Aim: The aim of the study was to reduce the number of hospitalizations in a population of children enrolled in the Einstein Program of the Paraisópolis Community, in São Paulo, Brazil, particularly hospitalizations caused by respiratory diseases.
Methods: All hospitalizations of this paediatric population enrolled in the Einstein Program of the Paraisópolis Community Outpatient Clinic were followed up between 2002 and 2004. The following four strategies to reduce or control respiratory diseases with an impact on hospitalizations were established: specific protocol, educational activities, vaccination against pneumococci and vaccination against influenza.
Results: In 2002, 1025 hospitalizations due to all causes were recorded. This number significantly decreased to 862 hospitalizations in 2004 after implementation of the program, corresponding to a reduction of 15.9% (p < 0.0001). Hospitalizations due to respiratory diseases decreased by 23.37% (p < 0.02), and those due to cases of wheezing bronchitis fell by 51.61% (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: The strategies chosen and implemented in the Einstein Program of the Paraisópolis Community Outpatient Clinic over the first 6 months of 2003 were effective in reducing the number of children's hospital admissions due to respiratory disease.