The countries of central and eastern Europe (CCEE) and the newly independent states (NIS) of the former USSR are undergoing rapid and profound change, and assistance from the international community has lacked a common focus. In late 1990, the WHO Regional Committee for Europe created the EUROHEALTH programme to try to meet the urgent and medium-term needs of the CCEE/NIS for technical, managerial and material resources within the framework of the long-term regional strategy for health for all. The programme's strategy includes making collaborative agreements with each of the CCEE/NIS, raising funds and coordinating tripartite assistance with a wide variety of international organizations. The Regional Office for Europe has changed to support the EUROHEALTH programme by establishing a Country Health Development department, and an information clearing-house to track assistance to the NIS so it can be provided more efficiently. The programme's work has created a flow of information and better coordination of cooperation between all the organizations working in the health sector in the CCEE/NIS. The most important EUROHEALTH activities in 1992-1993 have focused on: relieving shortages of vaccines and medical equipment, developing health policy and developing programmes on such issues as health service reform, human resources, noncommunicable diseases, maternal and child health, AIDS and environment and health. The EUROHEALTH programme is a pragmatic and highly appropriate approach to the CCEE/NIS; its main need is for more funding to enable it to meet countries' needs more precisely and to cooperate more effectively with other organizations.
The aim of this study was to compare preclinical endodontic teaching in Europe, Scandinavia and North America, and to place recent UK data in an international context.
A postal questionnaire was sent to all undergraduate dental schools in North America, Scandinavia, and Europe. Data were requested on a range of issues relating to endodontic teaching.
Forty-three percent of the 170 schools surveyed returned completed questionnaires. There was considerable international consensus on the content of preclinical courses, with most schools advocating preflaring canal preparation techniques, sodium hypochlorite for irrigation, and cold lateral condensation as the standard obturation method. There was little consensus on the standard use of intracanal medicaments, though calcium hydroxide was universally popular. The practice of single visit treatment was advocated by at least 70% of schools in all geographical areas. A number of innovations appear to be gaining acceptance in preclinical teaching, with more than 20% of schools teaching the use of electronic apex locators, and a quarter of Western European, Scandinavian and North American schools embracing nickel-titanium instrumentation. Regional differences in the priority and resource given to endodontic teaching were striking. On average, UK schools had the worst staff:student ratios for preclinical endodontic teaching, and allocated substantially less time allocation for this teaching compared with Western European, Scandinavian and North American schools.
It was concluded that although teachers in the UK were broadly advocating techniques recommended elsewhere, the academic infrastructure and priority given for endodontic teaching in the UK was limited in the international context. This may have some impact on the quality of endodontic provision within the UK General Dental Services.
INTRODUCTION: The comparison of HIV prevalence among blood donations in European countries provides an indication of the relative safety of the blood supply in different countries and over time. METHODS: Data between 1990 and 2004 on annual numbers of blood donations and HIV prevalence in blood donations were collected from national correspondents in the 52 countries of the World Health Organization European Region. Data are presented for three geographic areas: West, Centre and East. RESULTS: Since 1990, the number of blood donations has declined by 43% in the East and by 26% in the Centre, while remaining relatively stable in the West. In 2004, the number of blood donations was more than twice as high in the West in comparison with the East and the Centre. Over the same period, HIV prevalence among blood donations increased dramatically in the East, remained stable in the Centre and declined in the West. Since 2001, HIV prevalence levels of more than 10 per 100 000 donations were reported from six countries in the East (with a high of 128/100 000 in Ukraine), whereas in the rest of Europe the reported national HIV prevalence levels were lower than 10/100 000 donations. The prevalence of HIV was much lower among donations from repeat donors than from first-time donors. CONCLUSION: In some eastern European countries public health interventions, such as deferring individuals at risk of HIV infection from donating blood and constituting a pool of regular donors, are urgently needed to assure the safety of the blood supply.
HIV infection rates in Russia and Ukraine have reached levels which confirm that the two countries are currently experiencing an HIV/AIDS epidemic. Other countries of the former Soviet Union have seriously high infection rates. For example, in 1997, the UN estimated that there were 100,000 new HIV infections in Eastern Europe. According to Ukraine government HIV testing figures, from 1987 through 1994, only 398 of more than 39 million HIV tests yielded positive results. However, in 1995, 1499 of 3,515,197 tests performed were seropositive. Of 2,867,049 tests performed in 1996, 11,150 were HIV-seropositive. 5244 IV drug users and 1887 prisoners were among those who tested positive in 1996. Of 255,122 STD patients tested in 1996, 3.7% were HIV-positive, with rates highest in the Mykolayiv region (22.7%), Odessa (13.3%), and Kiev (5.8%). Urgent measures need to be taken to check the spread of HIV in the Newly Independent States. In describing AIDS and STDs in the region, the author draws from UN statistics, news stories, the government of Ukraine, and his personal experience developing a social marketing project in Odessa, Ukraine. He also notes the efforts of the Futures Group in Odessa.