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Thursday, 21 June 2012 15:32

Introduction To Mother & Child health Care Program

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At a conference held by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1978, a Declaration of Alma Ata was agreed. The declaration included the following statements: (1) 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 (2) It is the first level of contact of individuals, the family, and the community with the national health system bringing health care as close as possible to where people live and work.

The conference strongly reaffirms that health, which is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, is a fundamental human right.

The concept of Primary Health Care was adopted at the Conference of Alma Ata in 1978. A progressive primary health care approach:

  • Challenges the society to address the socio-economic causes of poor health and makes provision for basic health needs.
  • Encourages community empowerment (ensuring that people are fully able to manage resources that are available to them).
  • Provides comprehensive quality health care including pro motive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative services.
  • Demands concerned and accountable health worker practice.
  • Prioritizes the people who are most disadvantaged ensuring that health care is accessible, equitable and affordable to all.
  • Recognizes the importance of integrated service provision from primary to tertiary levels of care within a coherent health system.
  • Promotes inter-disciplinary, multi professional and intersect oral collaborative teamwork for development.

 

According to the World Health Report 2008,"Globalization is putting the social cohesion of many countries under stress , and health systems as key constituents of the architecture of contemporary societies , are clearly not performing as well as they could and as they should. "So, there is today a recognition that population is left behind and a sense of lost opportunities that are reminiscent of what gave rise thirty years ago to Alma Ata's paradigm shift in thinking about health. The Alma Ata Conference mobilized a "Primary Health Care movement" of professionals and institutions, government and civil society organizations that undertook to tackle the " politically, socially, and economically unacceptable health inequalities in all countries."

    

On the whole people are healthier, wealthier and live longer today than they did 30 years ago. The once revolutionary notion of essential drugs has become common place. There have been significant improvements in access to water, sanitation, and antenatal care. This shows that progress is possible because knowledge and understanding of health are growing rapidly and accelerated technological revolution is multiplying the potential for improving health and transforming health literacy in a better educated and modernizing global society. However, there are facts that cannot be ignored. First, progressing health over recent decades has been unequal because some countries are still lagging behind or losing ground. Second, the nature of health problems is changing in ways and rates that were only partially anticipated. Third, health systems are not insulated from economic and political crisis.

      

So, it is clear that health systems do not gravitate naturally towards the goal of health for all through primary health care, they are developing in directions that contribute little to equity and social justice and people fail to get the best health outcomes for their money. (World Health Report 2008).

                               

The Mumbai Declaration of the People’s Health Movement states that social, political, economic and environmental threats to health are identified as the basic causes of ill health and the inequitable distribution of health within and between countries has increased. In their call for ending discrimination in the Right to Health, they state that indigenous people in developed and developing countries suffer from health problems at a higher rate than the general population of the country in which they reside. This conclusion clearly applies to the Palestinian refugees residing in Lebanon (The III International Forum for the Defense of the People’s Health, India, January 2004).

In July 2005 approximately 1500 people met at the Second People’s Health Assembly in Cuenca, Ecuador to analyze global health problems and to develop strategies to promote health for all.

PHM (People's Health Movement) calls on the peoples of the world to mobilize against the denial of the Right to Health. The human right to health and health care must take precedence over the profits of corporations. The right to health will be achieved through large scale popular mobilization. PHM will initiate or support struggles related to the right to water, food security and food sovereignty, a healthy environment, dignified work, safe housing, universal education and gender equity, since people’s health depends on the fulfillment of these basic rights.

Equity in access to health information is a fundamental human right. It is essential in the struggle for indigenous people's health. The many useful aspects of traditional medicine and culture must be valued and included as part of a people-oriented society and health system.

The health of women, men and people of diverse sexual orientation is severely damaged by the dominance of a patriarchal culture with social and gender inequities and discrimination that affects their integrity. PHM commits to mainstreaming gender and feminist perspectives in all its work and action plans.

To do so it will support international, regional and local campaigns for sexual and reproductive rights; strengthen communication and work relations with networks and other movements; and work to ensure safe abortion for all women and girls. In addition, people with disabilities and older people should be treated with respect and their right to appropriate health care should be ensured. PHM argues for the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life.

PHM calls upon the people of the world to support action to end imperialist control of the earth’s natural resources and create and maintain a healthy environment for all. Knowledge and science must be reclaimed for the public good and freed from corporate control.  PHM calls on the people of the world to oppose war and militarization as the most blatant attacks on people’s health, especially the health of women and the poor.

The People’s Health Movement will also work to do the following:

 

  1. Pursue work on the human right to health that includes both individual and community rights.
  2. Continue to struggle for improved ways of working by strengthening its regional as well as its globalIt will continue to develop participatory and transparent decision making so that activists at all levels know that their views are valued. 
  3. Celebrates the inauguration of the International People’s Health University, a university for health activists with courses presented in association with local PHMs and selected universities around the
  4. Engage with formal training institutions and challenge the dominance of the biomedical paradigm of healthIt will incorporate diverse strategies for reorienting health worker education to comprehensive PHC, keeping people in communities at the centre.
  5. Become a forum within which intellectuals can support local activists in their action and struggle.
  6. Challenge the media to disseminate its perspectives and publicize its activities.
  7. Strengthen its communications strategy to reach communities at the grassroots.
  8. Translate as many of its communications as possible into two or more languages; will establish a mix of central and regional/national websites; the PHM newsletter will continue quarterly publication and will be translated into other languages.

One of PARD’s community health workers attended a short course “The Struggle for Health" held from 22-3-2008 till 29-3-2008 in Cairo, Egypt and organized by The International People’s Health University (IPHU) and the People’s Health Movement (PHM).

Read 42330 times Last modified on Thursday, 21 June 2012 15:45
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