Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Universal Primary Health Care

Primary Health Care is the Foundation of all Health Care Systems. A strong PHC will build strong healthy populations. Compared to Secondary and Tertiary Health, it only costs Governments a small fraction of the Gross Domestic Product. However, because it is not Glamorous, most Governments, especially Developing Countries neglect it at great cost to their suffering populations. and would rather waste huge amounts in building Fancy Hospitals for the 10 % who are mostly there because of the failure of the PHC System due to inadequate funding and lack of population health education.

However the World Health Organisation has pleaded with all Governments to ensure "Health for All" and PHC can bring solace and comfort to 90% of the Population of the World and instituted 21st Century Millenium Development Goals to guide each country's shortcomings. Essentially PHC covers 5 Strategies, 1st is to provide Preventative Health Programs like Compulsory Vaccinations Schedules for young and old, Screening programs like Pap's Smears and Mammography for Women to detect Cancer early and Blood and Urine Screening to detect Chronic Non-communicable Diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Problems and Respiratory difficulties and of course School Health as well as well -grounded Ante-Natal and Post -natal Programs for the growing populations, especially for the poor and needy.

The 2nd Strategy is to use the various Public Media to Promote Healthy Life Styles against Alcohol, Smoking, Narcotic and other Habit forming Drugs, Educate on Proper Diets and Appropriate Exercise programs to keep People Fit and Healthy. 3rd Strategy is to have adequate PHC Clinics to look after Acute Disease presentations which appear suddenly and have the potential to kill rapidly. 4th Strategy is to manage Chronic N-C Diseases which have increased dramatically and produced so much morbidity and reduced quality of lives. ( upto 50 to 70 % of people bove 30 years of age, Finally 5th Strategy is to Rehabilitate those who have contracted Disabilities due to motor vehicle accidents, strokes and heart attacks to live comfortably as their Human rights and be able to perform their Activities of Daily Living with dignity and privacy.

Primary Health Care is NOT an option BUT a basic human right for every citizen. It therefore becomes a political agenda which every responsible person should value and push for when considering their future Governments. Every country which has invested in a well-organised and developed Primary Health Care System has harvested rich rewards in producing productive populations who in turn have raised the standards of living and equity and justice among all their fellow citizens.

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