Health for All Through Primary Health Care

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Course Date: 24 September 2014 to 29 October 2014 (5 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

This course explores why primary health care is central for achieving Health for All. It provides examples of how primary health care has been instrumental in approaching this goal in selected populations and how the principles of primary health care can guide future policies and actions.

Estimated Workload: 3-4 hours/week

Course Instructors

Henry Perry

Dr. Henry Perry is a physician with graduate training in sociology and anthropology who has three decades of experience in the management and evaluation of health programs in developing countries. He is the founder of the NGO Curamericas Global, now working in Bolivia, Guatemala, Haiti and Liberia. He has lived and worked in Bolivia, Bangladesh and Haiti, and he has provided on-the-ground assistance to programs in 15 countries around the world. He is the author or co-author of over 100 publications about primary health care, health manpower, and community-based approaches to health improvement. He has a broad interest in primary health care and community-oriented public health, community participation, and equity and empowerment. Dr. Perry has received the Gordon-Wyon Award from the American Public Health Association for Excellence in Community-Oriented Public Health, and the Dory Storms Child Survival Recognition Award from the NGO community “for exceptional efforts resulting in more effective child survival program implementation and increased impact in improving the health of the poorest of the poor including mothers, children, and infants in underserved communities throughout the world.

Course Description

Two of the most inspiring, least understood, and most often derided terms in global health discourse are “Health for All” and “Primary Health Care.” In this course, we will explore these terms in the context of global health, their origins and meanings, the principles upon which they rest, and examples of how these principles have been implemented both at small scale as well as at large scale. We will also explore some ultra-low-cost approaches to Health for All through primary health care and the promise that primary health care holds for eventually achieving Health for All.

The course consists of six one-hour lectures with readings and opportunities for discussions among those taking the course and interactions with the professor.


What resources will I need for this class?
All readings will be provided through the course and will be in the publicly available.

Will I receive a Statement of Accomplishment for this course?
Students who successfully complete the course with a sufficient grade will receive a signed Statement of Accomplishment.


Week 1: Primary Health Care and Health for All, an Introduction
Week 2: Exploring What Primary Health Care Really Is
Week 3: Approaches to Implementing Primary Health Care in Resource-Constrained Settings
Week 4: Achieving Health for All through Community Health Workers and Innovative Community-based Programming
Week 5: Wrapping Up


This course features one hour of lecture per week with one hour of readings and one hour of discussion. The final grade is based on four quizzes (40% of the final grade) and two peer-assessed essays (60% of the final grade). To receive a Statement of Accomplishment, a student must obtain at least 70% of the maximum possible score.

Suggested Reading

Case Studies in Primary Health Care on JHSPH OpenCourseWare

Course Workload

3-4 hours/week

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