Strengthening PHC system capacity to resiliently respond to health threats

Related program: Primary Health Care

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shock health systems, disrupt communities, and threaten global health goals. And, according to WHO, the interruption of essential health services may result in more sickness and death than even originally projected. An ongoing threat is antimicrobial resistance, which resulted in an estimated 1.2 million deaths in 2019, more than HIV or malaria combined. Climate change is leading to more poor health outcomes as temperatures rise, and storm systems, floods, fires and droughts increase. These emergencies place increased pressure on PHC to prevent, detect, respond, and adapt to ongoing care needs for healthier and more secure lives.

PATH helps countries translate and leverage their COVID-19 response to build more resilient and adaptable primary health care systems that are equipped to identify and respond to health threats and sustain routine essential health services delivery. To withstand future threats, we must now use what we’ve learned from the pandemic to implement protective measures that sure strong primary health care systems, enabling them to serve as the first and best line of defense.

COVID-19 showed us how the stark weaknesses in our health systems led to greater health disparities. Now is the time to use what we know to prevent more disruptions and to advance health equity.

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