SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: Integrating Care of Brain Disorders into Health Care Systems

  • Although most developing countries have a system of primary health care, the services available vary widely among communities. They may involve private care (specialists, physicians, or traditional healers) or care provided by governmental or nongovernmental organizations (specialists, physicians, nurses, and other health care workers). Specialists are few and physicians limited; both are concentrated in the cities.

  • Successful management of brain disorders through community-based primary care clinics requires guidance and training of health care workers. This must be followed by monitoring, continuing education, and periodic and continued support of clinics and their staffs by secondary and tertiary facilities, such as district hospitals and centers for training and research.

  • Cost-effectiveness studies using established methods can best guide public investments in management of brain disorders. Optimal approaches to prevention and treatment of these disorders will vary with local needs and costs.

  • Primary health care requires the support of robust national and local policies to adequately address the specific needs of different communities.

  • International expertise and resources will be needed from development banks, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, health professionals, research institutions, and others to establish comprehensive health care for brain disorders in developing countries.



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