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Primary Health Care & Immunization Programme Implementation: History of Health in Zimbabwe

Posted on 20 February 2019

This major-one day symposium will draw together different disciplinary perspectives and backgrounds to explore the history of primary health care and immunization in Zimbabwe.

A major one-day symposium will be held at the University of Zimbabwe on 5th March 2019 to explore the history of primary health care (PHC) and immunization in Zimbabwe. The programme of presentations will explore the value of historical methods and analysis, and will also feature two WHO Global Health Histories Seminars involving Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya (Department of History, University of York) and Dr Joao Nunes (Department of Politics, University of York).

The symposium's objectives are; 1) to initiate debate and documentation on the history of implementation of Primary Health Care, and infectious disease control, elimination and eradication in Zimbabwe; 2) to mobilize partners and stakeholders in investing in research, training and documentation of the histories of PHC and immunization in Zimbabwe; 3) to develop future historical scenarios on trajectory of priority Zimbabwe public health programmes like immunization and health systems development based on PHC implementation and UHC to achieve SDG 2030 and Africa Agenda 2063.

The two Global Health Histories seminars will focus on Primary Health Care Implementation & Community Health Workers, and Infectious Disease Control using the Expanded Programme of Immunization. The former will discuss the importance of community health workers in the context of Primary Health Care and the unrealized ambition of Health for All and Universal Health Coverage, and the latter will investigate how vertical public health programmes complement integrated efforts, provided by strong health systems, and how these have promoted vaccination drives by being better informed about, and adaptable to, community expectations and fears.

This symposium is part of the broader project on Global Health Histories that aims to comprehensively document the historical progress, best practices and lessons learnt by Zimbabwe since the inception of public health implementation through the adoption of the PHC model of health care.

This event is organised by the University of Zimbabwe in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Europe and WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories (GHH) at the University of York, UK, with support from the Wellcome Trust.