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Published in: 05/18/2015

Primary Health Care in South America is the theme of ISAGS/UNASUR new book

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Since the Alma-Ata International Conference*, there have been discussions about the conception and implementation of Primary Health Care (PHC) systems in South America. The various models of comprehensive health care that have been adopted over the years in the continent are the highlight of the book Primary Health Care in South America, released by ISAGS/UNASUR last Sunday (17) during the meeting of the South American Health Council in preparation for the World Health Assembly (WHA), in Geneva.

The publication is part of ISAGS’s Annual Operating Plan (AOP) and it resulted from an extensive work of mapping, articulation and consolidation of PHC experiences in the region. The study comprises technical aspects - such as management and health care methodology, workforce and financing -, as well as intercultural and intersectoral questions existing in the countries.

“Although there is extensive literature available on the issue, there was still not a South American overview that came from the same research matrix”, affirmed the researcher of the National School of Public Health (ENSP) and coordinator of the project, Lígia Giovanella.

According to her, the research has been structured in a comparative way, by showing successful experiences and identifying the main challenges for the strengthening of PHC in the continent.  The partial diagnoses were presented at the workshop “Primary Health Care approaches and strategies for the permanence of professionals in remote and underserved areas in South America”, held by ISAGS/UNASUR in 2014.

Besides Giovanella, the elaboration of the book also counted with the researcher Suelen Oliveira and the consultants Patty Fidelis, Gilberto Rios, Herland Tejerina, Román Veja and Hedwig Goedes. The preface of the book was written by Oscar Feo, who is currently the alternate general coordinator of the Latin American Social Medicine Association (ALAMES) and the back cover text was written by Daniel Olesker, former Health minister of Uruguay.

“Primary Health Care in South America is the third book conceived by ISAGS/UNASUR. It is available in Spanish, and its English version is expected for September. The Institute has also published the books “Health Systems in South America” and “Health Surveillance in South America”, which have become references to renowned research centers and universities all over the world. All three books can be found at the library of ISAGS’ website.

*The Alma-Ata International Conference was held in the now-extinct Soviet Union, in 1978, and it gathered 134 countries and 67 international organisms in order to define goals that would ensure health to all peoples of the world until the year 2000.