The Bulletin series: primary health care 30 years on
The Declaration of Alma-Ata in 1978 was the first international declaration advocating primary health care as the main strategy for achieving WHO’s goal of “health for all”.
While there have been huge improvements in areas such as childhood immunization coverage and access to safe water and sanitation, there have been setbacks to providing equitable access to essential health care worldwide. Health system constraints including financial barriers and health worker shortages, combined with challenges such as the HIV epidemic, have hampered progress towards achieving health for all.
Thirty years on, primary health care is still firmly on the agenda at WHO. This year the Bulletin marks the Declaration of Alma-Ata in a series of features on primary health care in 12 countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Cuba, Fiji, Madagascar, Thailand and New Zealand. Each feature examines one country's efforts to provide health for all, highlighting the challenges faced and the achievements made.