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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


MAINIERI-HIDALGO, José Alberto. Prevention: The Most Effective Strategy to Improve Health. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2011, vol.53, n.1, pp.15-19. ISSN 0001-6002.

Good health is the most prized possession a human being can have, only recognized when one or a dear one losses it. In a well-functioning society it is the responsibility of the State to provide its citizens with tools that guarantee the best possible state of health for themselves and their relatives. In Costa Rica, this issue has been approached very effectively, and health indicators are comparable to the best in the world. This success is the product of wise political decisions made in the past by assertive leaders.   Nowadays, the nation is challenged by an increasing demand of services and by a raise in their cost. In order to keep this legacy, equally visionary decisions need to be taken.   Devoting the majority of resources and efforts to treat disease in its final stages is detrimental to the said health indicators, those resources, instead, should be directed towards prevention, since causes of premature mortality and illness are the result of societal practices and are associated with risk factors that are preventable. Education is recommended to prevent disease and professionals should teach “heatlh education”, primarily directed to children and adolescents.

Keywords : Health promotion; health education; disease prevention.

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