Course: Case Studies in Primary Health Care

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Syllabus

Course Description

This course introduces students to the origins, concepts, and development of community-based primary health care through case studies from both developing and developed countries. As in clinical bedside teaching, we use real cases to help students develop problem-solving skills in practical situations. We also discuss participatory approaches in the organization and management of health services and other factors such as equity, socio-cultural change, environmental protection, and the process of community empowerment.

Overall Aims

  • To facilitate students' ability to understand participatory methods in building community capacity to solve priority problems in varied health care settings
  • To build on students' prior experiences and help them develop skills in learning how to use case studies in their own work and teaching
  • To facilitate students' ability to scale up community based successes from a local situation to general extension
  • To help students clarify their own values and attitudes in developing partnership relationships with communities and colleagues

Expectations

This course is designed for students who expect to promote and participate in community-based programs. It is not appropriate for those whose interests are in basic research dealing with numbers rather than people.

The lectures will follow a textbook on community-based primary health care. Most lectures will focus on a case study or important concepts of community-based primary health care. For most case studies, there is additional background documentation available on the course Web site.

Course Objectives

  • To learn practical methods of promoting participatory activities in communities and action groups
  • To critically examine the conditions and practical techniques for developing partnerships to improve: bottom-up participation of communities, top-down support by officials, and outside-in stimulation by change agents
  • To explore in depth concepts of equity, justice, sustainability, scaling up, the tilting point in community empowerment and challenges in promoting changes in behaviors and social norms
  • To analyze strategies of multi-sectoral collaboration and integration within health services
  • To critically identify successes and failures or weaknesses of each case study and lessons learned from these
  • To understand the key concepts of the SEED-SCALE paradigm for implementing community-based primary health care

Readings

The required textbook for the course is: Taylor-Ide, D & Taylor, C.E. (2002). Just and lasting change: When communities own their futures. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

A recommended textbook for the course is: Arole, M. & Arole, R. (1994). Jamkhed: A Comprehensive Rural Health Project. London: The MacMillan Press

Course Requirements

Course evaluationis based on three methods of judging student understanding of the cases and concepts:

  • Completing a 10-page paper (60 points)
  • Listening to the lectures and participating in LiveTalk sessions (20 points)
  • Participating in bulletin board discussions (20 points): at least one posting per week consistent with the Lecture Guide questions which can be viewed from the respective lecture pages.