Primary Health Care
Another important declaration was the Alma Ata (erstwhile USSR) joint conference of WHO–UNICEF. It was declared that “The existing gross inequality in the health status of people particularly between developed and developing as well as within countries is politically, socially and economically unacceptable”. The Alma–Ata conference called for acceptance of the WHO goal of Health for all by 2000 A.D. and proclaimed “Primary health care as a way to achieving health for all”.
This slogan was adopted and incorporated into delivery of health services by many countries including India. India is a signatory to the Alma–Ata Declaration of 1978. The National Health Policy, approved by the parliament in 1983 clearly indicates India's commitment to the goal of health for all by the year 2000 AD.
The Declaration of Alma Ata stated that primary health care includes at least:
- Education about prevailing health problems and methods of preventing and controlling them.
- Promotion of food supply and proper nutrition.
- An adequate supply of safe water and basic sanitation.
- Immunization against infectious diseases.
- Prevention and control of endemic diseases.
- Appropriate treatment of common diseases and injuries.
- Provision of essential drugs.
- Crude death rate
It is defined as the number of deaths per 1000 population per year in a given community.
- Expectation of life
Life expectancy at birth “The average number of years that will be lived by those born alive into a population if the current age–specific mortality rates persist”. Life expectancy is a good indicator of socio–economic development in general.
- Infant mortality rate
Infant mortality rate is the ratio of deaths under 1 year of age in a given year to the total number of live births in the same year, usually expressed as a rate per 1000 live births. It is one of the most universally accepted indicators of health status not only of infants, but also of whole populations.