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The promise and pitfalls of generalism in achieving the Alma-Ata vision of health for all

The promise and pitfalls of generalism in achieving the Alma-Ata vision of health for all
The promise and pitfalls of generalism in achieving the Alma-Ata vision of health for all
It is 30 years since 3000 delegates from 134 governments, 67 international organisations and many non-government organisations gathered in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, to agree upon a declaration about how primary health care could achieve “health for all by 2000”.1 The conference was convened by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in response to the growing inequality among large sections of the world’s population. The conference was influenced by global political and social change in the preceding decades and a strong desire to move away from medical dominance and elitism,2 to focus on developing countries rather than dominant Western nations, and to propose a model of health as a tool for economic development.1 The leadership of WHO Director-General Halfdan Mahler (1973–1988) was crucial to the direction of the declaration, as he had been impressed by developments in China, India, Africa and Latin America that provided health care via local community-controlled services using lay participation, and he envisioned such programs addressing health inequalities across the world.3 The resulting Declaration of Alma-Ata consisted of 10 sections (Box 1).
Alma-Ata, health for all
0025-729x
110-112
Gunn, J.M.
8e1d9a00-e8f5-4047-8992-ecce6aa217e0
Palmer, V.J.
3a4264a7-a52a-4ffe-a425-d6b0e7136e48
Naccarella, L.
b874a321-3a61-4bce-a219-0643f86e2f7d
Kokanovic, R.
5ee2461b-9e5f-4296-b4f9-0db0a7e6adf3
Pope, C.J.
21ae1290-0838-4245-adcf-6f901a0d4607
Lathlean, J.
98a74375-c265-47d2-b75b-5f0f3e14c1a9
Stange, K.C.
d247f0b9-b9e3-4a17-9683-a1c68f456f01
Gunn, J.M.
8e1d9a00-e8f5-4047-8992-ecce6aa217e0
Palmer, V.J.
3a4264a7-a52a-4ffe-a425-d6b0e7136e48
Naccarella, L.
b874a321-3a61-4bce-a219-0643f86e2f7d
Kokanovic, R.
5ee2461b-9e5f-4296-b4f9-0db0a7e6adf3
Pope, C.J.
21ae1290-0838-4245-adcf-6f901a0d4607
Lathlean, J.
98a74375-c265-47d2-b75b-5f0f3e14c1a9
Stange, K.C.
d247f0b9-b9e3-4a17-9683-a1c68f456f01

Gunn, J.M., Palmer, V.J., Naccarella, L., Kokanovic, R., Pope, C.J., Lathlean, J. and Stange, K.C. (2008) The promise and pitfalls of generalism in achieving the Alma-Ata vision of health for all. Medical Journal of Australia, 189 (2), 110-112.

Record type: Article

Abstract

It is 30 years since 3000 delegates from 134 governments, 67 international organisations and many non-government organisations gathered in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, to agree upon a declaration about how primary health care could achieve “health for all by 2000”.1 The conference was convened by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in response to the growing inequality among large sections of the world’s population. The conference was influenced by global political and social change in the preceding decades and a strong desire to move away from medical dominance and elitism,2 to focus on developing countries rather than dominant Western nations, and to propose a model of health as a tool for economic development.1 The leadership of WHO Director-General Halfdan Mahler (1973–1988) was crucial to the direction of the declaration, as he had been impressed by developments in China, India, Africa and Latin America that provided health care via local community-controlled services using lay participation, and he envisioned such programs addressing health inequalities across the world.3 The resulting Declaration of Alma-Ata consisted of 10 sections (Box 1).

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More information

Published date: 21 June 2008
Keywords: Alma-Ata, health for all

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 58043
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/58043
ISSN: 0025-729x
PURE UUID: 55a57791-c3cf-4342-a139-a5065cba95b9
ORCID for C.J. Pope: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8935-6702

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Aug 2008
Last modified: 10 Dec 2019 01:45

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