Community-Based Primary Health Care
The philosophy of UMCOR is that health is attainable, accessible, and sustainable by people for themselves and their communities if they are given the opportunity.
Community-Based Primary Health Care empowers people to take charge of their own lives and health, so that sustainable achievement in improving health is possible. Community-Based Primary Health Care initiatives support effective community programs of awareness, education, and development of human and economic resources. They also value local cultural practices as a source of preventive and curative health
Community Health Workers form the backbone of these programs. They can bring lifesaving education and preventative measures to often-isolated communities and organize the people to create a healthy environment in their village.
The primary objective of the Community-Based Primary Health Care Program is to improve the overall health of a defined community by:
- Reducing maternal morbidity and mortality
- Reducing child morbidity and mortality
- Reducing malnutrition in children under five years old
- Increasing access to potable water and hygienic basic sanitation facilities
- Reducing communicable diseases
UMCOR uses the following principles based on what the Comprehensive Rural Health project in Jamkhed, www.jamkhed.org
India has developed:
Equity - The program must reach everyone, including the poorest of the poor.
Integration - Not only must curative and preventive medicine be integrated but health care must be integrated with other factors such as agriculture, education, and a safe water supply.
Therefore, UMCOR Health program areas are developed in an integrated manner that focus on four general strategies: maternal and child health; water and sanitation; diseases of poverty (malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB); and training health workers.
Empowerment - Poor people who receive knowledge, information, and models of organizing realize that they have the power to transform their own reality.
“Jamkhed”, the book written by the Drs. Raj and Mabelle Arole, is available with UMCOR Health (cost $10).