Researchers in primary healthcare revisit the Alma Ata Declaration

Leaders in healthcare and health systems research will convene in Cape Town today for The Alma Ata & PACK Congress, hosted jointly with the Western Cape Department of Health in collaboration with the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The Congress will bring together researchers, healthcare professionals and government officials from 11 countries to unpack the contributions that the Practical Approaches to Care Kits (PACK) has had in achieving the goals of the Alma Ata Declaration.

First launched in South Africa in 2007, PACK is a commitment adopted by low-to-middle income countries in response to Alma Ata. Its core function is to equip and empower primary care clinicians and strengthen primary care services. This years’ congress, which also marks the 40th Anniversary of the Alma Ata Declaration, will consider strategies to extend and test the scope and reach of PACK.

Although PACK has developed significantly over almost two decades and some victories have been witnessed in healthcare, half of the world’s population still cannot access essential health services and 400 million of those have no access to healthcare at all.

“In South Africa and globally if we are to fulfill the expectations of the Alma Ata, we need strategies such as PACK which provide practical guides for health workers to support them to implement the latest clinical guidelines” says Director of the SAMRC’s Health Systems Research Unit Professor Catherine Mathews. “It is important to monitor and evaluate whether strategies like PACK improve the quality of care and strengthen our health systems.”

Professor Mathews will be presenting: Innovation and research in strengthening universal access to health care at the Alma Ata & PACK Congress of Friday 26th October 2018.

The Congress will also see the publication launch of a collection of papers in BMJ journals describing the PACK programme, its implementation in several countries, the lessons learnt and plans for its further development and evaluation. 

Release date: 
Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 12:56
Contact: 
Keletso Ratsela
Contact: Keletso Ratsela

Media Strategist
Tel: +27 71 214 5272
E-mail: keletso.ratsela@mrc.ac.za