CHILD HEALTH AND COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS IN THE AMERICAS
In the North, Middle, and South Americas, excessive and avoidable child death and disability continue to occur. Lack of knowledge about how to plan and execute programs for the health care of children and how to train personnel to function within such programs stands in the way of effective action. Throughout the hemisphere, there are requirements for simple survey and research methods to define health problems and suggest solutions to them within the context of their cultural and social milieu; there are pressures for more health resources and better utilization of those which exist; there are opportunities for training programs to prepare professional personnel and community aides to staff the health services; and there are needs for methods of evaluation which will feed back information needed to perfect the entire operation.
Reduction of high infant mortality is an important goal toward which all national programs in the Americas should be directed. It is the goal most relevant to the needs of both developing countries and the poverty pockets of the United States. Pediatrics and pediatricians have a special and unique contribution to make toward the achievement of this goal.
The present statement proposes the selection or establishment throughout the Americas of several community health centers to serve as resources for training and for developing and testing programs oriented toward the goal of reducing infant mortality. These centers would be related through a system of intercommunication, including the exchange of personnel. The developing countries of Latin America, faced with enormous health problems and limited health resources, have been forced to use efficient and ingenious ways of marshalling and distributing their scarce resources. The goals to which they have addressed themselves are improved child nutrition, promotion of family planning, and reduction of high infant mortality rates.
- Copyright © 1969 by the American Academy of Pediatrics