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Revista chilena de pediatría

versión impresa ISSN 0370-4106


GIRARDI B., Guido; ASTUDILLO O., Pedro  y  ZUNIGA H., Felipe. Acute respiratory infection (ARI) programme in Chile: history and milestones. Rev. chil. pediatr. [online]. 2001, vol.72, n.4, pp.292-300. ISSN 0370-4106.

In Chile, ARIs are a major problem in public health. During the 80s the infant mortality rate for pneumonia rose, with studies demonstrating that many of the deaths occurred at home or on route to a hospital. These studies identified risk factors and that the predominant aetiology was viral. Taking these facts into account and the type of organization of the Chilean Health Service a programme of ARI was elaborated which was later adopted as the official Health Ministry programme. This incorporated the modern management of obstructive bronchitis, including physiotherapists and the transfer of technology to primary health care centres to improve their operational capacity. The National ARI programme has 400 units throughout the country and has brought about a fairer distribution of health care services and a better technical quality to the poorer populations of our country. Amongst the more important results that the programme has achieved, we emphasize the reduction in hospitalizations for obstructive bronchitis, the repeated lowering of infant mortality for pneumonia, especially in deaths at home. Independent evaluations have demonstrated a highly efficient cost-benefit ratio used in the programme. With the lowering mortality for pneumonia we must stress the need to improve the quality of life for the Chilean children, especially when we consider the increasing number of children with chronic respiratory disease.

Palabras clave : acute respiratory infection; obstructive bronchitis; primary health care; risk factors.

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