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Health Systems Program

Primary Health Care and Community Health

Primary Health Care and Community Health in the Health Systems Program

Our work in primary health care (PHC) and community health encompasses technical support, capacity building, evidence generation, program evaluations, intervention development, and teaching – all with a focus on strengthening primary health care systems. Our work focuses on system issues related to service delivery and financing, as well as the development of improved community-based interventions for improving maternal and neonatal health, strengthening human resources for health, using digital health tools to support workers and service delivery, and increasing equity and social accountability.

Our faculty work to strengthen communication bridges between consumers and providers; develop health care interventions around the social, cultural and behavioral norms of the communities they serve; develop and deliver curricula and training programs to enhance knowledge and skills; co-produce relevant and high-quality evidence with and for a range of stakeholders, including governments, development partners, and communities; and develop locally-relevant community participation mechanisms.

Examples of Latest Projects

Strengthen national community-based delivery of primary health and nutrition services in Madagascar: Since June 2018, a JHU team composed of faculty in the Health Systems Program is supporting the government of Madagascar on a new program that focuses on strengthening community-based primary health care and nutrition services. 

Technical support for the International Institute for Primary Health Care for Ethiopia: The IPHC-E targets low- and middle-income countries to support PHC policy and program design to achieve the goal of universal health coverage. Bloomberg School faculty work closely with the institute on its institutional growth and global programs, including online curricula and an international conference on PHC.

Resolve to Save Lives: This project is a groundbreaking global health initiative with the goal of reducing preventable deaths from cardiovascular disease, in low- and middle-income countries. Johns Hopkins supports two core programs: hypertension control and sodium reduction.

India Primary Health Care Support Initiative: The IPSI project supports primary health care systems in India through measuring performance and demonstrating ways to improve system performance. IPSI will enable a continuous cycle of ‘demonstration’ ‘measurement’ and ‘recognition’ around performance improvement efforts with a view to unlocking of financial and human resources for high quality PHC in the focus states and beyond.

Latest News

International Health Faculty Receives Inaugural Toregeldy Sharmanov International Prize in Healthcare and Nutrition
BSPH News | October 2021
Meike Schleiff, DrPH ’17, MSPH ’13, assistant scientist in the Department of International Health at the Bloomberg School, received the inaugural Toregeldy Sharmanov International Prize in Healthcare and Nutrition from the T. Sharmanov International Foundation. The prize recognizes scientists for their significant contributions to the realization of the universal right to health.

Community Health Workers at the Dawn of a New Era
BMC On Health | October 2021
Community health workers were first trained in China as barefoot doctors almost a century ago. Since then, they have been trained in many countries throughout the world with varying degrees of success. A new supplement examines the role and importance of community health workers.

Achieving Health for All: Primary Health Care in Action
Book
This book is co-edited by Professor David Bishai and Assistant Scientist Meike Schleiff. What makes a person healthy? Before 2020, most people in high-income countries would have said: good personal choices and good health insurance. After 2020, people everywhere—rich and poor alike—realize that their own good choices were not enough. Now, the answer to being healthy obviously includes the public health choices of everyone in the places that we live.

Meet our primary health care and community health faculty

Anbrasi Edward
Associate Scientist
International Health

Anbrasi Edward, PhD, MPH ’96, MBA, MSc, works in health systems research and evaluation addressing primary healthcare and community-oriented systems in global contexts.

Alain Koffi
Assistant Scientist
International Health

Alain Koffi, MD, PhD, MS, is a population health researcher with a focus on the biological causes and social determinants of neonatal and child deaths in low-income countries.

Meike Schleiff
Assistant Scientist
International Health

Meike Schleiff, DrPH ‘17, MSPH ‘13, specializes in community health and primary health care with a focus on improving human resource capacity and addressing inequities.