José da Rocha Carvalheiro
This issue opens volume 4 of Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia, after the key achievement of having been included in the LILACS database of scientific journals. Based on the number of papers that have been submitted, we believe we will be on schedule in terms of the reference period in a near future, by publishing the two remaining issues of volume 4. The next issue will begin the new system of publishing Extended Summaries electronically, maintaining Abstracts only in the printed version of the journal.
The present issue promotes the experience of one of the most productive groups in social Medicine in the country, in a very important and current thematic: maternal and underfive child mortality in Brazil. The methodology used combines procedures that allow estimating maternal and child mortality rates, and correcting under-reporting and classification errors. Interventions are discussed with the expected competence in view of the previous work of the Centro de Pesquisas Epidemiológicas of Universidade Federal de Pelotas.
The theme discussed is more than an important contribution to the progress of knowledge. At the international level, all attempts to establish priorities in research in health for development, regardless of the methodology for choosing priorities, always point to the same essential issues of the agenda of actions and research themes.
In Brazil, the recent proposal to set an Agenda for SUS establishes "Reduction in maternal and child mortality" as a first guideline and includes as objectives and goals: reducing child mortality and maternal mortality, reducing the rate of cesarean-sections, increasing the number of antenatal visits, reducing nutritional disorders in children and monitoring the quality of water.
Only as means of comparison, in the health Agenda of the U.S., Healthy People 2010, the corresponding item places "improving health and well-being of women, children and their families" as a goal.
Evidently, to meet the objectives of the proposed Agenda for SUS we increasingly need studies of the nature and quality that Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia is currently offering its readers, the scientific community, SUS managers and the population in general.