July 4, 2022

Which are the key medical devices for primary health care services

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PAHO has updated its list to focus on health problems that generate the greatest disease burden. The list includes 208 medical devices for general care, and now also includes others for dental care, diagnostic imaging and laboratory practices.

Washington, DC, 7 August 2019 (PAHO)- The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recently published the updated version of the List of Priority Medical Devices for the first level of care. This aims to help countries in the Region of the Americas prioritize critical devices and respond effectively to the main health issues faced by their population.

The devices range from clothing and personal protective equipment for health workers, to instruments, supplies, solutions, reagents, medical gasses and furniture. It also includes medical equipment such as infant scales, stethoscopes and vital signs monitors.

The list, which was updated in July, now includes supplementary lists for dental care, laboratory practices and diagnostic imaging, according to the various treatments offered by primary health care centers and depending on the organization of services in each country.

The total number of medical devices on the list now reaches 337, of which 208 belong to the core list, 69 in the module for dental care, 30 in the module for diagnostic imaging, and 30 for the laboratory practices module.

“This list serves as a reference for country health authorities to select devices according to the needs of their populations,” said Analía Porrás. Head of the Medicines and Health Technologies Unit at PAHO/WHO. “The list also aims to promote the rational use of these technologies in order to ensure the efficient use of resources,” she added.

The list was prepared based on a review of WHO clinical practice guidelines on communicable and noncommunicable diseases, nutrition, child health, mental health, women’s health, maternal and reproductive health, and patient safety, among others. It was then validated by multidisciplinary teams in the field and at primary health care centers in Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Paraguay.

The list continues its validation process in order to find out more about the extent to which it corresponds to the medical devices available in primary health care centers in the Region.

Please see here for PAHO’s list of Priority Medical Devices.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) works with the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of its population.Founded in 1902, it is the world’s oldest international public health agency. It serves as the Regional Office of WHO for the Americas and is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American system.

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