Newsletter / Blog


2018-09-10
The Lessons of Alma-Ata


Rita Thapa was in the room when it happened. September 12, 1978 in Alma-Ata. 

The legendary meeting’s stirring call for primary health care for all reverberated across the ensuing 4 decades. Thapa, who represented Nepal at Alma-Ata and had founded the Primary Health Care Project in her country in 1975, has a unique view on the declaration and its impact on global health and Nepal.

Thapa will speak at a 40th anniversary event on September 12 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The event will be webcast. More info here. Highlights:

  • On being there: Felt exhilarated. Deeply moved by Dr. Halfden Mahler’s call for health for all. [The late] Senator Edward Kennedy’s address was electrifying.
  • On progress: Many developing countries have tried PHC, making much progress in child and maternal mortality reduction … but still we are far from the desired targets.
  • On leadership: My take-home lesson is never negotiate the evidence-based public health interest of people, no matter how hard it is.

Brian W. Simpson, Global Health NOW



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