Web Watch: Find family planning info at government sites

Looking for federal family planning statistics? Need to research national reproductive issues, or learn more about contraceptives now under development? Take a look at the following sites:

1. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Web: www.nichd.nih.gov/.

The Bethesda, MD-based National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It provides a clearinghouse for information on health issues and publications related to research on women’s health, with trained information specialists providing access to information and referral services. Information specialists are available to respond to inquiries Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST by calling the toll-free number, (800) 370-2943. Publications also may be searched at www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs.cfm.

2. U.S. Agency for International Development. Web: www.usaid.gov/.

The Washington, DC-based U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the federal secretary of state. Click on "Population, Health, and Nutrition" on the site’s home page to go to its Population, Health, and Nutrition Center web page. Its "Links" section offers a good listing of international population web sites.

3. CONRAD Program. Web: www.conrad.org.

The CONRAD Program is dedicated to developing better, safer, and more acceptable methods of contraception that are especially suitable for use in developing countries. Established in 1986 at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk as a cooperating agency of the U.S. Agency for International Development, CONRAD concentrates its work on moving potential methods through Phase I and II clinical trials for safety and efficacy. Click on "Contraceptive Info and Related Links" to view its list of contraception and reproductive health web sites.

4. Office of Population Affairs. Web: http://opa.osophs.dhhs.gov/.

The Bethesda, MD-based Office of Population Affairs (OPA), within the Office of Public Health and Science of the Department of Health and Human Services, provides resources and policy advice on population, family planning, reproductive health, and adolescent pregnancy issues. OPA also administers two grant programs: the national Family Planning Program, authorized under Title X of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), and the Adolescent Family Life Program, authorized under Title XX of the PHSA. Click on "Data and Statistics" for links to statistics for several family planning issues.

5. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Web: www.fda.gov/cder/.

The Rockville, MD-based Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), located within the Food and Drug Administration, ensures that safe and effective drugs are available to the American people. CDER’s best-known job is to evaluate new drugs before they can be sold. Click on "Drug Approvals" on the site’s home page to see a listing of all approved drugs during 1998-2001. Listings are sorted by product name. When the drug approval or tentative approval letter, labeling text, or review are available, a hyperlink posting date is issued, which allows you to view the source document.

6. MEDLINEplus. Web: medlineplus.gov/.

MEDLINEplus offers health information from the Bethesda, MD-based National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library. It offers extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other sources on about 500 diseases and conditions, and also includes lists of hospitals and physicians, a medical encyclopedia and dictionaries, health information in Spanish, information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information from the media, and links to thousands of clinical trials.

7. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Web: www.ahcpr.gov/.

The Rockville, MD-based Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides research that offers evidence-based information on health care outcomes; quality; and cost, use, and access. It is a Public Health Service agency in the Department of Health and Human Services. Click on "Women’s Health" on the site’s home page to go to a page focusing directly on women’s health issues.