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primary health care

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Primary Health Care

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Definition of 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. It forms an integral part of both the country's health system, of which it is the central function and main focus, and the overall social economic development of the community.

Primary health care includes at least:

? education concerning prevailing health problems and the methods of preventing or controlling them

? promotion of food supply and proper nutrition

? an adequate supply of safe water and basic sanitation

? maternal and child health care, 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

Source: World Health Organization. The Declaration of Alma-Ata. The International Conference on Primary Health Care. 1978.