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close this bookWhere Women Have No Doctor - A Health Guide for Women (Hesperian Foundation, 1997, 600 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentWomen’s health is in your hands
View the documentThanks
View the documentAbout this Book
View the documentHow to Use this Book
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 1: Women’s Health Is a Community Issue
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 2: Solving Health Problems
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 3: The Medical System
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 4: Understanding Our Bodies
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 5: Health Concerns of Girls
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 6: Pregnancy and Childbirth
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 7: Breastfeeding
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 8: Growing Older
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 9: Women with Disabilities
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 10: Staying Healthy
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 11: Eating for Good Health
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 12: Sexual Health
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 13: Family Planning
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 14: Infertility (When You Are Not Able to Have a Baby)
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 15: Abortion and Complications from Abortion
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 16: Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Other Infections of the Genitals
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 17: AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 18: Violence Against Women
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 19: Rape and Sexual Assault
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 20: Sex Workers
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 21: Pain in the Lower Abdomen
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 22: Abnormal Bleeding from the Vagina
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 23: Problems of the Urine System
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 24: Cancer and Growths
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 25: Tuberculosis
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 26: Work
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 27: Mental Health
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 28: Alcohol and Other Drugs
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 29: Refugees and Displaced Women
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 30: Female Circumcision
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 31: Use of Medicines in Women’s Health
View the documentTable of Medicines: Green Pages
Open this folder and view contentsHealth Care Skills
View the documentVocabulary: List of difficult words
View the documentWhere to get more information
View the documentBack cover

Where to get more information

Here is a small selection of organizations and printed materials that can provide useful information about women's health care. We have tried to list organizations and materials covering as many of the topics in this book as possible, and to include groups working in all areas of the world. Many of the printed materials are easy to adapt and often include other helpful resource lists.


AHRTAG (Appropriate Health Resources and Technologies Action Group)
Farringdon's Point, 29-35 Farringdon Road, London
ECIM 3JB, UK. Tel: (44-71)242-0606;
Fax: (44-71)242-0041; Email:
Information on primary health care in developing countries. Publishes several newsletters and resource guides on health topics.

Alcoholics Anonymous
World Services Incorporated, PO Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163, USA
Information about alcoholism and materials on how to start community support groups for persons with drug or alcohol problems. Contact them for information about groups in your area.

Aprovecho Research Center
80574 Hazelton Rd., Cottage Grove, Oregon
97424, USA
Tel: (1 -541)942-8198; Fax: (1 -541)942-0302
Information and training in organic gardening, sustainable forestry, and appropriate technology. Publishes an excellent book called Capturing Heat - illustrated, easy to follow instructions for making 5 simple cooking stoves that use less fuel and produce less smoke. Useful for any community.

Arab Resource Collective
PO Box 7380, Nicosia, Cyprus
Tel: (357-2)476-741; Fax: (357-2)476-790;
Written and audio-visual materials in general health care, community development, skills training, and promotion of networking among grass-roots organizations in the Middle East

Disabled People International (DPI)
101-7 Evergreen Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3L 2TS Canada
Tel: (1-204) 287-8010; Fax: (1-204)453-1367;
Email:; Web: htpp://
Information on a wide range of issues and concerns for persons with disabilities, including women's health care, human rights, independent living, and social justice. Special focus on grass-roots development Has local offices in many countries.

English Collective of Prostitutes
PO Box 287, London, NW6 5QU, UK
Information and health education materials for women who exchange sex for money or services. Has international connections with other similar groups.

Gender and Learning Team
Policy Department Oxfam UK/Ireland,
274 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7DZ, UK
Tel: (44-1865) 31 1311; Fax: (44-1865)31 3133
Provides advice and support on gender and learning issues, including health, natural resources, capacity building and rights. Networks with groups worldwide to exchange experiences and offer mutual support Also publishes a newsletter called "Links."

Global Fund for Women
425 Sherman Ave., Suite 300, Palo Alto, California
94306-1823, USA
Tel: (1-415)853-8305; Fax: (1-415)328-0384;
Gives small grants to community-based women's groups, especially those working on controversial issues and in difficult conditions. Areas of special interest are human rights, communications technology, and economic independence. Contact them for grant request information.

Health Action Information Network (HAIN)
PO Box 1665, Central Post Office, Quezon City,
Tel: (632)978-805; Fax: (632)721-8290
General health care information. Networking with many general and women's grass-roots health groups, especially in Pacific Island countries.

Health Action International
Jacob Van Lennepkade 334T, 1053 NJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)20 683 3684; Fax: +31 (0)20 685 5002
Network of 200 consumer, health, development, and other public interest groups involved in health issues and the rational use of drugs. Has contacts in over 70 countries. Contact Amsterdam office for local groups that can help.

Inter-African Committee on Traditional Health Practices Affecting Women
c/o Economic Commission for Africa.
ATRCW, PO Box 3001, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
c/o Inter-African Committee.
147, rue de Lausanne, CH-1202 Geneva,
Monitors world-wide practices harmful to girls and women, including female circumcision.

International Development Research Center (IRDC)
PO Box 8500, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3H9 Canada
Magazines, brochures, films, and other publications on health, agriculture, and development Materials in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic, some at no cost. Write for a catalogue.

International Labour Organization
4, rue des Morillons, CH 1211, Geneva 22, Switzerland
Tel: (41 -22)799-7940; Fax: (41 -22)788-3894
An agency of the United Nations that promotes international workplace standards for: equality, justice, human rights, worker safety and health, job protection and safety for pregnant women, and the hours children work.

International Planned Parenthood Federation
International Headquarters, Regent's College; Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London NW14NS, UK
Tel: (44-171) 486-0741
IPPF promotes and supports family planning activities worldwide. They also publish information on all aspects of family planning.

International Women's Tribune Center
777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA Tel: (1-212) 687-8633; Fax: (1-212) 661-2704
Works to empower women. Some IWTC publications include: The Tech and Tools Book: A guide to technologies women are using worldwide; Women Organizing; Women and Small Business.

ISIS International
Ricardo Lyon 1735, Casilla 2067, Correo Central
Santiago, Chile
85-A East Maya Street, Philamlife Homes
Quezon City, Phillipines
Information and communication services. Has contact with many women's groups worldwide. Publications, technical assistance and training in communication skills and management

Musasa Project
112 Harare Street, Box A172, Avondale, Harare,
Zimbabwe. Tel/Fax: (263-4) 794983
Provides information and support to abused women. Also provides education programs to women, girls and others on domestic violence and rape.

TALC (Teaching Aids at Low Cost)
PO Box 49, St. Albans, Herts, ALI 4AX, UK Tel: (44) 1727-853869; Fax: (44) 1727-846852
Publishes low-cost books, slides and accessories in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese in health care and development for use in poor communities. Free booklist.

Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI)
40, Institutional Area, South of NT, New Delhi
110016, India. Tel: (91-11)668071 or 668072;
Fax: (91-11) 6853708
Publishes Health for the Millions, a journal about low-cost health care. Also has teaching materials in English and local Indian languages.

Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF)
PO Box 4622, Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel: (263-4) 752-105; Fax: (263-4)733-670
Umbrella organization for many people and organizations using law to promote women's rights.

Women's Global Network on Reproductive Rights
Nieuwe Zijds Voorburgwal 32, 1012 RZ Amsterdam, Netherlands. Tel: (31 -20)20 96 72
Networking; collecting and sharing information; quarterly newsletter; international campaigns; monitoring research in reproductive health.

Women's Health Project
PO Box 1038, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
Tel: (011)489-9917; Fax: (011) 89-9922
Provides training, research, resource materials, networking, policy development and promotion, and a newsletter on issues concerning women's health. Materials can be adapted for other communities.

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)
PO Box 1200, 10850 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: (604) 658-48 16, Fax: (604) 657-2655
A global network of NGOs and individuals whose common goal is to promote, support and protect breastfeeding. Contact WABA for local groups that can help.

World Neighbors
4127 NW 122 Street, Oklahoma City, OK, 73 120, USA
Tel: (405) 752-9700; Fax: (405) 752-9393,
Teaching materials designed from program experience for use in the specific country and locality. Topics include health and nutrition, family planning, community development and agriculture. In English and local languages.

Printed Materials

Across Borders: Women with Disabilities Working Together
Diane Driedger, Irene Feika, Eileen Giron Batres (Eds.), Council of Canadians with Disabilities, gynergy books, PO Box 2023, Charlottetown, PEI, CIA 7N7 Canada
Accounts of political activism and personal stories of women with disabilities from around the world.

Adding Health to Years
Gill Garrett, Health Age International, 67-74 Saffron Hill, London ECIR OBE, UK
Fax: (44-171)404-7203; Email:
Self-help health guide for older persons. Health Age also has a network of over 50 organizations worldwide, working to achieve a lasting improvement in the quality of life for older persons.

AIDS Home Care Handbook
World Health Organization, Global Programme on AIDS, 20 avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland. Tel: (41-22)791-4651 or 4745;
Fax: (41 -22)791 -4187; Email: UNAIDS@WHO.CH
Good information about caring for someone sick with AIDS at home. Designed for health workers and trainers, but useful for anyone caring for someone with AIDS. Written for Africa, but easy to adapt for any community.

Arab Women: A Profile of Diversity & Change
The Population Council
West Asia and North Africa Regional Office
Cairo, PO Box 115, Egypt
Tel: (20-2) 570-1733; Fax: (20-2) 570-1804
New York Office
One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
New York, NY 10017 USA
Tel: (212) 339-0500; Fax: (212) 755-6052
This book focuses on women's social and political position in Arab countries. It is a source book for women in the region and a tool for advocacy and change.

Asia and Pacific Women's Resource and Action Series: Health
Published by Asian and Pacific Development Centre, Persiaran Duta, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This book reflects the ideas, perspectives, strategies and action in the 1980s of women from all parts of the Region.

Christian Medical Commission, Box 66, 150 Route de Ferney, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland
Newsletter about appropriate health care, published in French, Spanish, English and Portuguese.

South Pacific Community Nutrition Training Project,
The Director; Extension Services, The University of the South Pacific, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji
Publishes a series of books on food and nutrition for Pacific Islanders, but useful everywhere. The books include stories, drawings, summaries, and questions to help educate people on making good choices about food and living healthy lives.

Gender and Women's Health
Resource Centre for Primary Health Care
PO Box 117, Bagbazar, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel./Fax: (977-1)225675
A manual describing a workshop in Nepal that takes a holistic approach to women's health. Useful for group discussions and workshops on women's health core. Could be adapted for any community and region.

Health Alert
Health Action Information Network, PO Box 1665, Central Post Office, Quezon City, Phillipines
Journal that provides news on health-related issues, as well as economic and political developments that shape the health care situation.

Healthy Women Counselling Guide, and Health Workers Training Guide
Gender and Health Research Group, World Health Organization, CH-1211, Geneva 27, Switzerland
Written together with women and health workers in Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa. Includes topics in all areas of women's hearth and gender relations. Useful for any community.

Healthy Women, Healthy Mothers
A.A. Arkutu, Family Care International, Inc. (FCI),
588 Broadway, Suite 503, New York, NY 10012,
A book on pregnancy and birth for health workers and others who work with women at the community level. Easy to read and well illustrated. Written for Africa, but useful for all communities.

Also from FCI: Strengthening Communication Skills for Women's Health: A Training Guide, by Jill Tabbutt, and Getting the Message Out: Designing an Information Campaign on Women's Health, by Ann M. Starrs and Rahna R. Rizzuto.

Helping Mothers to Breastfeed
F. Savage King, African Medical and Research Foundation, Publishing Department, PO Box 30125, Nairobi, Kenya
Summarizes the most current information on breastfeeding, including a section on breastfeeding and family planning.

Managing Drug Supply: The Selection, Procurement, Distribution and Use of Pharmaceuticals (Second Edition)
Edited by J.D. Quick, et al (Management Sciences for Health). Order from: Kumarian Press, Inc., 14 Oakwood Ave., West Hartford, Connecticut 061 19-2127, USA. Tel: (1-860)233-5895; Fax: (1-860)233-6072; Email:
Information on essential drugs management in developing countries. Illustrated with over 300 figures, tables, 'how-to boxes', sample forms, and address lists, this is an excellent resource for anyone who prescribes and dispenses medicines.

Montreal Health Press
Montreal Health Press, PO Box 1000, Station Place du Parc, Montreal, Quebec, H2W 2NI Canada Tel: (514) 282-1171
Publishes several excellent guides about menopause, birth control, STDs, and sexual assault.

Our Bodies, Ourselves
Boston Women's Health Book Collective, PO Box 192, West Somerville, MA 02144, USA
Published by: Touchstone, Simon & Schuster Building, Rockefeller Center; 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, USA
This classic book provides complete information on women's health issues.

Practical guidelines for preventing infections passed by blood or air in health-care settings
AHRTAG, 29-35 Farringdon Road, London
Easy to understand and useful for home, clinic, and hospital settings. Free to persons in developing countries.

Primary Clinical Care Series
Health Services Development Unit, Department of Community Health, University of the Witerwatersrand, Medical School, York Road Parktown, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa
A series of manuals to train primary health care workers in rural and developing areas. Topics include: urinary and genital problems, sexually transmitted diseases, infectious diseases, family planning, and basic medical sciences. Written for Africa, but useful for any community.

Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Programme and Technical Support Section UNHCR Headquarters, Case postale 2500, CH-1211 Geneva 2 Depot 2, Switzerland Fax: (41 22) 739 73 71
Manual to assist any interested person in promoting reproductive health services in refugee and other emergency situations.

Safe Motherhood Newsletter
World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
Published 3 times a year in English, Arabic and French. Information on pregnancy, the health of mothers and newborns, and general health concerns of women. Contains good resource section. Write for a free subscription.

Sexual and Domestic Violence: Help, Recovery and Action in Zimbabwe
Jill Taylor and Sheelagh, Published by A. von Glehn and J. Taylor in collaboration with Women and Law in Southern Africa, PO Box UA 171, Union Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Designed for people in developing countries to help raise awareness of and develop skills to fight sexual and domestic violence. Can be adapted for any community.

South African Women's Health Book
Oxford University Press, Southern Africa, Harrington House, 37 Barrack Street, Cape Town 8001, South Africa
Comprehensive information on women's health in South Africa including stories from women in local communities. Includes chapters on gender, culture, healthy living, violence, work, sexuality, and reproductive health.

Training Course in Women's Health
Institute for Development Training, 212 East Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill, NC, 275 14, USA Tel: (1-919) 967-0563; Fax: (1-919) 929-2353
A series of easy-to-read, adaptable clinical training manuals in women's health services for health workers. Series includes trainings in: The Female Reproductive and Sexual System, Communication and Counseling Skills, Infection Control, Gyn Exams and Common Problems, Urine System and Problems, Family Planning, Breastfeeding, Sterilization, Reproductive Tract Infections, FGM, and Abortion.

Understanding and Reacting: Women Partners in Health
Association Genevoise d'Entraide aux Refugies (A.G.E.R.), route de Bardonnex 27b, CH-1228 Geneva, Switzerland
Illustrated, simply-written first aid manual for women in exile.

Women & Health
Patricia Smyke, Zed Books Ltd, 57 Caledonian Road, London NI 9BU, UK
An overview of women, health and development One book in the "Women and Development" series. Other books in the series are on: economics, disability, the environment, refugees, literacy, work, and the family.

Other Books from Macmillan

Where There Is No Doctor, by David Werner with Carol Thuman and Jane Maxwell, is perhaps the most widely used health care manual in the world. The book provides vital, easily understood information on how to diagnose, treat and prevent common diseases. Special importance is placed on ways to prevent health problems, including cleanliness, a healthy diet and vaccinations. The authors also emphasize the active role villagers must take in their own health care. 512 pages.



International Edition


African Edition


Refugee Health

During recent refugee crises, relief workers have faced rapidly changing and complex environments, new disease patterns, enormous humanitarian needs and relatively limited resources. MSF have drawn on their extensive experience of working with refugees to produce this comprehensive operational manual of the issues which arise during refugee health programmes.

Written by Mcins Sans Frontis, Refugee Health is intended for professionals involved in public health assistance to refugees and displaced persons. It deals with a wide variety of specific refugee health issues at decisional level, and discusses the priorities of intervention during the different phases of a refugee crisis, from emergency to repatriation. 384 pages.




A Book for Midwives, by Susan Klein, is written for midwives, traditional birth attendants, community health workers and anyone concerned about the health of pregnant women and their babies. The book is an invaluable tool for midwives facilitating education and training sessions as well as an essential reference for practice. The author emphasizes helping pregnant women stay healthy; giving good care and dealing with complications during labor, childbirth and after birth; family planning; breastfeeding; and homemade, low cost equipment. 528 pages.




Guidelines to Rational Drug Use provides up-to-date unbiased information on the rational prescription of drugs in developing countries. It gives details of the uses of a broad range of available drugs, how to administer them, their centra-indications and side effects. Disease coverage is wide and special emphasis is given to diseases that are particularly important in tropical countries.


The book gives the comparative costs of different drugs which will enable doctors, nurses and medical supply officers to minimize expenditure. Designed in tabular form, it will prove invaluable to hospitals and general practitioners throughout the world. 264 pages.