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ss triple helix - spring 2014,  Primary Healthcare in East Africa

Primary Healthcare in East Africa

For how long shall countries run after diseases?
Nick Wooding, Teddy Nagaddya & Florence Nakaggwa
Fountain Publishers Kampala, 2012, £10.00
Pb 322pp, ISBN 9789970251483
(To purchase email
Reviewed by Emma Pedlar, medical student in Manchester

The 1978 Alma Ata Declaration saw primary healthcare (PHC) as the key to solving the world's healthcare problems. CMF member Nick Wooding and African colleagues ask, 'In the intervening 30 years has health for all been achieved?'

Their focus is largely on Uganda with examples from other East African countries, referring to the Millennium Development Goals as a platform for evaluation.

The authors include a detailed overview of the fundamental principles of PHC in Uganda and other East African countries. Selective and comprehensive PHC are compared, and case studies demonstrate effective strategies. The book emphasises community participation, with examples of successful partnership and problem solving. It provides methods of healthcare system evaluation which can be used in other contexts.

This is an excellent reference source for anyone interested in PHC in East Africa, whether academically or practically. I found it particularly useful in studying for a Masters in Public Health even though my country of interest is Malawi. There are many useful principles which are transferable.

It is particularly helpful to have a resource which is supportive of the role of faith-based organisations in providing for people's needs. It concludes that although providing Uganda with access to basic PHC is a challenge, it is worth it, so to keep pushing on!

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