The Global Asthma Report 2018


Integral Health Care Routes improving asthma care in Colombia.

In Colombia, a population based study conducted in 2009–2010 reported an increase in the prevalence and severity of asthma symptoms. This resulted in a significant disease burden to the healthcare system and patients, with more than 60% of patients reporting out-of-pocket expenditures. Thus, suboptimal asthma control was an unmet public health challenge in Colombia.

Public Health Plan

To combat this and other health inequities, Colombia formulated the 2012–2021 Ten-Year Public Health Plan as part of the National Development Plan, with the goal of “achieving equity in health and human development” for all Colombians. The Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection then created the Comprehensive Healthcare Model (MIAS), the operative component of the Comprehensive Health Care Policy (PAIS). Both PAIS and MIAS represent a strategic advance by the Colombian health system. It is committed to improving the quality, sustainability, and equity of health by making the individual, the family, and society the focus of healthcare, rather than health providers and insurers. The MIAS includes 10 operational elements for its implementation, among which the Integral Health Care Routes (RIAS) are crucial for guaranteeing the necessary conditions for comprehensive healthcare.

Integral Health Care Routes

The RIAS for asthma comprises three main lines of action.

  1. The promotion of respiratory health – through increasing the awareness and strengthening the commitment of governments, the media, the general population, and patients.
  2. The comprehensive care of asthma – through promoting the implementation of clinical practice guidelines and ensuring the accessibility and rational use of essential medicines and technologies.
  3. Knowledge management and surveillance of asthma – achieved by performing a periodic analysis of asthma mortality, morbidity, disability, and social determinants.
Colombia is currently implementing a national evidence-based paediatric asthma guideline, developed with broad input from clinical and methodological experts, including economic assessments of the main recommendations.

Carlos E. Rodriguez-Martinez

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Patient Story

Marta, whose 6 year old son Santiago suffers from asthma, recently attended an asthma education programme where she learnt about the benefits of the regular use of an inhaler. She is very pleased, as since then Santiago has not been hospitalised for asthma.