A Healthier World Begins with Primary Health Care

September 19th, 2023 | Viewpoint


An Egyptian peer educator provides information on family planning at a mobile clinic to a client.

From prevention and rehabilitative services to providing health education and promotion, primary health care addresses all general health issues of the individual, family, and community throughout a person’s lifetime. Investments to design integrated health care systems based on disease prevention, education, and treatment using a person-centered approach ensures a population’s health and wellbeing.

JSI’s health experts who convened with policy makers, health care workers, and program implementers at two recent health conferences in Ethiopia and Egypt reinforced several aspects of primary health care systems that deliver equitable access to high-quality health care to everyone.

Person-centered care strategies can drive individual and community-led demand and shift health system behaviors.

“Creating health care with people at the center establishes a responsive system that takes into account the precise needs of the individual and community. The focus needs to be on integration of vertical programs for communicable and noncommunicable diseases to ensure holistic provision of user-centered care,” said Soumya Alva, senior monitoring evaluation and learning director of the MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator. “We also need to tailor human-centered programs to those most vulnerable.”

Existing community structures should also be involved in governance of primary health care programming. A continuous feedback loop between community members and the programs that serve them is critical to ensure the overall successful care of a person.

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