Primary Health Care in Rural Areas: Role of Community Mobilization and Community Diagnosis:

Adesola Pitan Written by Adesola Pitan · 2 min read >

Primary health care, as defined in the Alma Ata declaration, is “essential care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology, made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation, and at a cost that the community and country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development, in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination.” Indeed, Primary Health Care is the first level of contact individuals, families and communities have with the national health system, and it brings health care to the people’s doorstep. In Primary Health Care, the leading health problems in the community and services provided include promotive, preventive and curative services.

Components of Primary Health Care

The components of primary health care include:

⦁            Health education on the methods of controlling prevailing health problems

⦁            Mental Health

⦁            Promotion of food supply and proper nutrition.

⦁            Primary eye care

⦁            Immunisation against the significant communicable diseases

⦁            An adequate supply of water and basic sanitation.

⦁            Maternal and child health, including Family planning

⦁            Primary oral care

⦁            Appropriate treatment of common illnesses and injuries.

⦁            Provision of essential drugs

Community mobilization is a process for bringing both human and non-human resources together to undertake developmental activities in order to achieve sustainable development for the community. It involves bringing many stakeholders together to raise awareness and/or demand for action on a particular programme, and to assist in the delivery of services. Community Mobilization is often initiated with a critical step of Community entry, which is a process of initiating, nurturing and sustaining a desirable relationship with the community, to secure and sustain the community’s interest. It helps to gain support from the community leaders, establishing a good working relationship in all aspects of a programme. By referring to three themes of collaboration, consultation and communication, we use insights from workshop discussions to describe how community engagement can move up the ladder of participation with different community groups. There are 7 stages of a mobilisation effort including: conducting initial preparation, organising the community for action, exploring the health issues and setting priorities, planning, acting and evaluating together, and scaling up.

According to WHO, Community Diagnosis is “a quantitative and qualitative description of the health of. citizens and the factors which influence their health. It identifies problems, proposes areas for. improvement and stimulates action”. The steps for community diagnosis include:

  • Initiation.
  • Data collection and analysis.
  • Diagnosis.
  • Dissemination.
  • Plan for a community needs assessment. • Identify and assemble a diverse community team. …
  • Conduct the needs assessment. …
  • Review and rate the data. …
  • Record and review consolidated data. …
  • Develop a community action plan.

Taking these bold steps to mobilise the community and diagnose it’s major

The process of community diagnosis should involve some characteristics namely: ability to address important community problems which are amenable to practical control; ability to identify most of the targeted health events; and adequacy in reflecting changes in distribution of events over time, place and person.



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