The obstetrics service in most hospitals follows a well outlined procedure, where having a baby, instead of a somewhat mystic experience, is thought of as something of an illness and the stay in the hospital as recuperation. Women who are about to deliver are treated as 'patients' about to undergo surgery. They are sterilized. Their genitals are scrubbed and shaved. They are gowned in white and put on a table to be moved back and forth between the various parts of the hospitals. Women in labour are put in cubicles to pass the time with virtually no social contact. This time can last for many hours. Father and children are not normally permitted to be in contact. Delivery normally takes place in a 'delivery room' which has the proper 'table' for childbirth. There is a marked lack of facilities in which a woman can have a baby as part of a family, with privacy and seclusion afterwards which would enable the new baby to be introduced to the existing family gently and sympathetically and more in accordance with what happens in simpler societies.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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