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The Alma Ata Declaration

In 1978 the WHO adopted the Alma Ata declaration, a seminal document which stated that economic and political policy are the major determinants of global health and wellbeing. It argued that inequality is unacceptable, and that people have the right and duty to participate in the planning and implementation of their health care.

At the same time governments have a responsibility for the health of their citizens and must provide health and social measures. Primary care is key to attaining this in the spirit of social justice.

The declaration highlights the crucial role of community health care workers, as opposed to the heirarchical structures within existing health care services.

The slides below summarise the declaration, and the political and economic forces which frustrated its implementation.