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Primary Healthcare


Primary Healthcare indicates the locally and easily available basic medical service for the general public. Roughly speaking, primary healthcare indicates such materials and technique that are applied by human being for maintaining their day to day health condition. Hence the idea of' primary healthcare is nothing new, rather it originates from the very inception of human's acquaintance with diseases. So the long experienced knowledge of man on health has directly and indirectly enriched this idea of healthcare. But the concept of primary healthcare as a stratum in modern medicare is rather a recent innovation having only been recognized through Alma Ata Declaration of the World Health Organisation in 1978. That international conference on primary healthcare declared right to health as the fundamental right of human being, and gave importance to the achievement of the highest standard of health. Following the proceedings of the Conference the idea of primary healthcare began getting wide publicity and momentum.

The Alma Ata Declaration expresses that the primary healthcare contributes to the solution of the basic health problems of a particular section of the people in the society in a socio-economic background of a country, especially by ensuring participation of various organs of the government in preventive medicare. It further expresses that primary healthcare gives emphasis on the participation of the individual and the society in solving the health problems, and the basic health management requires as ingredients the health knowledge of the people, local health activists, traditional physicians and knowledge on indigenous treatment. The Alma Ata Declaration urges upon the nations and countries of the world to ensure their participation in primary healthcare activities with their respective healthcare system and experience on health education for the greater interest of the overall health of the people.

Primary healthcare is an integral part of basic health service which an individual or a family gets an easily available health service on the basis of the liking and acceptability of his society. Thus the concept of' grassroot level healthcare plays an extensive role in solving the health problems like restoration of health, prevention of diseases, recovery and rehabilitation. The idea of primary healthcare though differ from country to country for its involvement with social tradition, value of life and socio-economic system of the respective countries, its application in all the countries generally in basic health education, development in standard of nutrition, supply of safe drinking water, basic drainage system, child and mother healthcare, family planning, preventive vaccination, treatment of minor injury and illness, prevention of infectious diseases and epidemic is universally recognized throughout the world.

The human being takes resort to primary healthcare as an initial preventive to health problems. The basic idea on health matters induces a man to take medical treatment as an immediate measure, and aspires to take the following intermittent and higher specialized treatment as per degrees of illness. In primary healthcare, generally no medicine prescribed by any specialist is required to be applied. Hence in the process of primary healthcare services, persons with short course training on health issues, and the physicians practicing folk indigenous treatment related with traditional medical services such as hakim-kabiraj are exercising the chief role. In some cases, the volunteers, head of the family and conscious persons are found performing the role of advisers in primary healthcare.

Since the primary healthcare is developed and nourished in the society, the idea occupies the focal point among the different stages of health management, and it is also an integral part of the health management system of a country. Hence for the maintenance of health of the majority of the people, programs are taken under the shade of primary healthcare. Primary healthcare thus plays a significant role in the basic health service of the people. Primary healthcare thus contributes directly and indirectly to the national development through the augmentation of health indicator and social awareness. Thus the primary healthcare plays the chief role in the venture for ensuring health for all. Since primary healthcare is recognized as less costly and effective measure at the primary level of institutional health service, the lion share of the financial budget on health head is spent in primary healthcare especially in the developing countries. The improvement in the standard of primary healthcare in health service leads to the increase in standard of public health in a country. If the specific field and area of primary health management can be structured, the success of healthcare measure of the state shall be easier. [Md. Jahangir Alam]