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PHC Approach

What is Primary Health Care?

"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 the country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination."

(Alma Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care, WHO-UNICEF, 1978)

Primary Health Care (PHC) is therefore understood as an approach to health care that promotes the attainment by all people of a level of health that will permit them to live socially and economically productive lives. PHC is health care that is essential, scientifically sound (evidence-based), ethical, accessible, equitable, affordable, and accountable to the community.

PHC is therefore not only primary medical or curative care, nor is it a package of low-cost medical interventions for the poor and marginalised. On the contrary, it calls for the integration of health services into the process of community development, a process that requires political commitment, intersectoral collaboration, and multidisciplinary involvement for success.