This website is for those working in health care in developing countries and on emergency health intervention projects. The focus is on preventative health care. This website is for hands-on information only and is strictly for practical application of PHC skills. The information on this site is from my book
“How to Design and Implement Effective Sustainable Preventative Health Care Programmes”.
Over time, the term “Primary
Health Care” has become very confusing. A study by Haggerty et al.(2007)
revealed 25 operational definitions of Primary
Health Care … “but there appears to be some consensus that primary care is the first
level of contact of individuals and families with the national health system,
bringing health care as close as possible to where people live and work.”
David Morley, Emeritus Professor of Child Health, UK
Information on this site is based upon the 1978 Alma Ata Declaration and the World Health Organization’s 1999 definition of Public Health.
Alma Ata Declaration 1977
“Primary health care is essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation and at a cost that the community and country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination. It forms an integral part both of the country's health system, of which it is the central function and main focus, and of the overall social and economic development of the community. It is the first level of contact of individuals, the family and community with the national health system bringing health care as close as possible to where people live and work, and constitutes the first element of a continuing health care process.”
To download full article click link to local file Almaata Declaration en.pdf
Public Health WHO 1999
“The science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health and efficiency through organized community efforts”
Progress of Alma Ata
Access to basic health services was affirmed as a fundamental human right by the Declaration of Alma-Ata in 1978. The reality is that, in 2002, more than 30 years later, many people in resource-poor settings still do not have equitable access to even basic services. In many places this gap is widening.
Almost as soon as the Alma-Ata Conference was over, PHC was under attack. Politicians and aid experts from developed countries could not accept the core PHC principle that communities in developing countries would have responsibility for planning and implementing their own healthcare services. A new concept of “Selective Primary Health Care” (SPHC)11 advocated providing only PHC interventions that contributed most to reducing child (< 5 years) mortality in developing countries. The advocates of SPHC argued that comprehensive PHC was too idealistic, expensive and unachievable in its goals of achieving total population coverage. By focusing on growth monitoring, oral rehydration solutions, breastfeeding and immunisation, greater gains in reducing infant mortality rates could be achieved at reduced cost.
In effect, SPHC took the decision-making power and control central to PHC away from the communities and delivered it to foreign consultants with technical expertise in these specific areas. These technical experts, often employed by the funding agencies, were subject to the policies of their agencies, not the communities. SPHC reintroduced vertical programs at the cost of comprehensive PHC. John J Hall and Richard Taylor MJA (Medical Journal of Australia) Vol 178 6 January 2003
To download full article click link to local file The demise of the Alma-Ata Declaration .pdf
As with other programmes, all Health Education Programmes are based upon: