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2008: Development Challenges, South-South Solutions

2008

December

Making Bamboo Houses Easier to Build Development Challenges: More than 1 billion people around the world lack decent shelter. Of these, the majority live in urban areas, usually in slums and informal settlements (UN-HABITAT). Latin America has a serious shortage of adequate housing: in Colombia, 43 percent of the population needs decent housing; in Brazil, 45 percent; Peru, 53 percent.

Two-stroke Engine Pollution Solution Development Challenges: Cities across the South choke on the pollution made by the small two-stroke engines (http://www.howstuffworks.com/two-stroke.htm) powering motor scooters, motorcycles, auto rickshaws, tuk-tuks and other vehicles. People choose these vehicles to get around because they are cheap, powerful and easy to fix. But the environment – and human health – suffers as a result. And as cities balloon and populations grow, the number of journeys and two-stroke engines grows with it.

Rammed-Earth Houses: China Shows how to Improve and Respect Traditional Homes Development Challenges: The pace of change across the South has been blistering. Over the past decade, the overall population has moved from being primarily rural to majority urban. In the process, rural communities have suffered, as they have seen their young and ambitious leave in droves seeking a better life in cities.More than 200 million Chinese farmers have moved to cities in recent years. It’s easy to see why. Chinese farms are tiny, with the average rural household farming just 0.6 hectares. And incomes are low compared to the cost of living: average annual income was just US$606 in 2007, a third of city salaries.

Clay Filters are Simple Solution for Clean Water Development Challenges:Access to clean water is critical to good health. It is a basic human need that when met, leads to the biggest improvements in health and well-being. Dirty water causes diarrhoea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diarrhea),cholera and typhoid. Diseases caused by dirty drinking water kill almost 5,000 children a day around the world (WHO).

Brazil Preserves Family Farms and Keeps Food Local and Healthy Development Challenges: Today’s global food crisis sparked by a toxic mix of events – high oil and commodity prices, food scarcity, growing populations, and environmental catastrophes – has woken many up to the urgent need to secure food supplies and help those who grow the world’s food. More and more countries are turning to local and small farms – or family farms – to offer food security when times get rough.

November

Riverwood: Kenyan Super-fast, Super-cheap Filmmaking Development Challenges: The African film-making success story of Nigeria’s Nollywood has been joined by another fast-rising star: Kenya’s Riverwood. Both are beneficiaries of the digital revolution in filmmaking over the last decade, and both are using low-cost digital filmmaking and editing to tell local stories — in the process making money and creating thousands of jobs.

Model Indian Villages to Keep Rural Relevant Development Challenges:The world’s rush to urban centres is the great challenge of the 21st century. In 2007, the world became a majority urban place. The consequences of this shift can be seen in the blight of urban poverty, with its slums and squalor, environmental degradation, and rising social tensions. But there are people working on keeping rural areas relevant and pleasant places to live. These rural advocates see a vibrant countryside as part of the solution to the world’s plethora of crises.

Brazilian Solar-powered WiFi for Poor Schools Development Challenges:There is a pressing need to spread access to the internet to the world’s poor – but also many obstacles. Often it is something as basic as a lack of electricity that brings progress to a halt. But a Brazilian innovator has come up with a solar power supply that is helping to bring internet access to schools serving the poor.

Web 2.0: Networking to Eradicate Poverty Development Challenges: The internet phenomenon of Web 2.0 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0) – the name given to the wave of internet businesses and websites such asYouTube(www.youtube.com), Facebook and MySpace transforming the way people interact with the ‘Net – has also given birth to two new development-themed social networking websites.

October

Local Fashions Pay Off for Southern Designers Development Challenges:Fashion earns big money around the world: The global clothing industry is estimated to be worth US $900 billion a year. For many decades, strong American brands have been the desired commodity for those looking to be cool and contemporary. People were willing to pay high premium prices to get the cache of American cool that the brands conveyed.

Rats a Solution in Food Crisis Development Challenges: The global food crisis continues to fuel food price inflation and send many into hunger and despair. Around the world, solutions are being sought to the urgent need for more and cheaper food. Right now there are 862 million undernourished people around the world (FAO), and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for food production to increase 50 percent by 2030 just to meet rising demand.

Mobile Phones: New Market Tools for the Poor Development Challenges:Bangladesh’s poor can now buy and sell goods and services with their mobile phones, thanks to a Bangladeshi company’s pioneering mobile phone marketplace. The company, CellBazaar, serves as a useful role model for other Southern entrepreneurs and companies looking to develop and market mobile phone applications for the poor that really help them.

Picking Money from the Baobab Tree Development Challenges: The fruit of the highly revered African baobab tree is being seen as a great new opportunity for the poor, after a recent decision by the European Commission to allow its importation. According to one study, gathering the fruit has the potential to earn an extra US $1 billion a year for Africa, and bring work and income to 2.5 million households, most of them African bush dwellers (Britain’s Natural Resources Institute).

September

Solar Power Bringing Light and Opportunity to the Poor Development Challenges: Meeting the South’s energy needs will be crucial to achieving radical improvements in quality of life and human development. It is estimated that 1.7 billion people around the world lack electricity (World Bank), of whom more than 500 million live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Computer ‘Gold Farming’ Turning Virtual Reality into Real Profits Development Challenges: The rapid spread of the internet around the global South is bringing with it new forms of work. One of these trends is so-called “gold farming”: making money in the virtual world of computer gaming by trading in virtual money, prizes and goods for busy gamers who don’t have time to do it themselves. This work now employs 400,000 people – mostly men and mostly in China, but also elsewhere in the South, according to a new report.

Farmers Weather Fertilizer Crisis by Going Organic Development Challenges: Around the world, large-scale agriculture relies on the use of chemical fertilizers. But increasing expense and decreasing supply of fertilizer is driving up the cost of food, and in turn contributing to the overall food crisis.

Urban Farmers Gain from Waste Water Development Challenges: The global food crisis continues to fuel food price inflation and send many into hunger and despair. Around the world, solutions are being sought to the urgent need for more food and cheaper food. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for food production to increase 50 percent by 2030 just to meet rising demand – and right now there are 862 million people undernourished (FAO).

August

Cash Machines for the Poor Development Challenges: Access to basic banking services for the poor is weak at the best of times. Many are openly discriminated against as a ‘bad risk’ by banks, and denied the sort of banking services middle and higher income people take for granted. Yet it is a myth that the poor do not have money or do not wish to save and invest for their future or for business.

Milk Co-operatives Help Hungry Haiti Development Challenges: The global food crisis has hit the impoverished Caribbean country of Haiti especially hard. Already suffering from decades of food crises brought on by the collapse of domestic farming, the country has become notorious for its people being reduced to eating cakes made of mud to stave off hunger pains. It is the poorest country of Latin America and the Caribbean and one of the poorest in the world.

Traditional Healers can Heal the Mind, as well as Body Development Challenges:Mental healthcare is critical to physical health and overall wellbeing, yet it is seriously neglected around the world – and especially in poorer countries.

Fashion Recycling: How Southern Designers are Re-using and Making Money Development Challenges: With the rising awareness of the importance of doing fashion in an ethical and sustainable way, more and more fashion designers in the South are getting very creative. Fashion earns big money around the world: The global clothing industry is estimated to be worth US $900 billion a year.

July

Pay for Pee Keeps Indian Town Clean Development Challenges: The task is huge: 2.6 billion people, or 41 percent of the world’s population, is without access to basic sanitation. As a result, most have to make do and defecate or urinate wherever they can. In crowded urban areas, the result is an unpleasant source of disease and filth that fouls living spaces and sickens or kills many people.

Sex Workers’ Savings Help Make a Better Life Development Challenges:Prostitution is called the world’s oldest profession, and can be found in one form or another in every country and society. And where poverty is rife and women have few economic choices, it flourishes. But it also flourishes in societies and economies undergoing rapid change, and where people move around more and more, as in the South’s fast-growing cities.

Urban Youth: A Great Source of Untapped Growth Development Challenges: The world’s growing urbanization means that a whole generation of youth will have a dramatically different life than their parents. The world’s 3.3 billion urbanites now outnumber rural residents for the first time (UNFPA’s State of the World Population 2007 Report). And the vast majority live in slums or periurban areas, places of sprawl, where public services are poor and housing conditions unhealthy.

Innovative Mobile Phone Applications Storm South Development Challenges: The pace of change in information technology in the South is impressive, and nowhere has it been more rapid than in the take-up of mobile phones. In the past three years China has become the world’s largest exporter of information and communications technology (ICT), and home to the same number of mobile-phone users (500 million) as the whole of Europe. According to India’s telecoms regulator, half of all urban dwellers now have mobile- or fixed-telephone subscriptions and the number is growing by eight million a month.

Small-scale Farmers Can Fight Malaria Battle Development Challenges:Malaria is one of Africa’s biggest killers. Each year globally 300 to 500 million people are infected, and around 1 million die from the disease (theglobalfund). Ninety percent of malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa – mostly to children under the age of five. The disease costs African countries US$12 billion a year in lost gross domestic product.

June

Urban Farming to Tackle Global Food Crisis Development Challenges: The world’s population is becoming more urban by the day. By 2030, some five billion people around the world will live in cities. This year is the tipping point: urban dwellers (3.3 billion people) now outnumber rural residents for the first time (UNFPA’s State of the World Population 2007 Report).

Connoisseur Chocolate from the South Gets a Higher Price Development Challenges: Like coffee beans, cocoa beans are grown around the world and are a major commodity, highly prized in wealthy countries. West Africa accounts for 70 percent of the world’s output, with the rest grown either in Indonesia and Brazil (20 percent), or on a smaller scale in countries across the South, from Belize to Madagascar.

Agricultural Waste Generating Electricity Development Challenges:Agriculture around the world produces a great deal of waste as a by-product. It can be animal faeces, or the discarded plant husks thrown away when rice, grains or maize are harvested. When this waste meets the urgent need for electricity, something special can happen.

The Disabled in the South can Make Money, Restore DignitDevelopment Challenges: The South’s disabled are a large population and often suffer more than even the poorest residents. It is estimated that there are 500 million disabled people in the world, with either mental, physical or sensory impairment. As many as 80 percent of all disabled people live in isolated rural areas in developing countries, and in some countries more than 20 percent of the population is classed as disabled (UN).

May

Women Mastering Trade Rules Development Challenges: Market trading is a vital lifeline for most people in the South. Plenty of delights usually await people in the market, where live animals, herbs and spices, fresh fruits and vegetables, and life’s necessities compete for customers’ money. The formal and informal food sector plays a crucial role in empowering women and providing food to the poor.

Combating Counterfeit Drugs Development Challenges: Access to good quality drugs is a serious problem across the South. The International Narcotics Control Boardestimates that up to 15 per cent of all drugs sold around the world are fake or counterfeit, and in parts of Africa and Asia this figure jumps to 50 per cent. The US Food and Drug Administration estimates counterfeit drugs make up 10 per cent of the global medicine market.

Rainforest Rubbers Save Lives Development Challenges: Two development goals are being achieved with one innovative business in Brazil. By using natural rubber tapped from trees in the Amazon rainforest to make condoms, Brazil is able to afford the cost of distributing condoms to tackle its HIV/AIDS crisis. Brazil currently imports more than 120 million condoms every year from China, Republic of Korea and Thailand, making it the world’s biggest single buyer of condoms.

New Weapon Against Crime in the South Development Challenges: Crime in the South’s fast-growing cities has a negative affect on economic development and social and community harmony. In Africa, with one fifth of the world’s population, for example, data is very poor on crime and its victims. The absence of good data means prevention and detection of crime is poor, and resources to fight it can’t be allocated effectively.

April

Tapping the Power of Child Play Development Challenges: Children are an amazing source of energy. Each generation fizzes with the restlessness and optimism of youth. But all that energy is expended in the playground, leaving behind nothing but the sound of laughter. What if that energy could actually be harnessed and turned into electricity? And electricity to power the cash-strapped school the children need to attend to get a good head start in life?

Illiterate Get Internet at the Touch of a Button Development Challenges:Quick access to information is crucial for development. The remarkable spread of information around the world via the internet has been one of the greatest achievements of the 21st century. The astounding take-up of mobile phones is another. For those who can afford it or get access to a computer and electricity, the new technology is a powerful tool for economic and social advancement. But what about people who are caught in the technology gap, or who are illiterate?

The South has a Good Story to Tell Development Challenges: The fast-changing modern world is raising the living standards of billions in the South – China alone has lifted 400 million people out of poverty since the 1980s – but it is also risking the loss of many rich cultural traditions. One of them is storytelling. Oral storytelling is a critical tool for passing on history, while teaching morals and ethics, especially in societies with low rates of literacy and little formal education. But with the rise of modern media and advertising, few traditional storytellers – many of whom are old – stand a chance.

Insects Can Help in a Food Crisis Development Challenges: For many years it was a given that the world’s problem was not a lack of food, but that it was unfairly shared. But as the switch to biofuels gathers pace, farmland is being diverted away from growing food for people, to food for fuel. On top of this, growing prosperity in many countries in the South has boosted demand for better quality food, including grain-devouring meat diets – it takes 10 kilograms of grain to get one kilogram of meat from a cow. The crisis has deeply alarmed the UN’s World Food Programme and the World Bank. In the economic battle for food, the poor are the most vulnerable.

March

From Warriors to Tour Guides Development Challenges: In the wake of conflict, demobilizing combatants is as critical as ending the fighting if there is hope for the peace to last. When conflict ends, former fighters usually find themselves unemployed. But tourism is proving a viable way to deal with the social and political dangers of neglecting former fighters post-conflict.

Carbon Markets Need to Help the Poor Development Challenges: The global carbon credit trading schemes emanating from the Kyoto Protocolhave created a multi-billion dollar market – the global carbon market was worth US $30 billion in 2007 (World Bank) – and represents one of the fastest growing business opportunities in the world. The bulk of this trading is with the European Union’s emissions trading scheme, some US $25 billion. But the big problem to date has been most of this investment is enriching stock brokers, and not the poor.

Nollywood: Booming Nigerian Film Industry Development Challenges: Thedigital revolution in filmmaking over the last decade has given birth to an African success story: Nollywood – Nigeria’s answer to Hollywood, uses low-cost digital filmmaking and editing to tell local stories — in the process making money and creating thousands of jobs.

Innovative Stoves to Help the Poor Development Challenges: Half of the world’s population cook with a fuel-burning stove, and this figure rises to 80 per cent of households in rural areas in developing countries. Typical fuels burned include wood, coal, crop leftovers and animal dung. The indoor pollution from smoke and carbon monoxide is a top health hazard in the developing world, ranking just behind dirty water, poor sanitation and malnutrition. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.6 million people die each year as a result of toxic indoor air.

February

Cashing in on Old Wisdom Development Challenges: India’s traditional weavers, heirs to a 2,000-year-old textile industry, are turning to the ancient practice of ayurvedic medicine to make their products more appealing and boost sales. Drawing on recipes once used by weavers to the Indian royal courts, clothes are woven and infused with ayurvedic, herb-and-spice medicinal recipes to address various health problems. Strange as it may sound, the health-giving properties of the clothes have been backed up by clinical trials at the Government Ayurveda College in Thiruvanathapuram, southern India.

Prisons with Green Solutions Development Challenges: An ingenious solution is helping Rwanda reduce the cost of running its bursting prisons, while improving conditions for the prisoners and helping protect the environment.

Envisioning Better Slums Development Challenges: More than 900 million people – almost a sixth of the world’s population – now live in urban slums (UN). Improving conditions for these people is a critical Millennium Development Goal target. And the scale of the problem is vast: this year half the world’s population will live in cities, and already in developing countries 43 per cent of urban dwellers live in slums. In the least-developed countries the figure is 78 per cent.

Mobile Phone Peacekeeping Development Challenges: Last month UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon pointed out the urgent need for interesting and relevant content to attract Africans to the internet. Official statistics can make for grim reading: the continent has less bandwidth than Ireland (World Economic Forum). While it is true Africa is restricted by serious technological and economic disadvantages, African ingenuity, creativity and hard work are bypassing these impediments to get things done nonetheless. While word has got out about the impressive take-up of mobile phones in Africa, the new world of Web 2.0 is also spawning a new generation of inspiring African technology whizzes transforming perceptions and grabbing the world’s attention.

January

Putting Worms to Work Development Challenges: Overuse of pesticides is now acknowledged as one of the gravest mistakes of the Green Revolution, launched in the 1970s to dramatically increase food production in the developing world. Pesticides have polluted the environment, poisoned fertile soil, contaminated ground water and damaged human health.

Cyber Cities in the South: An Oasis of Opportunity Development Challenges: The future is arriving in the South even faster than many think: so-called “cyber cities” are being created to become this century’s new Silicon Valleys. Well-known ‘cyber cities’ like India’s Hyderabad and Bangalore have been joined by many other cities across the global South. But two places are set to make big waves with their ambition and drive in 2008: Mauritius and China.

Decent and Affordable Housing for the Poor Development Challenges:Urban populations across the South are growing fast: by 2030, some 5 billion people around the world will live in cities. This year will be the first year in which urban dwellers (3.3 billion people) will outnumber rural residents for the first time (United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA]). Africa now has a larger urban population than North America and 25 of the world’s fastest growing big cities. Asia and Africa’s cities are growing by an incredible 1 million people a week, with 72 per cent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa living in slum conditions.

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Starting From Scratch: The Challenge Of Transition

By David South (Canada), UNV Information Officer, UNDP, Mongolia

UNV News #78 November 97

After seven years of transition to a market economy, Mongolia – a former satellite of the Soviet Union that has had a democratic government since 1992 – has been profoundly changed. Where it once had a rigid communist government and few contacts with the west, Mongolia has pursued rapid economic, political and social liberalisation. Mongolia has a small population – 2.3 million – spread out over a vast territory wedged between Russia and China.

Communication has in many ways deteriorated over the past seven years as the old communication networks from the communist era have not been fully replaced by the private sector. More and more it became apparent that government and the private sector were almost working in the dark in understanding how transition has affected Mongolians.

In partnership with the Mongolian government, UNDP initiated the researching of Mongolia’s first human development report back in the middle of 1996. It was launched on September 5 of this year, with UNVs playing a key role. To lead the team in producing the report, British poverty specialist and UNV Shahin Yaqub was brought in. Only 29-years-old – one of the youngest UNVs in Mongolia – Yaqub joined a rapidly expanding UNV presence in the country. There are now 24 international UNVs and 26 Mongolian UNVs deployed throughout the country in UNDP’s projects.

The thirst for expertise in Mongolia – a country undergoing the growing pains of transition to a market economy – has placed high demand on UNVs. UNVs occupy senior roles in all of UNDP’s projects.

The 1997 Mongolian Human Development Report is a prime example of the important goal of capacity building conducted by the UNDP. For Yaqub, the report’s principal author, it was like starting from scratch. A poverty research office had to be set up before the work could begin. A team of Mongolia’s top statistical researchers had to be trained in the latest methodologies for social research.

Yaqub was excited by the project. He said: ”There was no office when I first came. We had to organise the office to understand who does what and basically create the focal point for poverty analysis in Mongolia”.

Yaqub also had some of his basic assumptions tested. The small population of this country – only 2.3 million – had meant the previous communist regime was able to build up a large archive of statistics on the population. A good portion of the information was not up to international standards, but it potentially represented a wellspring of data to start from. “Mongolia is number-rich. To even have that kind of data is very rare for a developing country. But unfortunately we found all this information was stored on Russian mainframe computers that didn’t work anymore!”

During the actual production of the report, Yaqub was joined by three more UNVs: Mustafa Eric, a Turkish journalist working with the Press Institute of Mongolia, Jerry van Mourik, a Dutch journalist now working as the Support Officer to the United Nations Resident Co-ordinator, and UNDP Information Officer David South, a former journalist with the Financial Times in London, England.

The high-profile role played by media UNVs was crucial if the report was to not end up collecting dust on a government shelf. The report is a repository of essential and new information on the state of human development in Mongolia, including data showing rising poverty rates and serious threats to food security. Like all human development reports produced by UNDP, it was not meant to be a prescriptive tract, but a lubricant for a national debate on sustainable development in Mongolia. This altered the design and presentation of the report.

Instead of looking academic, the report took on the appearance of a magazine, from its cover to colourful children’s paintings inside. UNV Mustafa not only assisted with the report’s design and production, he also used his contacts in the Mongolian media to ensure the report was distributed across the country. UNV van Mourik assisted with publicity, including producing an emotionally-charged television commercial weaving together vignettes from Mongolia’s recent history to tell the story of human development.

Already in its second print run in both English and Mongolian, the report has been adopted as their study guide by Mongolians wanting to learn English.

“Mongolia is a rewarding place to work,” said Yaqub. “As a technical specialist and UNV, what you bring to the job is valued. I researched poverty for five years before coming to Mongolia and I felt I had something to contribute. But I also realised I had something to learn as well. You always have to keep in mind you are bringing your own baggage to the job – be it cultural, emotional or intellectual. Coming from an academic background, I was not afraid to be told I was wrong.”

Yaqub, who had worked in poverty analysis in the Philippines and Bangladesh before coming to Mongolia, will never forget the country that sparked his new passion: horses.

“You give up things as a volunteer – your time, your income, all the things you took for granted back home. But what you give up is compensated by rewarding work and good friends. When I learned to ride a horse, I can place it directly and clearly to Mongolia – that memory will always be with me.”

Just before Yaqub left Mongolia for work with UNDP in New York, he participated in a series of public debates in one of Mongolia’s poorest provinces, Khuvsgul aimag. The public debates are used to introduce the report to the grassroots while sparking discussion on sustainable human development.

Starting from scratch – The challenge of transition

Résumé en Français

UNV News #78 November 97

Sept années de transition vers une économie de marché et une libéralisation rapide tant économique et politique que sociale, ont profondément transformé la Mongolie, vaste territoire à faible densité de population bordé par la Russie et la Chine. Les communi-cations se sont fortement détériorées et ni le gouvernement ni le secteur privé ne se trouvaient manifestement en mesure d’évaluer l’impact de la transition sur la population. En collaboration avec le gouvernement, le PNUD a donc procédé à l’établissement du premier rapport sur le développement humain en Mongolie, publié en septembre de cette année.

Plusieurs VNU parmi le nombre croissant de volontaires actuellement en poste en Mongolie au sein de projets du PNUD – 24 internationaux et 26 nationaux – y ont pris une part prépondérante, tout particulièrement Shahin Yaqub, spécialiste britannique en recherche sur la pauvreté. Pour Yaqub, puis pour ses trois collègues VNU Mustafa Erik, Jerry van Mourik et David South, le défi consistait à partir de rien – pas de bureau, une base de statistiques existante… mais sur des ordinateurs russes hors service – pour mettre sur pied un rapport riche en informations qui, une fois terminé, n’irait pas dormir sur l’étagère d’un bureau gouvernemental mais servirait de base à une action durable à l’échelon national. Grâce au format adopté – un magazine abondamment illustré – , à sa présentation par les médias – notamment la télévision – et à sa diffusion à travers le pays entier, c’est chose faite. Le rapport, imprimé en anglais et mongol, sert même de guide aux Mongoliens étudiant l’anglais.

Pour Yaqub, qui a depuis rejoint le PNUD à New York après avoir participé à une série de débats au sein d’une des provinces les plus pauvres de Mongolie destinés à promouvoir un développement humain durable, ce fut une expérience unique en son genre.

S’il a fait bénéficier la Mongolie de son expertise, il considère qu’il a retiré tout autant de son affectation: un travail gratifiant, de nouveaux amis – et en particulier une toute nouvelle passion, celle des chevaux.

Starting from scratch – The challenge of transition

Resumen en Español

UNV News #78 November 97

Después de siete años de transición hacia una economía de mercado, Mongolia goza hoy de un crecimiento económico, político y de liberación social, con una población de 2.3 millones de habitantes esparcidos sobre un extenso territorio ubicado entre Rusia y China. Su sistema de comunicación no es del todo satisfactorio, ya que la antigua red usada durante el comunismo no fue reemplazada completamente por el sector privado, sin embargo poco a poco el gobierno así como el sector privado comienzan a percatarse de la repercusión. En colaboración con el gobierno en Mongolia, el PNUD inició su trabajo de investigación sobre el desarrollo humano y realizó su primer informe sobre Mongolia que fue presentado el 5 de septiembre de este año.

El grupo que tuvo que realizar el informe fue encabezado por el especialista británico en asuntos sobre la pobreza y voluntario de NU, Shahin Yaqub. Actualmente hay 24 voluntarios internacionales y 26 nacionales, su labor juega un rol importante en la realización de los proyectos del PNUD. Para la realización del informe, Shahin tuvo la colaboración de otros tres VNUS, Mustafa Eric, Jerry van Mourik y David South, todos periodistas. El informe es un compendio de información esencial y actual sobre el estado de desarrollo humano en Mongolia. Para no parecer académico el informe se ilustró como una revista, con dibujos y pinturas infantiles. Mustafa no solo asistió en el diseño y la producción, también usó sus contactos dentro del ámbito periodístico local para hacer circular el documento dentro del país. Jerry por su parte se encargó de un aviso de televisión. Ya en su segunda edición el documento fue publicado en ambos idiomas, inglés y mongol, y es usado como libro de estudio entre los mongoles que quieren aprender el inglés. Para Shahin Mongolia es un lugar gratificante para trabajar. El siente que con su trabajo y sus esfuerzos pudo ayudarle a la población y además tuvo su gran satisfacción personal, no solo en su labor, también en el sentido humano. Aquí aprendió montar a caballo, lo cual será para siempre relacionado con Mongolia.

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Mongolian AIDS Bulletin

English Translation of the Magazine

Mongolian AIDS Bulletin
Issue No.1-December 1,1997

This is the English translation of the original Mongolian text

 

Contents:

 

About red stripe…

Red stripe is a symbol of solidarity with millions and millions of AIDS-infected, to take care after them and to join in a battle against of this disease.

Message from the Editor

“Information and education are the most powerful instruments to protect our planet from AIDS”. This quotation is found in the introduction of one of the international organisation against AIDS.

The Mongolian delegation participated in the 4th Conference on the AIDS issue in Manila on 24-29 October brought this idea back home. Mongolians admit a lack of adequate information. Therefore we have decided to publish this magazine to support efforts AIDS . Also it would be the bridge in the battle against AIDS between Mongolian Government and Mongolian people.

We would like to acknowledge the UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Douglas Gardner, Support Officer to Resident Co-ordinator, UNDP Mr. Jerry van Mourik and Mr. Nicholas Bates for the financial support and Mr. David South, Information Specialist UNDP for the initiative to produce this magazine and for their valuable professional assistance.

We also acknowledge Mr. Sh. Enkhbat, Secretary of the National AIDS Committee, Mr. H. Davaajav, Head of the department against AIDS/STD of the Infection Dicease Research Centre, Ms. Narantuya, correspondent of the newspaper “Mongol Messenger” for their encouragement and support.

Since this is our first issue, we recognise there will be mistakes. Your comments and valuable criticism are very welcome. We hope that with your assistance our magazine would have its own feature stories in the near future and we look forward receiving letters and photos from you.

We wish you good health and success in your work.

D. Altanchimeg

AIDS update news

According to the latest report from UNAIDS Programme a number of AIDS virus infected people has reached to more than 30 millions. Comparing with the number of infected people in 1996 – 22,6 millions it increases by 19 %.

It is said in a report that “this is much large number”.

CNN news reports that 1 out of 100 sexually active population of age from 16 to 49 is infected by AIDS virus. Only 1 out of 10 AIDS virus infected is aware of this fact.

National newsbulletin

Prime Minister called for parents to talk about AIDS hazard with children at least one time

On a World day of battling against AIDS the Prime Minister of Mongolia called for parents to talk about AIDS danger with children at least one time in order to prevent from the epidemic of this century – AIDS.

Prior to the World day of battling against AIDS a first session of the National Committee to battle against AIDS took place in Ulaanbaatar. Prime minister of Mongolia underlined in his speech on this session the importance given by Mongolia to the need to battle against this disease through a setting of National Committee headed by the Prime Minster in a full awareness of the hazard of the disease encountered by the world community:

“ International experts have identified that in nations facing socio-economic transitions there is a base for AIDS dissemination. On the other hand, although a great experience has bee accumulated by Mongolia in battling of sexually-transmitted diseases (STD,) in circumstances of this time it becomes vital to change the ways and methods of battling”.

The first session of the National Committee has advised to youth and health organizations to consider the establishing of mutual trust and understanding with the people of risk group (vulnerable group) who are vulnerable to this disease one of areas of battling activities, .as well as stressed the need for cooperation and participation of citizenry, institutions of all levels of the society.

Also the Prime Minister pointed out that since of its dissemination the “disease put on a stake the existence or collapse of a specific nation”, that’s why AIDS battling it is not a matter of health sector employees.

Prime Minster highly appreciated UN cooperation in provided support and participation to the Government of Mongolia in battling of AIDS and STD.

Government of Mongolia is to cooperate with UN in battling against AIDS

In June of 1997 the Government of Mongolia and UN organizations concluded a Memorandum of understanding to undertake joint activities in battling against AIDS, STD and Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV).

At late of November the Project team was established to undertake this joint Programme. The team comprises of H. Enhjargal, National Coordinator, Nicholas Bates, Health Consultant and B. Oyun, Project staff member.

According to Enhjargal, the main objective of the Team is to coordinate health, education, media and NGOs in implementing of the Programme, to increase public participation in battling of AIDS, to change a wrong approach considering this matter a matter of few doctors and to move it to public-oriented.

AIDS battling National Committee established

By a Resolution of the Government of October 29, 1997 National Committee to battle against AIDS was set up headed by Prime Minister M. Enhsaihan; L. Zorig, Minister of Health and Social Welfare is a deputy Chair; Also Ministers of Finance, Justice, Education, Chief of Radio and TV as well as other key relevant officials.

Sub regional session took place in Ulaanbaatar

On November 11-13 1997, a consultative session of North Eastern Asian nations such as People’s Republic of China and Mongolia was taken place in Ulaanbaatar to discuss issues of AIDS. The session arranged jointly by UNDP Office Mongolia and Ministry of Health and Social Welfare discussed a project to prevent from battle against AIDS in North Eastern Asian nations. Within the frame of this UN-funded worth 400.000 US D for a duration of 3 year the activities to speed up research work against AIDS; to exchange the staff; to provide with publicity materials and to enroll into training media representatives in this area will be undertaken.

Mongolia first ever time participated in Regional Conference

Mongolian delegation first ever time participated in 4th Conference of Asia and Pacific Region nations on AIDS issue taken place in Manila, capital city of Philippines on October 25-29.

Although only one person is officially registered as AIDS virus infected in Mongolia, with regard to the following real reasons: less than 3% of total population was involved in AIDS analysis; number of STD infected people – as a basis for AIDS infection – in increasing every year; number of prostitutes and street children – as representatives of risk group (vulnerable group) is also increasing as well as a fact that in Russia and China – two actions where many Mongolians travel for business and private purposes – a number of infected people is growing the professionals are doubtful that only one person in Mongolia is infected by this virus. Therefore, it is understood that at such a crucial stage of encountered internal and external factors the participation of Mongolian delegation comprised from representatives of legislative body, ministry and NGO in Manila Conference is a sign that Mongolia is to undertake thorough battle activities against AIDS.

As soon as one is infected and the disease is spread out it requires a large amount of funds, therefore, in circumstances of Mongolia it is vital to conduct preventive training programs based on a concrete analysis and in accordance with Mongolian mentality; to undertake publicity activities about use of condom as one of most reliable way to prevent from AIDS – presented participants of the Conference.

On a press conference held as a follow-up activity of Manila Conference, Ms. B. Delgermaa, MP said:”This issue is new for Mongolian society. The Conference gave us an opportunity to learn from experience of ways of battling against AIDS and preventive measures taken by nations of Asia Pacific Region”.

Events on AIDS 

THE AIDS/STD TEST

By the order of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, AIDS/STD tests were carried out among people aged 15-40 from May to October, 1997. The test have not released as of 20 November, as aimags statistics have not arrived.

According to the results of the tests carried out in Ulaanbaatar, the 84% of all people targeted to be tested have been covered in the campaign. The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Zorig reported that 63518 people have been tested in Ulaanbaatar and 1300 have STD. Bayanzurkh, Chingeltei district the city Ulaanbaatar have the highest number of people with STD. “ It is because a lot of young people live in those districts and the infrastructure is not well developed comparing with other districts.” Said Minister Zorig. The printed decree by the Ulaanbaatar city governor Narantsatsaralt gave the permission to doctors to use force if a person is not willing to be tested.

However the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is denying the use of force for testing. Before 19980, the Ministry of Health and the local authorities co-operated with medical organisations used to conduct medical examinations and tests, including STD tests and covered 80% of the population.

40 MILLION CHILDREN ARE ORPHANS

Reuters news agency reports that according to the USAID estimation about 40 million children are orphaned since their parents have died of AIDS. Those children are under high risk to starve to death or to become sick or to become involved in child labour. It means the social welfare system has to be responsible for the care of those orphan children.

AIDS AND INFANT MORTALITY

The infant mortality rate is increasing in many countries because of AIDS. If the number of people infected by HIV does decrease the infant mortality rate, will triple over the next 15 years in countries such as Thailand and Zimbabwe.

DEMOGRAPHIC EFFECTS OF AIDS

The average life expectancy of the population of countries can be an important index of development. But in countries seriously affected by AIDS/HIV this index is changing dramatically. For instance, the life expectancy has decreased to 37 years in Uganda placing this country in last place. Scientists calculated that life expectancy will decreased to 25 years in some Asian and African countries by the year 2010. For example, the life expectancy of Zimbabwe is projected to decrease from 70 to 40 by 2010.

The sudden death of the princess Diana was a great loss for people infected by HIV/AIDS. How could we forget her humanistic attitude towards the people with HIV /AIDS. She shook their hands and held children suffering from AIDS and participated actively in the battle against AIDS.

In his condolence Dr. Roi Chan has said that Diana was an outstanding fighter against AIDS and against discrimination of those with HIV and AIDS. She was an active organiser of charity activities.

SOON WOMEN WOULD USE CONDOMS

Until recently condoms were only for men. According to numerous surveys carried out in many countries, it showed that woman are powerless in having safe sexual relations with men. The research work experimenting with condoms for women is in the final stage and the results are promising. Currently 10 countries are ordered the product and more than 30 countries are expressed their interest to purchase the product.

The price of the new condom would not be more than 1 $ promised the NUAIDS program.

Countries from Asia and Pacific region

AUSTRALIA

Australia has been one of the countries most affected by AIDS in the region. Since 1987 as a result of the Government action giving priority to people’s participation against AIDS, AIDS infection is now under control. The number of newly infected people is reducing.

CAMBODIA

AIDS infection is spreading rapidly in Cambodia and its future is not very rosy According to the official statistics data 600 people are AIDS virus infected . However it is estimated that this number is at least 100 thousand. The study carried out in 1997 shows that 40% of prostitutes, 6% of police and army people, 3% of pregnant women of are infected by AIDS virus.

CHINA

Xinhua news agency informed that the number of people registered as HIV infected and suffering from AIDS reached to 8277 in September, most were people are intervenous drug users. The joint UNAIDS program estimated that this year 400 thousand more people may have been infected by AIDS virus.

INDIA

AIDS is spreading dramatically in India. There are currently 5000 people living with AIDS according to official studies. Specialists think 2.5 million people are suspected or being infected by AIDS.

JAPAN

1,521 people are suffering from AIDS virus and 3,665 people are infected, by AIDS in Japan. Most of those unfortunate people got infected from imported donor blood and blood products.

SOUTH KOREA

AIDS is spread in Korea extremely slowly. The situation is changing. In June, 1997 679 people were HIV infected and 83 people are suffering from AIDS.

PHILIPPINES

There are 922 people infected with HIV and 312 people are experiencing AIDS symptoms. Most of those people are young people aged 20-49. However about 175000 more people are likely infected by AIDS.

What is UNAIDS ?

In December 1994 UNAIDS program was established as the United NAtion AIDS joint program UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, WHO and the World Bank. The main goal of this program to attract attention to the integration all efforts against AIDS. In order to fulfil its objective, a global policy against AIDS should be developed including support in planning, research studies and development amongst all nations.

Dr. Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS program, gave a speech at the Manila Conference. In his speech he underlined that, “ Asia has the highest density of population in the world. Therefore, countries from this region facing the danger of AIDS should wake up from their passiveness and accelerate the battle against AIDS.” He has identified the action plan of the UNAIDS program for this region in the following four steps:

  • 1. The countries and their leaders should realise the necessity of an effective battle against AIDS2. In order to make an effective effort against AIDS, the proven experiences and methods from different countries should be shared.3. To activate community initiatives in the battle against AIDS4. To involve all countries and nations spontaneously in the campaign against AIDS.

“ The battle against AIDS is progressing. Only our enemy is to do nothing” emphasised Mr. Peter in the Manila conference.

Children of the AIDS Era

Every year, on December 1 the world community has a tradition to undertake measures to be solidary in a battle against AIDS, to do publicity work about the harm and hazard of the disease, to offer moral and humanitarian aid to infected and ill people and their relatives. A slogan of battle of each year is different. 1997 year’s battle against AIDS has a slogan:”Children of AIDS Era”.

According to the latest data, 90% of AIDS-infected children under the 15 age are in developing countries. Only in 1996 more 400000 children under age of 15 were infected by AIDS virus.

Children are not only infected but they also experience the consequences of this disease. In many nations of the world children lose their parents and other members of the family given to this fatal disease. By the mid of the last year 9million children under the age 15 became orphans due to this disease. This figure can make one’s heart feel ill, but it is just a small part of the social grievance. In other words, there is a number ill mother or a father or sometimes both ill are waiting in anguish for a fatal end; at the same time so much pain and suffer the children carry. These children are very different from those who lose their parents because of other reasons. These children suffer seeing how their mother or father is getting worse and worse day by day with no way of treatment. In addition to it the cool attitude from other children make them suffer more.

Since AIDS transfers through STD, so that it is very often that children lose both parents. Leon, Ugandan woman says:”I have 11 orphan children. My older sister died of AIDS and left me 6 orphan children. The other 5 are my daughter’s children who also died of AIDS.

The below examples demonstrate the presence of poverty and violation of human rights toward children who lose parents due to AIDS. Since it is heard that one of family members is infected it is common that guests avoid visiting that family; classmates become cool. According to a survey conducted in Thailand for AIDS-infected children it it taboo to play together with other children at a play-yard. Also it was revealed fro from this survey that parents might be fired, the host lady stops visiting , thus the income of the family falls down encountering poverty. There is a number of such examples reported from different corners of the world. Fortunately, there is also a number of individuals and institutions who would like to help. UNICEF, Children Protection Foundation, some religious missions and other voluntary organizations. It is vital to help those families while AIDS-infected parents are alive. Because the children suffer from a very beginning day of parents’infection.

The World Conference held in 1996 “Against violent involvement of children in prostitution and pornography” reported that every year more than 1 million children become prostitutes. Besides, there is a number of hidden violations both moral and physical against them from their relatives or strange people. Today more than 100 million children are called “street children” living on an edge of knife. The thorough preventive program based on the specific needs and demands of street and drug-addicted children is really needed.

Let’s save children who live in Era of AIDS.

PERSONAL VIEW – SHALL WE WAIT FOR THE “SILENT” EPIDEMIC?

You might say we are a little bit exaggerating things. You might also ask “Is AIDS

really threatening Mongolia?” In some countries there is a belief that the Asian people have an immunity against AIDS and it’s not a secret that some Mongolians are also subject to this naive and false understanding. It would be really wonderful if God could have blessed us with such a rare destiny but…

Dramatically, today about 5.2 mln or 25 per cent of all 22.6 mln HIV positive live in the Asia-Pacific region. According to the officil data in Thailand where AIDS was regarded as an alien’s disease, the number of HIV-positive reached 700-800 thousand, in China 8200. So, what’s the situation in Mongolia? The Mongolians proudly say that there is only 1case of AIDS was officially registered in Mongolia. Some sceptically say that there should be more than 1 case… And I am among those who think that AIDS is enevitably threatening Mongolia and is always scared to think of a day when this silent epidemic might completely demolish the country’s 2 mln population.

The term “silent” epidemic was given to the disease because unlike other infectious diseases AIDS has no distinct symptoms and it takes many years before the disease gets exposed and the last ”resort” is always death. So, it is obvious that the HIV positive victims can infect others being completely unaware of their sickness.

Mongolia has all favourable conditions for AIDs to progress like the recent development of tourism, international trade, increase of drunkness, prositution, spread of sexual perversions, street kids, rape, etc. In addition, the increase of STDs gives solid grounds for AIDs development. We, the Mongolians, have very strange attitude towards destroying ourselves with our own hands. It is common to be hospitalized and have intravenous injections and even curse the doctors who didn’t prescribe intravenous injections. There are cases of getting hepatitis B through poor sterilized syringes because of the desire to be hospitalized while being almost healthy. How many patients, nurses do we have who are really scared of getting AIDs through injections? Do we have many doctors who really care of their job’s safety? They only think of curing the diseases and don’t think of getting infected. The HIV positives mostly suffer from pneumonia, TB and lung tumours. The number of TB cases in Mongolia has sharply increased during the last years. Does the medical personnel think about it? The questions like this arouse and scare me among other problems.

Hasn’t the time for us Mongolians come to make considerable efforts and bold steps to stay less exposed to this “silent” epidemic. To lay the AIDS burden on the shoulders of the Ministry of Health would certyainly result in unforgivable mistakes. The AIDS virus doesn’t distinguish between the rich and poor, women and men as well as doesn’t accept any bribes and corruption.

Any of us can become the next victim, so the whole society is not guaranted against it. Since there is no vaccination, no medicine against the virus everybody needs to foster their knowledge , learn more and choose safe means. In that case we can prevent ourselves against the deadly virus.

We need the sound voices of mass media representatives and prominant figures to join our battle against AIDs. Shall we, the Mongolians wait for the “silent” epidemic?

D. Altanchimeg

New generation – AIDS

Sexual Education as the most reliable means against AIDS

The first AIDS case was registered in 1981 the victim being an American homosexual and about 6.4 mln people died of AIDS since the first AIDS virus was found in 1983.

Until now no effective medicine was found and everyone infected with AIDS virus is doomed to die. According to the WHO data every day 8500 people get AIDS virus of whom 7500 are adults and 1000 are children.

However, the most reliable prevention is to remember that AIDS is not that dangerous if the person takes proper care of himself. It has become a worldwide trend to teach the younger generation about AIDS transmissons ways and give them sexual education. This would allow us not only protect our 20th century future but also make a feasible contribution to the coming future. At present, 50 per cent of the world and 70 per cent of Mongolia’s population are people under 25. In Mongolia the cases of STDs and prostitution in volve more younger people as compared to previous years and this contributes to the AIDS development and indicates the importance of promoting sexual education among young people especially at secondary schools.

Historically the Mongols never talk about sex to children although the time has gone when they used to learn about sex from their communal living in one dwelling together with their parents, grandparents and also watching the livestock habits.

The nationwide survey “Young generation knowledge, attitude and experiences towards reproductive health” conducted by Mongolian Ministry of Health and WHO covering 5000 young people in between the age of 13-20 showed that 53.6 per cent of them expressed the readiness to learn about family planning, STDs and AIDS from secondary schools, 23.9 from TV and mass media and 13.1 per cent from books and magazines.

At present, the information on sexual education given at secondary schools during biology classes didn’t prove to be fully informative and complete. According to Dr.Lhagwasuren, Head of the National Medical University, a special project should be elaborated focusing on how the sexual education should be taught and when and at what age and in what context.

Recently, the lecturer of the National Medical University B. Ayush and Gynecologist Bayarmaa founded the “Young generation – future” centre.The centre aims at giving basic education about reproductive health to 10-24 year olds, unexpected pregnancy, prevention of STDs and AIDS, as well as rendering qualified medical assistance. The consultancy hot-line “Trusty phone” is to start operating soon and will help to solve urgent problems of the youth. This is the beginning of active actions.

On the other hand, it is time for parents to give up the old fashioned understanding of “secret subject” and join efforts in teaching basic knowledge about sex. It should be also noted that in reality the parents tend to think that teaching sexual education is the duty of school teachers, so the parents also need a special training considering this subject. In other words, the parents- chidlren-school triangle is very important to ensure the success of developing sexual education to children.

It is certain that we won’t solve today’s problems by only introducting sexual education at secondary schools. There are many street kids missing the schools and and this number is increasing, the kids have no supervision and enter the sexual life without any knowledge.

The survey held by the Ministry of Health and UN Human Fund showed the increasing number of street teenagers (girsl) who get involved in sexual relations at the very early age. According to the results out of 92 street teenagers (girls) 71 or 77 per cent already started sexual life and 50.4 per cent of them were raped. The average age is 14. The experts emphasized that these figures are higher as compared to other kids who have homes. Recently, some Asian countries with the same problem of street kids have been successfully passing the sexual education through the so called “leaders” of the groups.

The doctors involved in the survey also noted that when the sreet kids (Ulaanbaatar) get STDs they inject each other with penicillinum instead of going to hospitals.

Another thing that should be considered is that the sexual education should be taught in line with the kids’ interests and habits. For example, some methods like enrolling famous pop singers, rock bands , basketball stars or using the most popular FM channells in STDs and AIDS pevention campaigns could have more effect on city kids while in countryside the prominent young wrestlers with national titles could participate in these campaigns and make them more fruitful.

D. Narantuya

MAY I BE THE FIRST AND LAST AIDS VICTIM IN MONGOLIA

The only Mongolian with HIV positive for the first time spoke to mass media addressing the teenagers and youth. This decision was motivated by his desire to warn the Mongolian youth of the danger of AIDS widely spreading all over the world and Asian countries and toprotest against some false information related to him and published in some papers. In its October issue one of the papers published an “interview” with him which read that the Mongolian HIV positive had sexual relations with 6 partners and was going to get married soon. However, it was found out that the journalist who rote it never met the HIV positive. Dr. Davaajav, head of the National STD and AIDS Centre, acted as a liason between the press and HIV positive and stressed that his patient had never had sexual relations with anybody since he knew he was HIV positive. He also emphasized that his patient expressed his will to be the first and the last AIDS victim in Mongolia.

The interview was given to Ardyn Erkh paper, the most popular national daily distributed both in urban and rural areas. According to Dr. Davaajav the HIV positive’s health state is satisfactory and the AIDS symptoms have not shown up. “Of course he needs a moral and human support as he feels really down” says Dr. Davaajav. Right now, the HIV positive has no job and has no place of his own.

THREE REASONS WHY THE YOUTH IS EXPOSED TO AIDS

Dr. John Chittick who has been working on AIDS projects for the last 10 years and conducted “AIDS, Teenagers and the Youth” survey, founded a Teen AIDS-PeerCorps charity fund. Dr. Chittick thinks that the campaigns on AIDS prevention among the teenagers are really insufficient and the governments neglect this problem. According to him, there are 3 reasons why the youth has wrong understanding about AIDS regarding it as an adults’ disease. The reasons are as the following:

  • They don’t realize AIDS as a real threat The youth and teenagers have no opportunity to see HIV positives among themselves because AIDS virus appears after 10 years the person gets infected.
  • They don’t receive enough information on AIDS.The adults, especially in Asian countries don’t talk much about AIDS and sex. They always say “Don’t” but rarely explain why it is prohibited. And the youth actually disregards these don’ts.
  • They don’t talk about AIDS among themselves. Acording to Dr. John Chittick’s studies the young people in Asian countries don’t talk much about sex and AIDS. The situation is a little bit better in European countries. If you are interested in Dr. John Chittick’s activities on staging AIDS preventive campaigns please refer to his e-mail or write a letter.
  • http://www. Teenaids-peercorps.com
    e-mail: chittick@tiac.net43 Charles St, Boston, MA 02144 USAFax: (617) 742-3499

Note: The national magazine on AIDS is available on Internet at information centres sponsored by UNDP. These centeres function in Ulaanbaatar, Tuv and Uvurhangai aimags.

Means of prevention

To stay with one sexual partner is one of the most reliable and handy means.

  • Avoid using alcohol and drugs which lead to loosing self control.
  • Make sure you have a condomn just in case. Don’t get ashamed to use it and remember it is very important for the couples to learn how to use it properly.
  • Make it a habit to use only sterilized syringes.
  • Use only analyzed blood or blood substances in treatment.
  • It is not very difficult, isn’t it? Once you discuss these means within your family or with your friends, don’t forget that you protect not only yourself, but also help to protect others from AIDs virus.

Questions and answers about HIV-AIDS

Q: If I know (suspect) that somebody is HIV positive how should I react to it?

A: First thing is to remember that you won’t get infected through sharing dishes, toilet, shaking hands, kissing, etc. Make sure you keep the person’s secret and avoid gossip ping about it. Try to be human because AIDS is like TB or dysentery and nobody is guaranteed against it.

Q: How can a person know that he is not infected?

A: It is difficult to say if the person is infected or not just looking at him, so the couples should get AIDS tests after 5 months they had sexual relations. This will allow you to be more self confident.

Q: Can I get infection through kissing?

A: Normally, the AIDS virus was not found in saliva. So, there is less danger but in cases of bleeding or damaged cavity there is a possibility for the AIDS virus to penetrate.

Q: Is there any place in Mongolia to get consultancy on AIDS and STDs?

A: The consultancy service was founded in 1992 and is located in the western wing of the Infectious Diseases Hospital AIDs/STDs Centre, 1st floor, Room 104.

MAGAZINES

AIDS action

Quarterly magazine, comes out in English, France, Portugeuse and Spanish. Free distribution to developing countries.

Address:

HAIN No.9 Cabanatuan Road,
Philam Homes 1104, Quezon City
Philippinnes

http://www.hain.org./

Exchange

Comes out in English in Holland. Exchange of AIDS and STDs information.

Address:

Information, Library and Documentation Department
Royal Tropical Institute
P.O.Box 95001
1090 HA Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Free network

If you send your address and job description to the following address you will get updated information.

gender-aids@hists.inet.co.th

sea-aids@lists.inet.co.th

You can get the information on AIDS and related organizations by the following internet address.

http://www.afa.org.sg/

http://www.afao.org.au/

http://www.aidsorg.hk/

http://www.safersex.org/

EVENTS CALENDAR

Dec 1, 1997 World AIDS Day
Dec 3-6 1997 5th Meeting of America against AIDS. Lima, Peru.
Mid of December Report on UNICEF Guidelines and report on AIDS actions.
Dec 7-11, 1997 The World 10th Congress against AIDS, Africa.
Dec 21, 1997 Activities of elaborating guidelines for management of Chinese NGOs programmes against AIDS
If you need more information please refer to the Hong Kong AIDS Centre e-mail:
http://www.aids.org.hk/
Jan 12-15, 1998 The 2nd European Conference on AIDS surveys, results and methods.
Feb 1-5, 1998 The 5th Congress on retro virus, Chicago.
mailto:kiyoshhi@%20cripath.org
July 28-Aug 3, 1998 The World 12th Congress on AIDS, Geneva, Switzerland

Categories
Archive

CASE STUDY 5: GOSH/ICH Child Health Portal | 2001 – 2003

Case Study 5 badge 2.0.png

Expertise: Strategy, vision, team leadership, managing suppliers, design vision, digital strategy, content creation, editing, project management, innovation, child health, public health, modernising large institutions. 

Location: London, UK 2001 to 2003

Project Manager: David South

Charity Content Coordinator: Ramita Navai

Click here to view images for this case study: CASE STUDY 5: GOSH/ICH Child Health Portal | 2001 – 2003 Images

Abstract 

In 2001 I was hired to project manage and deliver a Child Health Web Portal for the prestigious Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital NHS Trust (GOSH)/Institute of Child Health (ICH) based in London, UK.  

The project was intended to lead on innovation at the institutions and in the wider National Health Service (NHS) and was delivered in three phases. Screen grabs can be viewed below:  

Phase 1 

Phase 2

Phase 3

About

From the start, the project begged the question: Could we take a complex (and complicated) mandate and successfully achieve it in just two years? All under great public and media scrutiny (London being a world centre for media)? And how do you innovate for the 21st century in a major health care institution and build on its already high reputation?

Britain’s best-loved children’s hospital and charity, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust (GOSH), contracted me to lead a two-year project to modernise the hospital’s web presence and take its brand into the 21st century. GOSH is both Britain’s first children’s hospital and a pioneering child health institution (along with its partner the Institute for Child Health). The hospital’s outstanding reputation meant the project was carried out under intense public, media and professional scrutiny, and required a keen awareness of new media developments and the needs of the hospital’s patients, their families and the public. It drew on an extensive public consultation and the NHS Modernisation Plan and the Information for Health strategy – which had identified strong demand for services and information to be made available online – to develop this innovative online offering. The NHS had also set the goal of having 25 per cent of all its services accessible via the web. 

From the start, the project represented a new phase in how the institutions communicated. An announcement in PR Week in April 2001 acknowledged this, declaring the role will deal “with what is increasingly becoming an important part of the press office and the hospital”. Prior to beginning the two-year project in 2001, the existing website was an amateurish affair and not suitable for an internationally renowned centre for paediatric treatment, training and research. 

The UK had become out of step with wider web developments at that time and had to do a lot of catching up. But there was a ready audience for better web content already established in the country. By 2001, data showed 3 million children in the UK were using the Internet and 33 million UK citizens could access it through work, school or home. 

By 2001, the Internet offered an estimated 100,000 health-related websites (most based in the United States, leaving a gap for high-quality information based on UK research and experience). Trust was key and this was a crucial part of the content strategy that was developed. 

As lead staff member for the website, I was in charge of recruiting and managing staff and suppliers, liaising with stakeholders inside and outside the organisations, planning work and seeking opportunities and partnerships.

The project was developed in three, distinct phases. Screen grabs from these phases are available for download and evaluation. They also include web traffic statistics. This unique snapshot of a complex project as it unfolded, should prove useful for other e-health practitioners. 

As an innovator, the project became a catalyst for numerous online and offline initiatives across the institutions. The website made enormous strides, winning a number of national and international awards and leapfrogging to become one of the best NHS-linked sites in the UK. Areas radically improved included the design and navigation, patient information for families, press office, and the development and launch of the award-winning children’s website. 

Phase 1 

Phase 2 

Phase 3 

Each stage was transparently communicated and accompanied by high-profile publicity campaigns: a necessity because the hospital relies heavily on public trust and funding to function. 

The first phase involved getting buy-in on a new design vision, assembling a team, extensive work on migrating the very large legacy website into the new template, and exciting colleagues on the potential of the new child health portal vision. It was launched in September 2001.  

Ask Dr Jane Collins, a regular column written by the Chief Executive Dr. Jane Collins for The Times newspaper, was one of the more popular features of the child health portal. The portal was also directly connected to the NHS Direct service with its extensive online health encyclopedia.  

In 2001, the project launched an interactive Christmas child health advent calendar offering top tips from health professionals on how to have a safe holiday season. It showed what could be done with the improving web design and production skills of the team. The PDF can be viewed here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/44905926/Christmas-Advent-Calendar-for-GOSH-Child-Health-Portal-2001.

As another example, the hospital’s 150th birthday celebration on 14th February 2002, attended by Her Majesty the Queen (and celebrities, including Madonna), was accompanied by an online interactive history prepared by the project and was used to inform the wider public about the child health portal.  

Phase two involved the launching of new content developed by some of the world’s top child health experts and scientists, substantial new resources for sick children and their families, an online awareness-raising campaign to drive traffic to the health portal as a trusted and reliable resource, plus a wider media campaign. Based on user experience testing and user feedback, changes were made to the design and content structure to make the portal more user-friendly and to follow best practice in web design at that time.  

The overall child health portal also gave birth to a highly successful new resource, the award-winning Children First website in May 2002. This resource was a year in development and was calibrated by age to provide relevant resources to guide children through the hospital experience. It used high-quality animation and partnered with BBCi and BBC Science to create resources that would resonate with children and youth. It included high-profile elements such as the Write4GOSH children’s writing prize, attracting entries from around the world, with winners receiving prizes from Cherie Booth QC, Dannii Minogue and children’s writer Jacqueline Wilson.  

Children First attracted an average of 700,000 visitors each month with over 800 children in its first year contributing to the site. It addressed a gap in the online marketplace for health resources written for children rather than for their parents and families. It also gave birth to its own project: The Virtual Children’s Hospital (VCH). Funded by the PPP Foundation in August 2002, it worked with a team of psychologists to meet the social, psychological and information needs of ill children. 

In March 2003 the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) in its review and assessment found, in answer to the question “What, if anything, did CHI find that the rest of the NHS can learn from?” at the hospital, it was the child health portal, because “The trust’s website has different sections for children and families as well as for health professionals. The website also has sections for children of different ages and a broad range of information leaflets is available to download. The website has 3.5 million hits per month.”  

In 2003, the UK’s Guardian newspaper called the Children First website one of the “three most admired websites in the UK public and voluntary sectors,” and a UK government assessment called the overall GOSH child health web portal a role model for the NHS. Children First also won the prestigious Cable and Wireless Childnet Award that year as well. And was short-listed for the New Stateman’s New Media Awards. 

In 2006, The Times of London called Children First the Top Child Health Website in its Wellbeing on the Web: The Best Portals survey (November 11, 2006). 

Phase three saw online traffic growing at a steady clip, the portal gaining accolades, awards and positive reviews; it also helped the hospital to gain the highest rating in a government review (5*), and Children First was awarded significant further funding so it could expand its resources. The award-winning team also re-developed the www.gosh.org charity website (one of the highest profile charity brands in the UK) and launched it in 2003 as well.  

A great way to track the historical development of a web project is to use the Wayback Machine’s Internet archive here (https://archive.org). By typing in the web address (for example, http://www.gosh.nhs.uk, and http://www.gosh.org), you can see a chronological history of the website by month. 

Timeline 

2001: Initial design vision articulated and team assembled. First phase of content creation and ‘soft launch’ of portal in September 2001. Begin experiments with new graphic design, including an online interactive Christmas advent calendar with health tips.  

2002: Launch new content during the hospital’s 150th anniversary celebrations; begin development work on Children First content. Partnering with BBCi and BBC Science to improve quality of child and youth resources. Significant new content is launched throughout the year as the portal sees month-on-month growth in web traffic. Awarding of further funding for Children First and the Virtual Children’s Hospital. 

2003: Winning of Childnet Award; launch of new GOSH Charity website. Record web traffic to the website.

Testimonials

“As a parent, I recognise how important it is to help your child understand all that they can about their stay in hospital and their care and treatment. Time spent in hospital can often be a very frightening experience. Making sure that your child has helpful, easy to read information will make a significant difference to their time in hospital. 

I am sure that this website will prove very useful for children and their families.” Prime Minister Tony Blair, May 2002

“A highly attractive website written by and with children at Britain’s biggest specialist hospital for children. The site is carefully segmented for different age groups and provides a powerful platform on which children can reach out from the confines of their hospital wards, share their experiences and learn about a range of medical issues as well as have access to fun interactive resources.” Childnet Award 2003

“I am glad you mentioned the web site. If you can access it and haven’t recently please have a look. It has vastly improved and both David Latchman and I (it is a joint site with ICH) are very pleased.” Dr Jane Collins, Chief Exec’s Corner, Roundabout newsletter, February 2002

“I never thought that GOSHKids would be so valuable to the hospital or, more importantly, to children and young people attending the hospital or simply interested in health matters. I think that this reflects my age, though!

“Many of us over 30, even if we use the internet ourselves, are surprised how much children and young people use it both as a source of information and for entertainment. 

“Even quite young children are using it routinely now and as an increasing number of families have access to it, either at home and/or at school or work, presumably more and more will do so. 

“There are over 42,000 hits per day (1,260,000 a month) on our GOSHKids website already. Of course, part of the success of the website is down to its design and content. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Gary Loach, David South and the whole team who have worked so hard to make it successful.” Dr Jane Collins, Chief Exec’s Corner, Roundabout newsletter, June 2003 

“The GOSH/ICH web site to date has been a notable success. Not only has it met a majority of its objectives as delineated in the PIN report of 2000 and achieved recognition as ‘exemplary’ among NHS resources, but it has also generated a number of spin-off projects, including Children First (as a successor to GOSHKids) and The Virtual Children’s Hospital.

“It has moved from providing a poor representation of the organisations, to above average for corporate web resources, and compares highly favourably with those of other NHS sites and departments. The most notable success lies in the resource it now provided for the public, especially GOSHKids.

“In a context in which less than 25% of all projects realise even 50% of their benefits, the satisfaction of 75% of the original objectives set out in the PIN report must rank as a significant achievement.” Website Project Audit by Passmasters Limited, 17 April 2003

“Great Ormond Street Hospital has launched this health site targeted specifically at childen, with a separate version aimed at young teenagers. The site aims to give young ‘uns information about health, illness and treatment in an easily digestable, non-threatening manner.” Internet Magazine, July 2002

“… it’s a good site and not just for those about to go into the hospital.” New Media Age, 20 June 2002

“The project was instrumental in pulling together a number of key strategies (including the NHS’s Modernisation Plan, and its Information for Health Strategy), and acting as a catalyst for numerous online and offline initiatives. Critical to these strategies is the need to provide information and services online and in an accessible way. The aim has not only been about serving the specific needs of the institutions, but also to become a broader child health portal.  

“The website in 2001 was an amateurish affair and a disgrace to an internationally renowned centre for paediatric treatment, training and research. Run largely from the Research Office it was focused on one particular audience, uninspiring in design, reactive in updating and made little use of the potential of the internet. We needed someone to take it forward …

David [South] was lead staff member for the website, recruiting and managing staff and suppliers, liaising with stakeholders inside and outside the organisations, planning work and seeking opportunities and partnerships. It is fair to say that the site made enormous strides under his leadership, winning a number of national and international awards, and leapfrogging to become one of the best NHS-linked sites in the UK. 

 “A number of areas were drastically improved, including design and navigation, patient information for families, press material, and the award-winning children’s site, which is now an international project with many different partners. David [South] project managed many projects in this time including linked sites for London IDEAS Genetics Knowledge Park, and the hospital charity site …” Stephen Cox, Chief Press Officer, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust and the Institute of Child Health

Impact 

Micro

  • took public consultation and consultant’s report and crafted and developed a strategy to implement the GOSH Child Health Web Portal
  • assembled team across two institutions
  • set clear milestones and brought project management methodology previously deployed with the United Nations
  • led on teaching new ways of project management for results
  • took GOSH brand forward for the digital age
  • advised colleagues on digital publishing and design
  • awarded additional funding

Macro 

  • role model for NHS and government/charity sector. Awarded five stars in government review
  • Childnet Award
  • launched major milestones with well-known figures, including Her Majesty the Queen, Madonna, and pop stars
  • significant media coverage of project
  • attracted funding not only for the GOSH Child Health Portal but also for other projects at the institutions
  • grew web traffic month-on-month, becoming one of the top online child health resources
  • website cited in many other resources. One of the goals of the project was to increase access to high-quality child health resources and to have them cited in books etc.

Citations

The Great Ormond Street Hospital Manual of Children’s Nursing Practices by Susan Macqueen, Elizabeth Bruce and Faith Gibson, John Wiley & Sons, 2012

Help! My Child’s in Hospital by Becky Wauchope, Marbec Family Trust, 2012

Oxford Desk Reference: Nephrology by Jonathan Barratt, Peter Topham and Kevin P.G. Harris, Oxford University Press, 2008

Research Review 2001: A Year of Excellence and Innovation, Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, 2001

Research Review 2002: Building on Success, Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, 2002

Other Resources

GOSH Child Health Portal Phase 1a

GOSH Child Health Portal Phase 1b

GOSH Child Health Portal Phase 2a

GOSH Child Health Portal Phase 2b

GOSH Child Health Portal Phase 3 

GOSH Project Launch Brochure and Screen Grabs, 2001-2003

GOSH Child Health Portal 2001 to 2003 Resources

 

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© David South Consulting 2017