Forty years ago, the Region of the Americas played a critical role in the development and negotiation of the Alma-Ata Declaration, which identified primary health care as a central strategy to the goal of health for all and a comprehensive approach to the organization of health systems.

Since then, the values and principles of primary health care, which include the right to health, equity, solidarity, social justice and participation, and multisectoral action, among others, have formed the basis of many PAHO mandates and have guided health systems transformation in the Region.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Declaration, PAHO has undertaken several initiatives to contribute to the regional and global movement for health for all.




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2018 Global Conference on Primary Health Care

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In 2018 the world will come together at the Global Conference on Primary Health Care to recommit to strengthening primary health care to achieve universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. The conference, co-hosted by Government of Kazakhstan, the World Health Organization and UNICEF, will take place on 25-26 October on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Declaration of Alma-Ata. The anniversary of this seminal milestone in global health provides an opportunity to reaffirm the principles of the original declaration and underline the importance of primary health care to achieve our collective goals for the 21st century.

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Timeline: From Alma-Ata to Universal Health: 40 Years

Scientific articles and case studies

    • This special issue of the Pan American Journal of Public Health (PAJPH) showcases innovative paths countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are taking to advance primary health care, strengthen their health systems, and improve the health and well-being of their populations.


      • “Primary health care in the Region of the Americas 40 years after the Alma-Ata Declaration”
      • “Types of health systems reforms in Latin America and results in health access and coverage”
      • “Can primary health care strengthen the right to adequate food as a human right in Latin America?” –and more than a dozen others.

Free download of full-text articles from the Special issue of the Pan American Journal of Public health on Primary Health Care Alma Ata

  • In support of the Global Conference on Primary Health Care and the Declaration of Astana, a series of brief county case studies on various PHC reforms over the past four decades was completed.

Case studies:

      • “Brazil. The Mais médicos programme”
      • “Canada. Quebec's policy of prevention in health, a HiAP approach”
      • “El Salvador. Territorial community teams”
      • “Jamaica. Development of workforce for first level of care”
      • “Suriname. Reducing the burden of disease and health inequity through HiAP”

Free download of Case studies from WHO Webpage -  Primary Health


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    • Play list at PAHO TV
    • Check out these interviews with National Health Authorities of the Americas, health leaders from the Region, as well as PAHO participants, at the Global Conference on Primary Health, Astana, Kazakhstan. Some of the questions answered in these 14 videos playlist are: What happened to the vision of Alma-Ata Declaration in the last 40 years? What is Primary Health Care? Click here to watch all the videos at PAHO TV

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