Washington, DC, October 18, 2018 (PAHO/WHO) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) participated at the Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, which took place from 8 to 12 October, 2018 in Liverpool, UK, with the theme “Advancing Health Systems for All in the Sustainable Development Goal Era”.
More than 2000 delegates, including health policy and system research scholars, practitioners, funders, policy actors, and community activists, joined the Forum to take forward conversations and collaborations on new ways of financing health, delivering services and engaging the health workforce, and new social and political alliances to promote health for all.
On Wednesday, October 10, PAHO organized a session on “Primary Health Care in the Americas: Forty years after Alma-Ata”, which aimed at disseminating studies that show the results of policies and programs implemented in Region of the Americas that placed primary health care at the center of the countries’ health system and their efforts to meet the goals of Alma-Ata.
“The values and principles of primary health care, which include the right to health, equity, and solidarity, among others, have formed the basis of many PAHO mandates and have guided health systems transformation in the Region”, said Gisele Almeida, PAHO Advisor on Health Systems and Policy Research. The session showcased the experience of two countries, Brazil and Colombia, in the implementation of primary health care strategies to improve the health of the population and a regional study on investment in primary care.
Thomas Hone, from the Imperial College, London, presented on “Reducing mortality by expanding primary care to the urban poor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil”; Adriana Mercedes Ardila Sierra, FUCS, Bogota, presented on “Analysis of a pilot implementation of the Integrated Model of Health Care for dispersed populations in Colombia”; Erwin Hernando Hernández Ricón, Universidad de la Sabana, Bogota, presented on “Building capacities in primary health care community leaders in Colombia”; and Camilo Cid, PAHO, presented on “How much have the countries in the Americas invested in the first level of health care?”.
During the event, Gisele Almeida also presented the special edition of PAHO’s scientific journal dedicated to “Primary Health Care: 40 Years after Alma-Ata”, which includes 33 studies, available in English and Spanish in the journal’s webpage. “These studies help illustrate the commitment of the countries to the values and principles of Alma-Ata and help disseminate evidence that are important to policy and decision-makers”, said Almeida.
The Fifth Global Symposium commemorated anniversaries of two significant global health events - the Alma Ata declaration for primary health care and the birth of the UK National Health Service. Health Systems Global organizes a symposium every two years to bring together its members with the broad range of players involved in health systems and policy research. The next Symposium will be hosted in Dubai on 8-12 November 2020.