home page | Catalogue table of contents |
| How to order | WHO sales agents | Contact information |
Environmental Health in Urban Development
Report of a WHO Expert Committee
Technical Report Series, No. 807
1991, 65 pages [E, F, S]
ISBN 92 4 120807 4
Sw.fr. 11.-/US $9.90; in developing countries: Sw.fr. 7.70
Order no. 1100807
Assesses what can be done to alleviate the many severe health problems associated with urban environments, where the living conditions of hundred of millions of people adversely affect their health, cause misery, and have potentially catastrophic social consequences. Recommendations and advice respond to the urgent need for an integrated approach to urban development that takes into account all the environmental factors that affect human health and well-being. Particular emphasis is placed on informal settlements, slums, and shanty-towns, where the most serious health problems are found.
The opening sections review problems and needs in urban environments, including information on the origins of the current urban crisis, projected future trends, and factors in the process of urbanization that have a negative impact on health. Conditions that hamper the proper management of urban development are also discussed. Problems identified include the conflict between the promotion of industrial development and the protection of the environment, the failure of environmental management technologies to keep pace with the growth of environmental problems, and the fact that urban systems for water-supply and the disposal of solid wastes are customarily under the control of agencies outside the health sector. The remaining sections outline strategies for improving urban environmental health through the strengthening of managerial policies and technologies and the encouragement of greater community action in self-improvement projects.
The Hospital in Rural and Urban Districts
Report of a WHO Study Group on the Functions of Hospitals at the First Referral Level
WHO Technical Report Series, No. 819
1992, vii + 74 pages [E, F, R, S]
ISBN 92 4 120819 8
Sw.fr. 12.-/US $10.80; in developing countries: Sw.fr. 8.40
Order no. 1100819
Elaborates a number of guiding principles concerning the organization of first referral hospitals, their integration into a system based on primary health care, and their technological requirements. The book aims to help governments and hospital administrators understand the many factors - whether concerning financial allocations or the local pattern of disease - that must be considered when defining the hospital's functions and organizing its services.
The report has two parts. Chapters in the first part focus on the hospital's functions within its district setting. The integration of the first referral hospital into the district health care system, overseen by a district health council, is presented as the best way of strengthening primary health care. The second and most extensive part provides a practical guide to the internal activities of a hospital. Guidance is given on admission policies, clinical services, hospital and community nursing and midwifery, quality assurance, and training. Other chapters examine the requirements for clinical support functions, including laboratory, diagnostic imaging, pharmacy, sterilization and dietary services. Readers are also reminded of the need to plan for the efficient operation of utilities, maintenance and repair, hospital hygiene, transportation, catering, laundry, storage, and communications.
Operation and Maintenance of Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Systems
A Guide for Managers
1994, ix + 102 pages [C*, E, F]
ISBN 92 4 154471 6
Sw.fr. 23.-/US $20.70; in developing countries: Sw.fr. 16.10
Order no. 1150416
Describes a systems approach to the operation and maintenance of drinking-water and sanitation services in urban areas of developing countries. Addressed to managers and other personnel with decision-making responsibilities, the book responds to ample evidence that poor management has had the greatest single negative impact on the quality of water supply and sanitation services. The guide, which is intended to serve as a reference source and conceptual framework, covers virtually all the procedures, activities, projects, and areas of managerial responsibility, at different levels, needed to ensure that water supply and sanitation services function continuously, efficiently, and to their full capacity. Emphasis is placed on procedures that can help control water losses.
The book has five parts. The first describes the use of the management systems approach to analyse the functions of drinking-water and sanitation agencies and to solve operation and maintenance problems. Part two, on management, provides a step-by-step account of the key responsibilities and functions involved in managing an agency's operation and maintenance activities. The third and most extensive part serves as a detailed guide to the planning and control of operation and maintenance procedures. While most attention is given to projects for controlling water loss, part three also covers programmes for controlling the production and quality of drinking-water, and for sewage collection, treatment, re-use, and disposal. The remaining chapters describe information systems and the procedures and stages of implementation. Of particular practical value is a five-page tabular presentation of performance indicators that can be used to assess the effectiveness of specific activities.
" ... presents in a simple and readable form the
basic managerial structures to ensure that every job to be done has a person or an
organization responsible for doing it ... worth reading by managers and students of
management everywhere ... The modest cost should allow it to be bought by every water
supply organization, most libraries, and many individuals..."
International Journal of Environmental Studies
The Role of Health Centres in the Development of Urban Health Systems
Report of a WHO Study Group on Primary Health Care in Urban Areas
Technical Report Series, No. 827
1992, iv + 38 pages [E, F, S]
ISBN 92 4 120827 9
Sw.fr. 7.-/US $6.30; in developing countries: Sw.fr. 4.90
Order no. 1100827
Considers what can be done to improve the quality of urban health services and make them more accessible to residents in low-income areas and slums. Noting that a shortage of resources for urban health is a problem everywhere, the report concentrates on organizational and administrative changes that can upgrade the quality of health centres, extend coverage to underserved populations, and reduce the inefficiencies that occur when hospitals are overburdened by patients suffering from minor complaints. The objective is to help health administrators and municipal authorities analyse the weaknesses in urban health systems, appraise options for strengthening primary health care, and introduce interventions that help obtain the maximum health gains from restricted budgets. Throughout the report, experiences in different cities around the world are used to illustrate both the shortcomings of many urban health systems and the specific changes that have brought improvements.
The opening sections identify key issues in the organization of urban health systems and review the extent to which health systems in the world's cities are providing primary health care, particularly for low-income communities. Against this background, the report introduces the concept of "reference health centres" that would provide an extended range of high-quality, round-the-clock health services in defined catchment areas and link with hospitals for referral support. According to this concept, an urban reference health centre aims to support and strengthen local health centres in their role as providers of primary health care and to bring comprehensive medical care to local communities, making health services accessible to all city-dwellers on a more equitable basis.
Spotlight on the Cities
Improving Urban Health in Developing Countries
I. Tabibzadeh, A. Rossi-Espagnet, and R. Maxwell
1989, iv + 174 pages [E, F, S]
ISBN 92 4 156131 9
Sw.fr. 30.-/US $27.00; in developing countries: Sw.fr. 21.-
Order no. 1150329
Challenges governments and health planners to address the needs of the poor living in the shanty towns and slums of the developing world. Noting that the year 2000 will see an estimated 1 billion people living in urban squalor, the book calls for a radical reorientation of health priorities as the only way to deal with this growing urban crisis. Throughout the book, numerous case studies from around the world are used to illustrate both the magnitude of the problem and the options available for immediate action.
The book opens with an analysis of the characteristics and causes of the urban health crisis. Facts and figures, including future estimates, are used to document the chaotic, unbalanced, and uncontrolled growth of urban centres. The second chapter, concerned with the inadequacy of conventional health services for the urban poor, presents compelling arguments for a basic shift in health care priorities towards the widespread application of primary health care.
The third chapter explains the importance of community involvement, emphasizing differences between the concept of community health work in rural areas and the demands and special problems of an urban setting. Readers are reminded that conventional solutions are neither affordable nor appropriate, and that low-cost, decentralized methods, supported by the community, have a greater chance of success. The book concludes with a discussion of what needs to be done to move beyond successful pockets of action towards universal health coverage in the poorest urban communities.
"... an exceptionally well written book ... The
authors advocate doing simple inexpensive things that have a proven impact - and doing
those things on a big scale..."
Surface Water Drainage for Low-income Communities
1991, v + 88 pages [E, F, S]
ISBN 92 4 154416 3
Sw.fr. 16.-/US $14.40; in developing countries: Sw.fr. 11.20
Order no. 1150352
An illustrated practical and technical guide to the design, construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance of surface water drainage systems in low-income urban areas. Noting that drainage often figures first on the list of felt needs among the residents of such areas, the book concentrates on the many "do-it-yourself" measures that communities can undertake to construct a simple, effective, low-cost drainage system or to rehabilitate an existing system that has fallen into disrepair. Projects conducted with engineering assistance and municipal support are also thoroughly described.
The opening chapters provide a perspective on the risks associated with surface water, including the dangers of landslides, floods, and collapsing homes as well as numerous diseases. Readers are introduced to four principal phases of a typical neighbourhood drainage improvement programme and then given full details on the technical aspects of drainage design, construction, and maintenance, including the pros and cons of different technical options. Details range from a list of reasons why closed drains should rarely be used in developing countries, through the precautions and safety checks to be followed before entering a manhole, to advice on what to do when an existing drainage system has collapsed, become blocked, or needs repair and rehabilitation. Advice, warnings, and alerts to common pitfalls are supported by repeated reference to real experiences with community drainage projects in different parts of the world. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the many - and often ingenious - things that can be done using inexpensive local materials and community skills.
"... very useful for the small community ...
promotes simple, but effective low-cost techniques for urban drainage..."
The Annals of Occupational Hygiene
The Urban Health Crisis
Strategies for Health for All in the Face of Rapid Urbanization
1993, xvi + 80 pages [C, E, F, S]
ISBN 92 4 156159 9
Sw.fr. 20.-/US $18.00; in developing countries: Sw.fr. 14.-
Order no. 1150402
Responds to concern over the impending health crisis in urban areas, where explosive population growth has outstripped the capacity of local authorities to provide basic services, and where conditions favouring poor health are increasingly the norm. Adopting a public health approach, the book aims to guide decision-makers in setting priorities and selecting the most realistic policy options, particularly in situations characterized by escalating problems and dwindling resources. Throughout, recommended lines of action are presented within the context of a "new public health", which recognizes the need for a balanced mix of environmental change, personal prevention measures, and appropriate therapeutic interventions.
The most extensive chapter considers the importance of urban environmental health services and explains why their responsibilities need to be expanded to include the ecological problems that now threaten health in most urban areas. Since so many different components of urban life can affect health, the chapter also argues for an intersectoral approach that regards environmental health as an integral part of overall urban development. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the main threats to health, characteristic of urban life, that can be reduced through effective environmental health services. These range from the provision of safe water and food, through waste disposal and pollution control, to occupational safety and the prevention of accidents and disasters.
"... provides a useful theoretical framework for
tackling the very difficult task of reorienting the health system in a complex urban
South African Medical Journal
Urbanization: A Global Health Challenge
Proceedings of a WHO Symposium, Kobe, Japan 1996
Document issued by the WHO Centre for Health Development,
1996, viii + 193 pages [E]
Sw.fr. 17.-/US $15.30
In developing countries: Sw.fr. 11.90
Order no. 1930116
Records the proceedings of an international symposium where experts in public health, sociology, the behavioural sciences, economics, and environmental health convened to discuss the problems posed by striking increases in the populations of cities and megacities. Topics discussed range from strategies for financing essential health services to ways of combatting motor vehicle pollution, from solutions to the problem of housing shortages to the use of legislation to enforce efficient disposal of domestic wastes. Throughout the proceedings, particular attention is given to the health needs of the urban poor and other vulnerable groups, including women, children, the elderly, and unemployed youth.
Several contributions describe the WHO Healthy Cities initiative and consider reasons for its striking success. The report also features first-hand accounts of lessons learned during efforts to reform conditions in a diversity of cities, including Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Bombay, Harare, and Athens. Numerous projections of urban growth and related health problems in the 21st century are included to help governments plan for the future.