Primary Care Offers Lifeline to Global Health

September 12, 2008

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals requires a renewed commitment to primary health care, while training health care workers and developing meaningful measures of progress are of key importance, according to three papers published in the Sept. 13 issue of The Lancet, which has a special focus on the legacy of the 1978 International Conference on Primary Health Care in Alma-Ata.

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Achieving the Millennium Development Goals requires a renewed commitment to primary health care, while training health care workers and developing meaningful measures of progress are of key importance, according to three papers published in the Sept. 13 issue of The Lancet, which has a special focus on the legacy of the 1978 International Conference on Primary Health Care in Alma-Ata.

Luis Huicho, M.D., of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, and colleagues looked at the impact of integrated management of childhood illness training and found that it was associated with a similar quality of child care across different categories regardless of the extent of previous training.

Edilberto Loaiza and colleagues at UNICEF in New York City, write that the ultimate measure of success in strengthening the health system and tackling specific diseases such as measles, HIV and malaria, will be significant reductions in maternal and child mortality, while an accompanying editorial proclaims the need for a renaissance in primary health care, and highlights the role of the World Health Organization.

"WHO's vision for health -- complete physical, mental and social well-being -- is the key to achieving Alma-Ata's prime goal of 'health for all,'" the authors of the editorial write. "With refined international relationships, new and emerging technologies, and 30 years of experience, 'health for all' need not be a dream buried in the past. The right to the highest attainable standard of health can be a reality within our grasp."

Abstract - Huicho Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) Comment - Loaiza Editorial

Copyright © 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.