Primary Health Care
Primary Health Care, as defined at the Alma-Ata conference, called for a revolutionary redefinition of health care. Instead of the traditional "from-the-top-down" approach to medical service, it embraced the principles of social justice, equity, self-reliance, appropriate technology, decentralization, community involvement, intersectoral collaboration, and affordable cost.
The Alma-Ata Declaration on PHC envisaged a minimum package of eight elements:
- education concerning prevailing health problems and the methods of preventing and controlling them;
- promotion of food supply and proper nutrition
- an adequate supply of safe water and basic sanitation
- maternal and child health, including family planning
- immunization against the major infectious diseases
- prevention and control of locally endemic diseases
- appropriate treatment of common diseases and injuries
- provision of essential drugs.
Where appropriate, the employment of lay health workers from the community should be trained to tackle specific tasks, including education, and to provide first-level care, with appropriate referrals to secondary and tertiary health facilities