Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública]]> http://www.scielosp.org/rss.php?pid=1020-498920110011&lang=en vol. 30 num. 5 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielosp.org/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielosp.org <![CDATA[<b>Continuum of risky eating behaviors in Mexican adolescents</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Determinar las relaciones existentes entre las variables autoestima (AU), insatisfacción corporal (IC) e índice de masa corporal (IMC) en un continuo de conductas alimentarias de riesgo (CAR) que abarque desde la normalidad hasta el riesgo de trastornos de conducta alimentaria (TCA), facilitando así la detección temprana de adolescentes con manifestaciones de TCA y el grado en que influyen dichas variables. MÉTODOS: Se seleccionaron 1 982 mujeres de 15 a 19 años de edad, de acuerdo con un muestreo aleatorio estratificado. Se midió la AU (escala de Pope, McHale y Craighead), la IC ("Escala análoga de figuras corporales" de Stunkard) y el IMC. Se administró un cuestionario breve de CAR. Se definieron tres categorías de CAR: sin riesgo, riesgo moderado y riesgo alto. Se realizó la prueba de regresión multinomial. RESULTADOS: Se encontró una relación directa entre el riesgo de CAR y la IC, con diferencias significativas entre grupos (P < 0,001): sin riesgo (83,6% de la muestra) 54,1% presentaron IC; con riesgo moderado (11,9% de la muestra) 84,8% presentaron IC, y de riesgo alto (4,5% de la muestra) 89,9% presentaron IC. En AU e IMC solo hubo diferencias significativas entre el grupo sin riesgo y cada uno de los grupos de riesgo. La AU participó en la predicción de CAR en todos los modelos de regresión evaluados, mientras que el IMC no lo hizo. CONCLUSIONES: Es perentorio identificar adolescentes en riesgo moderado de CAR que revelen características prodrómicas de TCA, como baja AU e IC, las cuales, cuando se presentan de forma conjunta, pueden mediar un efecto negativo del IMC sobre las CAR<hr/>OBJECTIVE: Determine the relationship between the variables of self-esteem (SE), body dissatisfaction (BD), and body mass index (BMI) in a continuum of risky eating behaviors (REB) that ranges from normal behavior to the risk of eating disorders (ED), thus facilitating early detection of adolescents with ED symptomatology and the degree to which such variables have an influence. METHODS: A total of 1 982 young women aged 15-19 were selected through stratified random sampling. Self-esteem (Pope, McHale, and Craighead scale), body dissatisfaction (Stunkard's Figure Rating Scale), and body mass index were measured. A brief REB questionnaire was administered. Three categories of REB were defined: no risk, moderate risk, and high risk. A multiple regression analysis was performed. RESULTS: A direct relationship was found between risk of REB and BD, with significant differences between the groups (P < 0.001): no risk (83.6% of sample), 54.1% had BD; moderate risk (11.9% of sample), 84.8% had BD; and high risk (4.5% of sample), 89.9% had BD. There were significant differences in SE and BMI only between the group with no risk and each of the risk groups. Self-esteem played a role in predicting REB in all the regression models evaluated, whereas BMI did not. CONCLUSIONS: It is essential to identify adolescents at moderate risk of REB who have prodromic features of ED such as low SE and BD. When these features occur simultaneously, they can mediate a negative effect of BMI on REB <![CDATA[<b>Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in Peruvian patients with type 2 diabetes</b>: <b>results of a hospital-based retinal telescreening program</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in patients with type 2 diabetes and to determine any association with clinical factors. METHODS: This hospital-based screening project was designed to prospectively detect the presence of DR in patients with type 2 diabetes by grading images acquired with a digital retinal camera. RESULTS: Of 1 311 patients screened, appropriate retinal images were obtained in 1 222 subjects (93.2%). DR was detected in 282 patients (23.1%) [95% confidence interval (CI): 20.71-25.44]; 249 patients (20.4%) (95% CI: 18.1-22.6) had nonproliferative DR and 33 (2.7%) (95% CI: 1.8-3.6) had proliferative DR. In 32 patients (11.3%), DR was unilateral. The frequency of DR was the same in both sexes. Prevalence of blindness was twice as frequent in patients with DR as in those without it (9.4% and 4.6%, respectively) (P = 0.001). The frequency of DR at diagnosis was 3.5% and it increased with the duration of diabetes. DR was more frequent in patients with arterial hypertension, macrovascular or microvascular complications, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) &gt; 7.0% and in those treated with insulin or sulfonylureas. It was less prevalent in those with HbA1c < 7.0%, with greater body mass index, and who had been treated with metformin. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of DR in these patients with type 2 diabetes was 23.1%. Nonproliferative retinopathy accounted for 77.0% of cases. Although less prevalent than in a previous report, it doubled the frequency of blindness in the people affected. A national screening DR program should be considered in order to detect this prevalent condition early and treat it in a timely fashion<hr/>OBJETIVO: Calcular la prevalencia de la retinopatía diabética en pacientes con diabetes tipo 2 y determinar su asociación con factores clínicos. MÉTODOS: Este proyecto de detección sistemática hospitalaria se diseñó para detectar de manera prospectiva la presencia de retinopatía diabética en pacientes con diabetes tipo 2 mediante la valoración de imágenes obtenidas con una cámara digital para fotografía retiniana. RESULTADOS: Se evaluó a 1 311 pacientes y se obtuvieron imágenes retinianas apropiadas en 1 222 de ellos (93,2%). Se detectó retinopatía diabética en 282 pacientes (23,1%) (intervalo de confianza [IC] de 95%: 20,71-25,44): 249 pacientes (20,4%) (IC de 95%: 18,1-22,6) tenían retinopatía diabética no proliferativa y 33 (2,7%) (IC 95%: 1,8-3,6) presentaban retinopatía diabética proliferativa. En 32 pacientes (11,3%), la retinopatía diabética era unilateral. La frecuencia de retinopatía diabética fue la misma en ambos sexos. La prevalencia de ceguera fue del doble en los pacientes con retinopatía diabética que en aquellos sin ella (9,4% y 4,6%, respectivamente) (P = 0,001). La frecuencia de retinopatía diabética en el momento del diagnóstico fue de 3,5% y aumentó con la duración de la diabetes. La retinopatía diabética fue más frecuente en los pacientes con hipertensión arterial, complicaciones macrovasculares o microvasculares y hemoglobina A1c (HbA1c) &gt; 7,0%, y en aquellos tratados con insulina o sulfonilureas. Fue menos prevalente en los pacientes con HbA1c < 7,0%, en aquellos con mayor índice de masa corporal y en los tratados con metformina. CONCLUSIONES: La prevalencia de retinopatía diabética en estos pacientes con diabetes tipo 2 fue de 23,1%. La retinopatía no proliferativa representó 77,0% de los casos. Aunque la prevalencia de la ceguera fue menor que en un informe anterior, su frecuencia en las personas con retinopatía diabética fue del doble que en las no afectadas. Se debe considerar llevar a cabo un programa de detección sistemática nacional de retinopatía diabética para diagnosticar de forma temprana esta afección frecuente y tratarla de manera oportuna <![CDATA[<b>Learning portfolios as a tool for reflection</b>: <b>building competencies for work in the Unified Health System</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Avaliar a experiência inovadora de educação por competências através de portfólios para a formação de profissionais que atuarão no Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS) no Brasil. MÉTODOS: Utilizou-se a pesquisa qualitativa como modelo de abordagem. Realizou-se a análise documental de 25 portfólios produzidos nos anos de 2008, 2009 e 2010 na disciplina de Políticas de Saúde na Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brasil, com o objetivo de verificar se esse método permitiu a aquisição das competências de aprender a ser (atuar com autonomia, juízo, responsabilidade pessoal); aprender a conhecer (assimilar conhecimentos científicos e culturais gerais e específicos, que se completarão e atualizarão ao longo da vida); aprender a fazer (adquirir procedimentos que ajudem a enfrentar dificuldades na vida e na profissão); e aprender a conviver e a trabalhar com outros (compreender melhor os demais, o mundo e suas inter-relações). RESULTADOS: Observou-se um envolvimento com as atividades propostas, destacando-se a gestão da informação (busca ativa, seleção, análises críticas, resenhas, sínteses e avaliação da informação). Houve uma gradativa abertura ao pensamento crítico, integrando novas dimensões à visão inicial dos estudantes sobre o SUS, que passou do foco na doença e na cura para um foco em saúde e prevenção, e de uma visão do SUS como modelo teórico para a visão de um projeto possível e em construção. CONCLUSÕES: O uso dos portfólios possibilitou a formação de profissionais de saúde-cidadãos, com ênfase acadêmica, pedagógica e prática. Isso indica que a universidade e o docente podem orientar-se ao desenvolvimento da capacidade de decisão e pensamento reflexivo dos estudantes<hr/>OBJECTIVE: To assess the innovative experience of competency education through reflective portfolios for the training of professionals who will work in the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS). METHODS: A qualitative research approach was employed. Documentary analysis was carried out covering 25 portfolios produced in the years 2008, 2009, and 2010 in the health policy course at the Federal University of Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, in order to verify if this method allowed the acquisition of the competencies: learning to be (acting with autonomy, good judgment, personal responsibility); learning to know (assimilating general and specific scientific and cultural knowledge, which will be complemented and updated in the course of life); learning to do (acquiring procedures that will be useful for facing life and work difficulties); and learning to live and work together (better understanding of others, the world, and their inter-relationships). RESULTS: Students became involved with the proposed activities, especially the management of information (active search, selection, critical analyses, reviews, syntheses, and evaluation of information). There was a gradual opening to critical thinking, integrating new dimensions to the initial vision held by students on the SUS, which moved from a focus on disease and healing to a focus on health and prevention, and from a vision of SUS as a theoretical model towards a view of SUS as a feasible project that is under construction. CONCLUSIONS: The use of portfolios has enabled the education of citizen-health professionals, with academic, pedagogical, and practical emphasis. This indicates that universities and teachers can turn to the development of decision-making capacities and reflective thinking by students <![CDATA[<b>Genome epidemiology and tropical spastic paraparesis associated with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Caracterizar el ambiente genómico de las secuencias adyacentes al virus linfotrópico humano de células T tipo 1 (HTLV-1) en pacientes con paraparesia espástica tropical y mielopatía asociada a la infección con HTLV-1 (PET/MAH) de diferentes regiones de Colombia y del Japón. MÉTODOS: Se enfrentaron 71 clones recombinantes con secuencias del genoma humano adyacentes al 5'-LTR de pacientes con PET/MAH, a las bases de datos del Genome Browser y del Gen-Bank. Se identificaron y analizaron estadísticamente 16 variables genómicas estructurales y composicionales mediante el programa informático R, versión 2.8.1, en una ventana de 0,5 Mb. RESULTADOS: El 43,0% de los provirus se localizaron en los cromosomas del grupo C; 74% de las secuencias se ubicaron en regiones teloméricas y subteloméricas (P < 0,05). Un análisis de conglomerados permitió establecer las relaciones jerárquicas entre las características genómicas incluidas en el estudio; el análisis de componentes principales identificó las componentes que definieron los ambientes genómicos preferidos para la integración proviral en casos de PET/MAH. CONCLUSIONES: El HTLV-1 se integró con mayor frecuencia en regiones de la cromatina ricas en islas de citocina fosfato guanina (CpG), de alta densidad de genes y de repeticiones tipo LINE (elemento disperso largo [long interspersed element]) y transposones de ADN que, en conjunto, conformarían los ambientes genómicos blanco de integración. Este nuevo escenario promoverá cambios sustanciales en el campo de la salud pública y en el manejo epidemiológico de las enfermedades infecciosas, y permitirá desarrollar potentes herramientas para incrementar la eficiencia de la vigilancia epidemiológica<hr/>OBJECTIVE: Characterize the genomic environment of the sequences adjacent to human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) in patients with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) in different regions of Colombia and Japan. METHODS: A total of 71 recombinant clones with human genome sequences adjacent to 5' LTR in patients with HAM/TSP were compared to the Genome Browser and GenBank databases. Sixteen structural and compositional genome variables were identified, and statistical analysis was conducted in the R computer program, version 2.8.1, in a 0.5 Mb window. RESULTS: A total of 43.0% of the proviruses were located in the group C chromosomes; 74% of the sequences were located in the telomeric and subtelomeric regions (P < 0.05). A cluster analysis was used to establish the hierarchical relations between the genome characteristics included in the study. The analysis of principal components identified the components that defined the preferred genome environments for proviral integration in cases of HAM/TSP. CONCLUSIONS: HTLV-1 was integrated more often in chromatin regions rich in CpG islands with a high density of genes and LINE type repetitions, and DNA transposons which, overall, would form the genomic environments targeted for integration. This new scenario will promote substantial changes in the field of public health and in epidemiological management of infectious diseases. It will also foster the development of powerful tools for increasing the efficiency of epidemiological surveillance <![CDATA[<b>Cutaneous melanoma in Latin America</b>: <b>the need for more data</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVE: To identify the scientific literature on cutaneous melanoma in Latin America and compile all available epidemiologic data to demonstrate the need for reliable regional and country-specific data on incidence and mortality estimates. METHODS: Literature searches were conducted in PubMed, Embase, LILACS, and Google Scholar databases for epidemiologic studies from 1 January 2000 to 31 October 2010 related to melanoma in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. A final search on melanoma cases was carried out using country-specific population-based cancer registries. No statistical analyses were conducted. RESULTS: For all six countries, most epidemiological research on cutaneous melanoma consists of hospital-based or case-control studies. Very few studies report incidence and mortality rates. Attempts to estimate disease rates have relied on national incidence and mortality data and information extracted from cancer registries. While predominance of European ancestry is a known risk factor for developing melanoma, the association of melanoma and ethnicity is not well-documented in some of the populations reviewed. Latin Americans are frequently exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation due to the tropical weather, high altitude, and thinning ozone layer in some regions. Tanned skin is viewed as healthy and beautiful. While melanoma public health campaigns have been under way in Latin America for decades, increasing melanoma awareness remains imperative. CONCLUSIONS: There is an urgent need to collect accurate epidemiologic melanoma data in Latin America. Future research in the region should include more comprehensive, countryspecific, population-based studies to allow for comparative evaluation of incidence and mortality rates<hr/>OBJETIVO: Identificar la literatura científica sobre el melanoma cutáneo en América Latina y recopilar todos los datos epidemiológicos disponibles, con objeto de demostrar la necesidad de información fiable a escala regional y de país sobre los datos de incidencia y mortalidad. MÉTODOS: Se realizaron búsquedas bibliográficas en las bases de datos PubMed, Embase, LILACS y Google Scholar para encontrar estudios epidemiológicos relacionados con el melanoma llevados a cabo del 1 de enero del 2000 al 31 de octubre del 2010 en Argentina, Brasil, Colombia, México, Puerto Rico y Venezuela. Se efectuó una búsqueda final de casos de melanoma mediante la consulta de los registros poblacionales de cáncer de cada país. No se realizó ningún análisis estadístico. RESULTADOS: En los seis países, la mayor parte de la investigación epidemiológica sobre el melanoma cutáneo consiste en estudios hospitalarios o estudios de casos y testigos. Muy pocos estudios informan sobre las tasas de incidencia y mortalidad. Los intentos de calcular las tasas de la enfermedad se han basado en los datos nacionales de incidencia y mortalidad, y en la información extraída de los registros de cáncer. Aunque el predominio de la ascendencia europea constituye un conocido factor de riesgo de melanoma, la asociación entre el melanoma y el grupo étnico no puede demostrarse adecuadamente en algunas de las poblaciones estudiadas. Los latinoamericanos están frecuentemente expuestos a la radiación ultravioleta como consecuencia del clima tropical, la elevada altitud y la disminución de la capa de ozono en algunas regiones. La piel bronceada se considera como saludable y bella. Aunque hace decenios que se llevan a cabo campañas de salud pública dedicadas al melanoma en América Latina, es indispensable incrementar la conciencia de esta enfermedad. Conclusiones: Existe la urgente necesidad de recopilar datos epidemiológicos precisos sobre el melanoma en América Latina. Las futuras actividades de investigación en la Región deben incluir un mayor número de estudios poblacionales extensos y específicos de cada país, que permitan evaluar comparativamente las tasas de incidencia y mortalidad <![CDATA[<b><i>Rhodnius prolixus</i></b><b> in Nicaragua</b>: <b>geographical distribution, control, and surveillance, 1998-2009</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Presentar la perspectiva general del control de Rhodnius prolixus, el principal vector en la transmisión de la enfermedad de Chagas en Centroamérica, durante el período 1998-2009 en Nicaragua. Describir el control vectorial realizado y presentar la distribución geográfica de las localidades infestadas. MÉTODOS: Se estudió y analizó la información disponible en el Ministerio de Salud de Nica ragua. Se visualizó la distribución geográfica de R. prolixus mediante el programa visualiza dor de mapas Quantum GIS 1.5.0. RESULTADOS: Se determinó que 59 localidades en 14 municipios de 8 departamentos presen taron antecedentes de infestación con R. prolixus entre 1998 y 2009. La altitud de las locali dades infestadas oscila entre 160 y 1 414 metros sobre el nivel del mar. Se han tratado con más de dos ciclos de control químico 56 localidades. En el segundo ciclo de rociamiento se detectó la presencia del vector, pero durante el tercer ciclo no se lo encontró en ninguna localidad. CONCLUSIONES: La mayor concentración geográfica de R. prolixus se observó en dos depar tamentos de la región norte: Madriz y Nueva Segovia. La cantidad de localidades infestadas es menor en Nicaragua que en otros países centroamericanos. El control químico ha sido exitoso en las localidades intervenidas, pero es necesario fortalecer el sistema de vigilancia institucio nal y comunitaria tanto para vigilar la reinfestación con R. prolixus como para ampliar la cobertura del control vectorial<hr/>OBJECTIVE: Present an overview of the control of Rhodnius prolixus, the principal vector in the transmission of Chagas' disease in Central America, during the period 1998-2009 in Nicaragua. Describe the vector control carried out and the geographical distribution of the infested localities. METHODS: The available information in Nicaragua's Ministry of Health was studied and analyzed. The geographical distribution of R. prolixus was visualized using the Quantum GIS 1.5.0 map visualization program. RESULTS: It was determined that 59 localities in 14 municipalities of 8 departments had a history of R. prolixus infestation between 1998 and 2009. The altitude of the infested localities ranges between 160 and 1 414 meters above sea level. A total of 56 localities have been treated with more than two cycles of chemical control. The presence of the vector was detected in the second spraying cycle, but it was not found in any locality during the third cycle. CONCLUSIONS: The greatest geographical concentration of R. prolixus was found in two departments in the northern region: Madriz and Nueva Segovia. There were fewer infested localities in Nicaragua than in other Central American countries. Chemical control has been successful in the localities treated, but the institutional and community surveillance system needs to be strengthened to monitor R. prolixusreinfestation and expand vector control coverage <![CDATA[<b>Clinical trial regulation in Argentina</b>: <b>overview and analysis of regulatory framework, use of existing tools, and researchers' perspectives to identify potential barriers</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVE: To review and analyze the regulatory framework of clinical trial registration, use of existing tools (publicly accessible national/international registration databases), and users' perspectives to identify possible barriers to registration compliance by sponsors and researchers in Argentina. METHODS: Internationally registered trials recruiting patients in Argentina were found through clincialtrials.gov and the International Clinical Trial Registration Platform (ICTRP) and compared with publically available clinical trials registered through the National Administration of Drugs, Foods, and Medical Devices (ANMAT). A questionnaire addressing hypothesized attitudinal, knowledge-related, idiomatic, technical, economic, and regulatory barriers that could discourage or impede registration of clinical trials was developed, and semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with a purposively selected sample of researchers (investigators, sponsors, and monitors) in Argentina. RESULTS: A response rate of 74.3% (n = 29) was achieved, and 27 interviews were ultimately used for analysis. Results suggested that the high proportion of foreign-sponsored or multinational trials (64.8% of all protocols approved by ANMAT from 1994-2006) may contribute to a communication gap between locally based investigators and foreign-based administrative officials. A lack of knowledge about available international registration tools and limited awareness of the importance of registration were also identified as limiting factors for local investigators and sponsors. CONCLUSIONS: To increase compliance and promote clinical trial registration in Argentina, national health authorities, sponsors, and local investigators could take the following steps: implement a grassroots educational campaign to improve clinical trial regulation, support local investigator-sponsor-initiated clinical trials, and/or encourage local and regional scientific journal compliance with standards from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and/or the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME)<hr/>OBJETIVO: Examinar y analizar el marco normativo del registro de ensayos clínicos, el uso de los instrumentos existentes (bases de datos de registro nacionales o internacionales de acceso público), y las perspectivas de los investigadores para determinar posibles obstáculos al cumplimiento del registro por los patrocinadores y los investigadores en la Argentina. MÉTODOS: Se realizó una búsqueda en el sitio web clinicaltrials.gov y en la Plataforma Internacional de Registro de Ensayos Clínicos (ICTRP) de los ensayos clínicos registrados en el ámbito internacional que reclutan pacientes en la Argentina y los resultados se compararon con los ensayos clínicos incluidos en el registro de acceso público de la Administración Nacional de Medicamentos, Alimentos y Tecnología Médica (ANMAT). Se elaboró un cuestionario que abordaba los hipotéticos obstáculos relacionados con la actitud hacia el registro y el conocimiento de este, así como obstáculos idiomáticos, técnicos y económicos que podrían desalentar o dificultar el registro de los ensayos clínicos, y se llevaron a cabo entrevistas semiestructuradas exhaustivas en una muestra de investigadores seleccionada para este fin (investigadores clínicos, patrocinadores y monitores) en la Argentina. RESULTADOS: Se obtuvo una tasa de respuesta de 74,3% (n = 29) y finalmente se analizaron 27 entrevistas. Los resultados sugieren que la proporción elevada de ensayos clínicos con patrocinadores extranjeros o los ensayos multinacionales (64,8% de los protocolos aprobados por la ANMAT entre 1994 y el 2006) pueden contribuir a una deficiencia de comunicación entre los investigadores locales y los funcionarios administrativos ubicados en el extranjero. También se identificaron como factores limitantes para los investigadores y los patrocinadores locales la falta de conocimiento de los recursos internacionales disponibles para el registro y el escaso reconocimiento de la importancia del registro. CONCLUSIONES: Para aumentar el cumplimiento y promover el registro de los ensayos clínicos en la Argentina, las autoridades sanitarias nacionales, los patrocinadores y los investigadores locales podrían adoptar las siguientes medidas: ejecutar una campaña educativa para mejorar la reglamentación de los ensayos clínicos, apoyar los ensayos clínicos iniciados por investigadores o patrocinadores locales, y promover el cumplimiento de las normas del Comité Internacional de Editores de Revistas Médicas (ICMJE) o la Asociación Mundial de Editores Médicos (WAME) por parte de las revistas científicas locales y regionales <![CDATA[<b>Cost-effectiveness of improving pediatric hospital care in Nicaragua</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVE: To determine the costs and cost-effectiveness of an intervention to improve quality of care for children with diarrhea or pneumonia in 14 hospitals in Nicaragua, based on expenditure data and impact measures. METHODS: Hospital length of stay (LOS) and deaths were abstracted from a random sample of 1294 clinical records completed at seven of the 14 participating hospitals before the intervention (2003) and 1505 records completed after two years of intervention implementation ("post-intervention"; 2006). Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) were derived from outcome data. Hospitalization costs were calculated based on hospital and Ministry of Health records and private sector data. Intervention costs came from project accounting records. Decision-tree analysis was used to calculate incremental cost-effectiveness. RESULTS: Average LOS decreased from 3.87 and 4.23 days pre-intervention to 3.55 and 3.94 days post-intervention for diarrhea (P = 0.078) and pneumonia (P = 0.055), respectively. Case fatalities decreased from 45/10 000 and 34/10 000 pre-intervention to 30/10 000 and 27/10 000 post-intervention for diarrhea (P = 0.062) and pneumonia (P = 0.37), respectively. Average total hospitalization and antibiotic costs for both diagnoses were US$ 451 (95% credibility interval [CI]: US$ 419-US$ 482) pre-intervention and US$ 437 (95% CI: US$ 402-US$ 464) post-intervention. The intervention was cost-saving in terms of DALYs (95% CI: -US$ 522- US$ 32 per DALY averted) and cost US$ 21 per hospital day averted (95% CI: -US$ 45- US$ 204). CONCLUSIONS: After two years of intervention implementation, LOS and deaths for diarrhea decreased, along with LOS for pneumonia, with no increase in hospitalization costs. If these changes were entirely attributable to the intervention, it would be cost-saving.<hr/>OBJETIVO: Determinar el costo y la eficacia en función del costo de una intervención para mejorar la calidad de la atención de niños con diarrea o neumonía en 14 hospitales de Nicaragua, sobre la base de la información sobre gastos y la medición de las repercusiones. MÉTODOS: Se compilaron datos sobre la duración de la hospitalización y la mortalidad de una muestra aleatoria de 1 294 historias clínicas compiladas en 7 de los 14 hospitales participantes antes de la intervención (2003) y 1 505 historias clínicas compiladas después de dos años de ejecución de la intervención ("postintervención", 2006). Los años de vida ajustados en función de la discapacidad (AVAD) se obtuvieron de los resultados asistenciales. Se calcularon los costos de hospitalización según los registros de los hospitales y del Ministerio de Salud, y datos del sector privado. Los costos de la intervención se obtuvieron de los registros contables del proyecto. Para calcular la relación costo-eficacia incremental se usó un análisis de árbol de decisiones. RESULTADOS: La duración promedio de la hospitalización disminuyó de 3,87 y 4,23 días antes de la intervención a 3,55 y 3,94 días después de la intervención para la diarrea (P = 0,078) y la neumonía (P = 0,055), respectivamente. La letalidad disminuyó de 45/10 000 y 34/10 000 antes de la intervención a 30/10 000 y 27/10 000 después de la intervención para la diarrea (P = 0,062) y la neumonía (P = 0,37), respectivamente. Los costos totales promedio de la hospitalización y de los antibióticos para ambos diagnósticos fueron de US$ 451 (intervalo de confianza [IC] de 95%: US$ 419 a US$ 482) antes de la intervención y US$ 437 (IC 95%: US$ 402-US$ 464) después. La intervención representó un ahorro de costos en cuanto a los AVAD (IC 95%: -US$ 522 a US$ 32 por cada AVAD evitado) y costó US$ 21 por cada día de hospitalización evitado (IC 95%: -US$ 45 a US$2 04). CONCLUSIONES: Después de dos años de ejecución de la intervención, la duración de la hospitalización y la mortalidad por diarrea disminuyeron, junto con la duración de la hospitalización para la neumonía, sin un aumento de los costos de hospitalización. En caso de que estos cambios fueran totalmente atribuibles a la intervención, esta representaría un ahorro de costos. <![CDATA[<b>Antidepressant prescription patterns in patients affiliated with the General Social Security Health System of Colombia</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Determinar los patrones de prescripción de medicamentos antidepresivos en un grupo de afiliados al Sistema General de Seguridad Social en Salud de Colombia. MÉTODOS: Estudio descriptivo observacional con 9 881 pacientes medicados con antidepresivos, de ambos sexos, mayores de 5 años, con tratamiento continuo de agosto a octubre de 2009 y residentes en 56 ciudades colombianas. Se diseñó una base de datos sobre consumo de medicamentos, obtenidos por la empresa que distribuye los medicamentos a los pacientes. RESULTADOS: Edad promedio de 59,1 ± 16,1 años; 73,7% de los participantes fueron mujeres. Del total de pacientes, 83,3% recibían monoterapia y 16,7% dos o más antidepresivos. El orden de prescripción de los medicamentos fue: inhibidores selectivos de la recaptación de serotonina 47,0%, atípicos 37,8%, tricíclicos 31,8%, inhibidores selectivos de la recaptación de serotonina y norepinefrina 1,8% e inhibidores selectivos de la recaptación de norepinefrina 0,03%. Las combinaciones más empleadas fueron fluoxetina + trazodona (n = 1 029), amitriptilina + fluoxetina (n= 265), amitriptilina + trazodona (n = 122), fluoxetina + imipramina (n = 106) e imipramina + trazodona (n = 71). Las comedicaciones más prescritas fueron antihipertensivos (52,3%), hormona tiroidea (23,3%), antiinflamatorios (19,6%), antiepilépticos (15,4%), antidiabéticos (13,8%), ansiolíticos e hipnóticos (12,4%), antipsicóticos (7,4%), antiparkinsonianos (4,3%) y antineoplásicos (2,2%). CONCLUSIONES: Predominan hábitos de prescripción de medicamentos de alto valor terapéutico, principalmente en monoterapia antidepresiva. La mayoría de los antidepresivos se emplean en dosis menores que las recomendadas. Se plantea la necesidad de diseñar estrategias educativas para corregir algunos hábitos de prescripción e investigaciones que evalúen la efectividad del tratamiento<hr/>OBJECTIVE: Determine patterns of antidepressive drug prescription in a group of patients affiliated with the General Social Security Health System in Colombia. METHODS: Observational descriptive study of 9 881 patients, of both sexes and older than 5 years of age, medicated with antidepressants and continuously treated from August to October 2009. The patients include residents from 56 Colombian cities. A database was designed based on the consumption of medicines obtained from the company that distributes them to the patients. RESULTS: The average age was 59.1 ± 16.1 years; 73.7% of the participants were women. Of the total number of patients, 83.3% were treated with monotherapy and 16.7% with two or more antidepressants. The order of the prescription of the medicines was: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, 47.0%; atypical, 37.8%; tricyclical, 31.8%; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and norepinephrine, 1.8%; and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, 0.03%. The combinations most used were fluoxetine + trazodone (n = 1 029); amitriptyline + fluoxetine (n = 265); amitriptyline + trazodone (n = 122); fluoxetine + imipramine (n = 106); and imipramine + trazodone (n = 71). The most prescribed co-medications were anti-hypertensives (52.3%); thyroid hormones (23.3%); anti-inflammatories (19.6%); anti-epileptics (15.4%); anti-diabetics (13.8%); anti-anxiety and hypnotics (12.4%); antipsychotics (7.4%); anti-Parkinsons (4.3%); and anti-neoplastics (2.2%). CONCLUSIONS: The practice of prescribing medicines with a high therapeutic value predominates, mainly for antidepressive monotherapy. Most of the antidepressants are prescribed at dosages lower than those recommended. There is a need to design educational strategies to correct some prescription practices and to conduct research <![CDATA[<b>Regional differences and costs of physical therapy procedures in Brazil's Unified Health System, 1995 to 2008</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Descrever os atendimentos ambulatoriais fisioterápicos prestados pelo Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS) no Brasil quanto a sua distribuição geográfica, custos, tipos de procedimento e tipos de prestador. MÉTODOS: Foram utilizados dados do Departamento de Informática do SUS (DATASUS), referentes ao período de 1995 a 2008, que incluíam a quantidade e o valor dos procedimentos aprovados para pagamento pelas Secretarias de Saúde e a quantidade e o valor dos procedimentos apresentados para pagamento. Os coeficientes de atendimento (CoA) foram calculados dividindo-se o número de atendimentos no ano em uma região pela população estimada no mesmo ano e região. RESULTADOS: O CoA no Brasil em 2008 foi de 0,19 e as regiões Norte e Centro-Oeste apresentaram os menores coeficientes (0,13 e 0,10, respectivamente). Entre 1995 e 2007 houve um crescimento no coeficiente nacional de atendimentos de 33,7%, sendo que a região Norte apresentou o maior aumento, de 143,8%, a Centro-Oeste, de 62,1%, e a Nordeste, de 56,1%. O atendimento nas alterações motoras foi o procedimento mais realizado (61,8%) e os valores de pagamento aprovados foram menores que os apresentados pelos gestores dos serviços em 2008 (10,4%). Estabelecimentos privados com fins lucrativos prestaram 44,5% dos atendimentos fisioterápicos pagos pelo SUS em 2008. Os estabelecimentos municipais responderam por 26,6% dos atendimentos e os federais por apenas 0,9%. Entre 1995 e 2007, a quantidade de atendimentos oferecidos pelos estabelecimentos municipais cresceu 278,7%. CONCLUSÕES: Observou-se que a oferta de atendimento fisioterápico ambulatorial pelo SUS ainda é pequena e geograficamente desigual, embora regiões menos desenvolvidas apresentem um maior crescimento no CoA. O SUS remunera inadequadamente os serviços prestados em fisioterapia e ainda o faz, em grande parte, por meio de convênios com estabelecimentos privados.<hr/>OBJECTIVE: Describe the ambulatory physical therapy treatments provided by the Unified Health System (SUS) in Brazil with regard to their geographical distribution, costs, types of procedure, and types of provider. METHODS: Data from the SUS Information Technology Department (DATASUS) were utilized, drawing from the period from 1995 to 2008, which included the quantity and the value of the procedures approved for payment by the Secretariats of Health and the quantity and value of the procedures presented for payment. The treatment coefficients (CoA) were calculated by dividing the number of treatments in a particular year and region by the estimated population of that region in that year. RESULTS: The CoA in Brazil in 2008 was 0.19 and the North and Center-West regions presented the lowest coefficients (0.13 and 0.10, respectively). Between 1995 and 2007 there was an increase in the national treatment coefficient of 33.7%, with the North region showing the largest increase, 143.8%; the Center-West 62.1%, and the Northeast 56.1%. Treatment for motor disorders was the most widely performed procedure (61.8%), and the values of payments approved were lower than those presented by the managers of the services in 2008 (10.4%). Private for-profit establishments provided 44.5% of the physical therapy treatments paid for by the SUS in 2008. Municipal establishments accounted for 26.6% of the treatments, and federal establishments for only 0.9%. Between 1995 and 2007, the quantity of treatments offered by municipal establishments increased 278.7%. CONCLUSIONS: It was observed that the provision of ambulatory physical therapy treatment by the SUS remains small and geographically unequal, although lessdeveloped regions showed a larger increase in the CoA. The SUS remunerates inadequately the physical therapy services provided and continues to do so, in large part, by means of agreements with private establishments. <![CDATA[<b>Influence of mental disorders on school dropout in Mexico</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVE: To study the impact of mental disorders on failure in educational attainment in Mexico. METHODS: Diagnoses and age of onset for each of 16 DSM-IV disorders were assessed through retrospective self-reports with the Composite International Diagnostic Instrument (CIDI) during fieldwork in 2001-2002. Survival analysis was used to examine associations between early onset DSM-IV/CIDI disorders and subsequent school dropout or failure to reach educational milestones. RESULTS: More than one of two Mexicans did not complete secondary education. More than one-third of those who finished secondary education did not enter college, and one of four students who entered college did not graduate. Impulse control disorders and substance use disorders were associated with higher risk for school dropout, secondary school dropout and to a lesser degree failure to enter college. Anxiety disorders were associated with lower risk for school dropout, especially secondary school dropout and, to a lesser degree, primary school dropout. CONCLUSIONS: The heterogeneity of results found in Mexico may be due to the effect of mental disorders being diminished or masked by the much greater effect of economic hardship and low cultural expectations for educational achievement. Future research should inquire deeper into possible reasons for the better performance of students with anxiety disorders in developing countries.<hr/>OBJETIVO: Estudiar la repercusión de los trastornos mentales en el fracaso escolar en México. MÉTODOS: De septiembre del 2001 a mayo del 2002, se evaluaron los diagnósticos y la edad de aparición para cada uno de los 16 trastornos del DSM-IV mediante autoinformes retrospectivos recogidos por medio de la Entrevista Diagnóstica Internacional Compuesta (CIDI). Se empleó el análisis de supervivencia para analizar las asociaciones entre los trastornos del DSM-IV/CIDI de aparición temprana y el subsiguiente abandono escolar o fracaso en el logro de los hitos educativos. RESULTADOS: Más de uno de cada dos mexicanos no completó la educación secundaria. Más de una tercera parte de los que terminaron la educación secundaria no entraron en la universidad y uno de cada cuatro estudiantes que entraron el la universidad no llegó a graduarse. Los trastornos de control de los impulsos y los trastornos relacionados con el consumo de sustancias se asociaron con un mayor riesgo de abandono escolar, principalmente de abandono de la escuela secundaria y, en menor grado, de fracaso en entrar en la universidad. Los trastornos de ansiedad se asociaron con un menor riesgo de abandono escolar, especialmente de abandono de la escuela secundaria y, en menor grado, de la escuela primaria. CONCLUSIONES: La heterogeneidad de los resultados observados en México puede deberse a que el efecto de los trastornos mentales queda disminuido u oculto ante el efecto mucho mayor de las dificultades económicas y las reducidas expectativas culturales en cuanto al rendimiento escolar. En el futuro, la investigación debe inquirir más a fondo las posibles razones con objeto de mejorar el desempeño de los estudiantes aquejados de trastornos de ansiedad en los países en desarrollo. <![CDATA[<b>Integrating oral health into Haiti's National Health Plan</b>: <b>from disaster relief to sustainable development</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In 2010, Haiti suffered three devastating national emergencies: a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed over 200 000 and injured 300 000; a cholera outbreak that challenged recovery efforts and caused more deaths; and Hurricane Tomas, which brought additional destruction. In the aftermath, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reoriented its technical cooperation to face the myriad of new challenges and needs. Efforts included support and technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and Population of Haiti and coordination of actions by the United Nations Health Cluster. This Special Report focuses specifically on the PAHO Regional Oral Health Program's call to action in Haiti and the institutional partnerships that were developed to leverage resources for oral health during this critical time and beyond. To date, achievements include working with Haiti's private sector, dental schools, public health associations, and other stakeholders, via the Oral Health of Haiti (OHOH) Coalition. The OHOH aims to meet the immediate needs of the dental community and to rebuild the oral health component of the health system; to provide dental materials and supplies to oral health sites in affected areas; and to ensure that the "Basic Package of Health Services" includes specific interventions for oral health care and services. The experience in Haiti serves as a reminder to the international community of how important linking immediate/short-term disaster-response to mid- and longterm strategies is to building a health system that provides timely access to health services, including oral health. Haiti's humanitarian crisis became an important time to rethink the country's health system and services in terms of the right to health and the concepts of citizenship, solidarity, and sustainable development.<hr/>En el 2010, Haití padeció tres emergencias nacionales devastadoras: un terremoto de 7,0 de magnitud que causó la muerte de 200 000 personas y traumatismos a 300 000, un brote de cólera que vulneró las actividades de recuperación y causó más muertes, y el huracán Tomás, que causó más destrucción. En el período inmediatamente posterior, la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) reorientó la cooperación técnica para afrontar los múltiples retos nuevos y necesidades que surgieron. Estas actividades incluyeron apoyo y asistencia técnica al Ministerio de Salud y de la Población de Haití, y la coordinación de las medidas llevadas a cabo por el Grupo de Acción Sanitaria de las Naciones Unidas. Este informe especial se centra específicamente en la convocatoria a la acción del Programa Regional de Salud Bucodental de la OPS en Haití y en las alianzas institucionales que se establecieron para aprovechar los recursos de salud bucodental durante esta crisis y a partir de ese momento. Hasta la fecha, los logros comprenden la colaboración con el sector privado de Haití, las facultades de odontología, las asociaciones de salud pública y otros interesados directos por intermedio de la Coalición para la Salud Bucodental de Haití. Esta coalición procura satisfacer las necesidades inmediatas de la comunidad odontológica y reconstruir el componente de la salud bucodental del sistema de salud; proporcionar materiales y suministros odontológicos a los centros de salud bucodental de las zonas afectadas; y lograr que la "canasta básica de servicios de salud" incluya intervenciones específicas para la atención y los servicios de salud bucodental. La experiencia de Haití muestra a la comunidad internacional la importancia de vincular la respuesta inmediata y a corto plazo ante catástrofes con las estrategias a mediano y largo plazo para establecer un sistema de salud que brinde acceso oportuno a los servicios de salud, incluida la salud bucodental. Así, la crisis de Haití se transformó en un motor importante para replantear los sistemas y servicios de salud del país a la luz del derecho a la salud y los principios de ciudadanía, solidaridad y desarrollo sostenible. <![CDATA[<B>Comparative analysis of health systems on the triple border between Brazil, Colombia, and Peru</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Os objetivos deste artigo são: descrever o processo de reforma sanitária ocorrido em países da América Latina e suas repercussões nos sistemas de saúde do Brasil, da Colômbia e do Peru; analisar a conformação dos sistemas nacionais de saúde desses três países fronteiriços; e avaliar os limites e possibilidades de uma integração dos sistemas locais de saúde no contexto da tríplice fronteira amazônica. A partir de documentos e bases de dados oficiais, faz-se uma análise do desenvolvimento dos sistemas de saúde e da organização da rede de serviços nesse segmento de fronteira localizado em plena região amazônica. Na comparação entre os três países, constata-se que o modelo adotado pelo Brasil tem as características de um sistema nacional de saúde de finalidade pública, enquanto na Colômbia e no Peru vigoram sistemas de asseguramento, com adoção de planos obrigatórios de assistência, segmentação dos usuários e contingenciamento da cobertura. Os três países convergem quanto à mescla de público e privado na provisão de serviços, mas diferem no nível de acesso e no tipo de regulação por parte do Estado. Conclui-se que as especificidades dos sistemas de saúde dos três países fronteiriços tornam complexo o desafio da construção de um sistema único de saúde na fronteira que possa garantir a universalidade do acesso, a equidade no atendimento e a integralidade da assistência. Apesar das discrepâncias identificadas, porém, constata-se que a preponderância do setor público na rede de atenção básica permite vislumbrar a possibilidade de integração dos sistemas locais de saúde no que concerne à oferta organizada de ações programáticas de saúde do primeiro e segundo níveis de assistência.<hr/>The objectives of this article are to describe the health sector reform process in Latin American countries and its impact on the health systems of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru; analyze the structure of the national health systems of these bordering nations; and assess the constraints and potential for integrating the local health systems along the triple Amazon border. Using official documents and databases, we analyzed health system development and the structure of the services network in this segment of the border located in the heart of the Amazon region. Comparison of the three countries confirmed that Brazil's model has the characteristics of a national public health system, while the Colombian and Peruvian models emphasize insurance systems, with the adoption of compulsory health care plans, the segmentation of users, and limitations on coverage. The three countries are similar in their adoption of a public-private mix in service delivery, but they differ in the degree of access and type of State regulation. We concluded that the characteristics of the health systems in the three countries make the challenge of building a unified health system capable of guaranteeing universal access, equity in care, and comprehensive care a complex undertaking. However, despite the differences identified, we can state that the weight of the public sector in the basic care network makes it possible to foresee integration of the local health systems to provide an organized supply of programmatic health actions at the primary and secondary level of care. <![CDATA[<b>Salud global, diplomacia y el caso del "pepino asesino"</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Os objetivos deste artigo são: descrever o processo de reforma sanitária ocorrido em países da América Latina e suas repercussões nos sistemas de saúde do Brasil, da Colômbia e do Peru; analisar a conformação dos sistemas nacionais de saúde desses três países fronteiriços; e avaliar os limites e possibilidades de uma integração dos sistemas locais de saúde no contexto da tríplice fronteira amazônica. A partir de documentos e bases de dados oficiais, faz-se uma análise do desenvolvimento dos sistemas de saúde e da organização da rede de serviços nesse segmento de fronteira localizado em plena região amazônica. Na comparação entre os três países, constata-se que o modelo adotado pelo Brasil tem as características de um sistema nacional de saúde de finalidade pública, enquanto na Colômbia e no Peru vigoram sistemas de asseguramento, com adoção de planos obrigatórios de assistência, segmentação dos usuários e contingenciamento da cobertura. Os três países convergem quanto à mescla de público e privado na provisão de serviços, mas diferem no nível de acesso e no tipo de regulação por parte do Estado. Conclui-se que as especificidades dos sistemas de saúde dos três países fronteiriços tornam complexo o desafio da construção de um sistema único de saúde na fronteira que possa garantir a universalidade do acesso, a equidade no atendimento e a integralidade da assistência. Apesar das discrepâncias identificadas, porém, constata-se que a preponderância do setor público na rede de atenção básica permite vislumbrar a possibilidade de integração dos sistemas locais de saúde no que concerne à oferta organizada de ações programáticas de saúde do primeiro e segundo níveis de assistência.<hr/>The objectives of this article are to describe the health sector reform process in Latin American countries and its impact on the health systems of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru; analyze the structure of the national health systems of these bordering nations; and assess the constraints and potential for integrating the local health systems along the triple Amazon border. Using official documents and databases, we analyzed health system development and the structure of the services network in this segment of the border located in the heart of the Amazon region. Comparison of the three countries confirmed that Brazil's model has the characteristics of a national public health system, while the Colombian and Peruvian models emphasize insurance systems, with the adoption of compulsory health care plans, the segmentation of users, and limitations on coverage. The three countries are similar in their adoption of a public-private mix in service delivery, but they differ in the degree of access and type of State regulation. We concluded that the characteristics of the health systems in the three countries make the challenge of building a unified health system capable of guaranteeing universal access, equity in care, and comprehensive care a complex undertaking. However, despite the differences identified, we can state that the weight of the public sector in the basic care network makes it possible to foresee integration of the local health systems to provide an organized supply of programmatic health actions at the primary and secondary level of care. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluación de los sistemas de salud basados en la atención primaria de la salud</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Os objetivos deste artigo são: descrever o processo de reforma sanitária ocorrido em países da América Latina e suas repercussões nos sistemas de saúde do Brasil, da Colômbia e do Peru; analisar a conformação dos sistemas nacionais de saúde desses três países fronteiriços; e avaliar os limites e possibilidades de uma integração dos sistemas locais de saúde no contexto da tríplice fronteira amazônica. A partir de documentos e bases de dados oficiais, faz-se uma análise do desenvolvimento dos sistemas de saúde e da organização da rede de serviços nesse segmento de fronteira localizado em plena região amazônica. Na comparação entre os três países, constata-se que o modelo adotado pelo Brasil tem as características de um sistema nacional de saúde de finalidade pública, enquanto na Colômbia e no Peru vigoram sistemas de asseguramento, com adoção de planos obrigatórios de assistência, segmentação dos usuários e contingenciamento da cobertura. Os três países convergem quanto à mescla de público e privado na provisão de serviços, mas diferem no nível de acesso e no tipo de regulação por parte do Estado. Conclui-se que as especificidades dos sistemas de saúde dos três países fronteiriços tornam complexo o desafio da construção de um sistema único de saúde na fronteira que possa garantir a universalidade do acesso, a equidade no atendimento e a integralidade da assistência. Apesar das discrepâncias identificadas, porém, constata-se que a preponderância do setor público na rede de atenção básica permite vislumbrar a possibilidade de integração dos sistemas locais de saúde no que concerne à oferta organizada de ações programáticas de saúde do primeiro e segundo níveis de assistência.<hr/>The objectives of this article are to describe the health sector reform process in Latin American countries and its impact on the health systems of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru; analyze the structure of the national health systems of these bordering nations; and assess the constraints and potential for integrating the local health systems along the triple Amazon border. Using official documents and databases, we analyzed health system development and the structure of the services network in this segment of the border located in the heart of the Amazon region. Comparison of the three countries confirmed that Brazil's model has the characteristics of a national public health system, while the Colombian and Peruvian models emphasize insurance systems, with the adoption of compulsory health care plans, the segmentation of users, and limitations on coverage. The three countries are similar in their adoption of a public-private mix in service delivery, but they differ in the degree of access and type of State regulation. We concluded that the characteristics of the health systems in the three countries make the challenge of building a unified health system capable of guaranteeing universal access, equity in care, and comprehensive care a complex undertaking. However, despite the differences identified, we can state that the weight of the public sector in the basic care network makes it possible to foresee integration of the local health systems to provide an organized supply of programmatic health actions at the primary and secondary level of care. <![CDATA[<b>La Iniciativa Hospital Amigo de la Niñez y la herramienta computarizada para su monitoreo y sustentabilidad</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892011001100016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Os objetivos deste artigo são: descrever o processo de reforma sanitária ocorrido em países da América Latina e suas repercussões nos sistemas de saúde do Brasil, da Colômbia e do Peru; analisar a conformação dos sistemas nacionais de saúde desses três países fronteiriços; e avaliar os limites e possibilidades de uma integração dos sistemas locais de saúde no contexto da tríplice fronteira amazônica. A partir de documentos e bases de dados oficiais, faz-se uma análise do desenvolvimento dos sistemas de saúde e da organização da rede de serviços nesse segmento de fronteira localizado em plena região amazônica. Na comparação entre os três países, constata-se que o modelo adotado pelo Brasil tem as características de um sistema nacional de saúde de finalidade pública, enquanto na Colômbia e no Peru vigoram sistemas de asseguramento, com adoção de planos obrigatórios de assistência, segmentação dos usuários e contingenciamento da cobertura. Os três países convergem quanto à mescla de público e privado na provisão de serviços, mas diferem no nível de acesso e no tipo de regulação por parte do Estado. Conclui-se que as especificidades dos sistemas de saúde dos três países fronteiriços tornam complexo o desafio da construção de um sistema único de saúde na fronteira que possa garantir a universalidade do acesso, a equidade no atendimento e a integralidade da assistência. Apesar das discrepâncias identificadas, porém, constata-se que a preponderância do setor público na rede de atenção básica permite vislumbrar a possibilidade de integração dos sistemas locais de saúde no que concerne à oferta organizada de ações programáticas de saúde do primeiro e segundo níveis de assistência.<hr/>The objectives of this article are to describe the health sector reform process in Latin American countries and its impact on the health systems of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru; analyze the structure of the national health systems of these bordering nations; and assess the constraints and potential for integrating the local health systems along the triple Amazon border. Using official documents and databases, we analyzed health system development and the structure of the services network in this segment of the border located in the heart of the Amazon region. Comparison of the three countries confirmed that Brazil's model has the characteristics of a national public health system, while the Colombian and Peruvian models emphasize insurance systems, with the adoption of compulsory health care plans, the segmentation of users, and limitations on coverage. The three countries are similar in their adoption of a public-private mix in service delivery, but they differ in the degree of access and type of State regulation. We concluded that the characteristics of the health systems in the three countries make the challenge of building a unified health system capable of guaranteeing universal access, equity in care, and comprehensive care a complex undertaking. However, despite the differences identified, we can state that the weight of the public sector in the basic care network makes it possible to foresee integration of the local health systems to provide an organized supply of programmatic health actions at the primary and secondary level of care.