Secondary Health Care’s Place in the Primary Health Care Model: The Implications of Andean Health and Development’s Success for Latin American Health Care
By Brian Willis, Senior at the University of Notre Dame
“Founded in 1995, the story of Andean Health and Development really began in 1978 at the International Conference on Primary Health Care in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan. It was there that the World Health Organization (“WHO”) released the Declaration of Alma-Ata, which included the bold slogan “Health for All by the Year 2000.” Thirteen years after the initial deadline and thirty-five years since Alma-Ata, there is certainly not “Health for All.” So, what exactly went wrong with the primary health care model? Once believed to be the key to global health, experience has revealed it to be incomplete. It was much tougher to fulfill all the tenets of the Alma-Ata Declaration than initially anticipated. Government plans too frequently employed top-down methods when there was actually a need for community-based, sustainable health care. Andean Health and Development (“AHD”) is a Non-Governmental Organization (“NGO”) that provides rural, secondary health care in this manner – the way that a governmental or private institution could not. Secondary health care helps fill the gaps created by selective primary health care’s emphasis on “vertical” programs and a focus on rural regions brings health care to a largely disregarded population. AHD has been evolving since its inception and has proven to be successful. Its model for rural, secondary health care is something that should be expanded and copied by other Latin American health care organization.”
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