Primary Health Care in Developing Countries

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'Primary health care' is a term that is very often used by policy makers in today's world. However, assessing and improving the quality of health care was, until recently, a low priority, both for policy makers in developing countries, and for technical agencies.


Primary health care is essential health care made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community by means acceptable to them, through their full participation and at a cost that the community and country can afford. It forms an integral part both of the country's health system of which it is the nucleus and of the overall social and economic development of the community (WHO). It values to achieve health for all and requires health systems that "Put people at the centre of health care"1. To achieve this, there is a need to understand citizen's expectation of health and health care and to see to it that their voice and choice decisively influences the way in which health services are designed and operated.
The Alma Ata Declaration in 1978 gave an insight into the understanding of primary health care. It mobilized a "Primary Health Care movement" of professionals and institutions, governments and civil society organizations, researchers and grassroots organizations that undertook to tackle the "politically, socially and economically unacceptable"2 health inequalities in all countries. It viewed health as an integral part of the socio-economic development of a country. It provided the most holistic understanding to health and the framework that States needed to pursue to achieve the goals of development. ...
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