados and Grenada, about building health facilities that withstand tsunamis, earthquakes and other disasters.

United States of America: Who pays?

Gary Humphreys (169–170) reports on a recent change in the way hospitals are reimbursed for medical mistakes that could be ‘reasonably prevented’.

Kenya: TB detection and HIV

John Mansoer et al. (186–192) develop new methods for estimating tuberculosis case detection.

Pakistan: Higher rates of pneumonia at high altitudes

Aamir J Khan et al. (193–199) suggest targeting children in mountain communities with vaccines to reduce the risk of pneumonia.

The Gambia: Measures of access to health care

Merrin E Rutherford et al. (216–224) study the factors associated with child mortality.

India: Screening for oral cancer

Sujha Subramanian et al. (200–206) recommend screening of high-risk individuals.

Sri Lanka: The cost of self-poisoning

Kanchana Wickramasinghe et al. (180–185) estimate the cost of treating cases of self-poisoning, particularly with pesticides.

Brazil: HIV in older individuals

Claudia Jurberg (165–166) reports on a new campaign in Brazil to make people aged over 50 years more aware of the risks of becoming infected with HIV.

Africa: Essential medicines for children

Jane Robertson et al. (231–237) call for improved availability and affordability of medicines for children.

Africa: Shortage of health workers

Yohannes Kinfu et al. (225–230) find serious deficiencies in training to meet future health needs in 10 out of 12 countries studied.

Fiji: Managing skin conditions in children

Andrew C Steer et al. (173–179) test an algorithm for possible incorporation into the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness strategy.

Out-of-pocket payments

Chunling Lu et al. (238–244) call for a more accurate method of measuring private health expenditure.

Focus on postpartum haemorrhage

Cynthia Stanton et al. (207–215) discover many deficiencies in practices of active management of the third stage of labour.

Mosquito wars

Sarah Cumberland (167–168) reports on how genetically modified mosquitoes may soon be helping to fight the spread of dengue fever.

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 technology
  • Financing systems
  • Leadership and governance