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Primary Health Care, or PHC refers to "essential health care " that is based on scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology.
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This makes universal health care accessible to all individuals and families in a community. It is through their full participation and at a cost that the community and the country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination.
This ideal model of healthcare was adopted in the declaration of the International Conference on Primary Health Care held in Alma Ata , Kazakhstan in known as the " Alma Ata Declaration " , and became a core concept of the World Health Organization 's goal of Health for all.
The ultimate goal of primary healthcare is the attainment of better health services for all. It is for this reason that the World Health Organization WHO , has identified five key elements to achieving this goal: .
Primary health care
Behind these elements lies a series of basic principles identified in the Alma Ata Declaration that should be formulated in national policies in order to launch and sustain PHC as part of a comprehensive health system and in coordination with other sectors: .
In sum, PHC recognizes that healthcare is not a short-lived intervention, but an ongoing process of improving people's lives and alleviating the underlying socioeconomic conditions that contribute to poor health. The principles link health, development, and advocating political interventions rather than passive acceptance of economic conditions.
The primary health care approach has seen significant gains in health where applied even when adverse economic and political conditions prevail.
Although the declaration made at the Alma-Ata conference deemed to be convincing and plausible in specifying goals to PHC and achieving more effective strategies, it generated numerous criticisms and reactions worldwide. Many argued the declaration did not have clear targets, was too broad, and was not attainable because of the costs and aid needed. As a result, PHC approaches have evolved in different contexts to account for disparities in resources and local priority health problems; this is alternatively called the Selective Primary Health Care SPHC approach.
After the year Alma Ata Conference, the Rockefeller Foundation held a conference in at its Bellagio conference center in Italy to address several concerns.
It was based on a paper by Julia Walsh and Kenneth S. One of the foremost examples of SPHC is "GOBI" growth monitoring, oral rehydration, breastfeeding, and immunization ,  focusing on combating the main diseases in developing nations. GOBI is a strategy consisting of and an acronym for four low-cost, high impact, knowledge mediated measures introduced as key to halving child mortality by James P. The measure are:. These strategies focus on severe population health problems in certain developing countries, where a few diseases are responsible for high rates of infant and child mortality.
Health care planning is used to see which diseases require most attention and, subsequently, which intervention can be most effectively applied as part of primary care in a least-cost method. The targets and effects of selective PHC are specific and measurable.
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Given global demographic trends, with the numbers of people age 60 and over expected to double by , PHC approaches have taken into account the need for countries to address the consequences of population ageing. In particular, in the future the majority of older people will be living in developing countries that are often the least prepared to confront the challenges of rapidly ageing societies, including high risk of having at least one chronic non-communicable disease , such as diabetes and osteoporosis.
Some jurisdictions apply PHC principles in planning and managing their healthcare services for the detection, diagnosis and treatment of common mental health conditions at local clinics, and organizing the referral of more complicated mental health problems to more appropriate levels of mental health care.
However, there was no such documentation of this event in the Alma Ata Declaration. These discrepancies caused an inability for proper funding and although was worthy of being a part of the declaration, changing it would call for another conference.
A New Definition of Primary Care
Individuals with severe mental health disorders are found to live much shorter lives than those without, anywhere from ten to twenty-five-year reduction in life expectancy when compared to those without .
Cardiovascular diseases in particular are one of the leading deaths with individuals already suffering from severe mental health disorders. General health services such as PHC is one approach to integrating an improved access to such health services that could help treat already existing mental health disorders as well as prevent other disorders that could arise simultaneously as the pre-existing condition.
The "Barefoot Doctors" of China were an important inspiration for PHC because they illustrated the effectiveness of having a healthcare professional at the community level with community ties. Barefoot Doctors were a diverse array of village health workers who lived in rural areas and received basic healthcare training.
They stressed rural rather than urban healthcare, and preventive rather than curative services. They also provided a combination of western and traditional medicines.
The Barefoot Doctors had close community ties, were relatively low-cost, and perhaps most importantly they encouraged self-reliance through advocating prevention and hygiene practices.
8 Components of Primary Health Care
The best known model was the Selective PHC approach described above. Selective PHC favoured short-term goals and targeted health investment, but it did not address the social causes of disease.
As such, the SPHC approach has been criticized as not following Alma Ata's core principle of everyone's entitlement to healthcare and health system development.
In Africa, the PHC system has been extended into isolated rural areas through construction of health posts and centers that offer basic maternal-child health, immunization, nutrition, first aid, and referral services. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Primary healthcare.
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This article is about an approach to providing universal health care. For the sector of the health care system, see Primary care. Declaration of Alma-Ata. J Epidemiol Community Health.
Primary health care definition pdf format
About Primary Health Care. Accessed 12 July Am J Public Health.
Primary health care and public health: foundations of universal health systems. Med Princ Pract doi : Report by the Secretariat. Retrieved 28 March World Health Organization.
Key Elements of Primary Health Care (PHC)
World Health Organisation. Tarimo Retrieved 4 November Selective primary health care:An interim strategy for disease control in developing countries. Accessed 16 June Geneva, WHO Press. Health care.
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Wikisource has original text related to this article: Declaration of Alma-Ata. Library resources about Primary health care.
Primary Health Care - Lecture in Hindi
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