Some new information on Primary Health Care and Community Health

21 April, 2022

Dear friends and colleagues with an interest in primary health care and community health:

I have been slowly adding people I know who have an interest in PHC/CH to a listserv, and you are one of these people. From time to time I send out a note with some information that I think might be of interest to you. If you want to be removed from this listserv, just reply and say delete. If you know of someone you think might be interested in subscribing to this, just send me an email.

Paul Farmer

My last missive was about the memorial service for Dr. Paul Farmer, held on March 12. If you missed it but would like to watch it (and I highly recommend it, though it is 2 hours long), go to: It is a truly inspiring and thought-provoking tribute. I was not aware of it before, but I have now watched a movie about the founding and development of Partners in Health, which of course highlights Paul Farmer's early work but also that of the other co-founders, including Jim Yong Kim and Ophelia Dahl. It is entitled "Bending the Arc" and is nearly 2 hours long. It can be accessed at

Surgery, primary health care and community health

I have long advocated for including basic and essential surgery (provided at low-tech, simple readily accessible health facilities at the district level or lower) as a component of PHC. For several years now I have been aware of the important work of Kathryn Chu, who is now Professor and Director of the Centre for Global Surgery at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa. I found the inaugural lecture she gave last fall upon assuming this position to be extremely well done, informative and thought provoking. It is entitled “Decolonising global surgery: A call to action.” I am attaching an interview with her where she talks about integrating surgery with PHC.

Epidemiology and primary health care

In late 2000, Professor Patrick Vaughn and his two world-renowned students, Cesar Victora and Mushtaque Chowdhury published the book shown below, Practical Epidemiology, subtitled “Using Epidemiology to Support Primary Health Care.” This will be a great asset for health staff working at the district level and below, and is available at Oxford Medicine Online.

Forthcoming course on monitoring and evaluation of PHC at the district level

For several years now, Jennifer Winestock Luna, Bill Weiss and I have been offering two courses in the Health Systems Summer Institute of the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University. This year it will be held both onsite as well as online from June 6-18:

Evaluation of District-Level Primary Health Care Implementation in Low-and Middle-income Settings - 221.625.79 - June 6�10, mornings � team teach with Dr. H. Henry Perry and Dr. Harsha Joshi.

Introduction to Household Surveys for Evaluation of Primary Health Care Programs in Low- and Middle- Resource Settings - 221.626.79 - June 13�18, afternoons � team teach with Dr Dr. Bill Weiss.

Other topics in the Institute include global health technology and innovation, health economics, health policy, humanitarian health, measurement and analytics for health systems strengthening, health equity, health systems management, and more. View the complete schedule and course descriptions. Information on tuition and how to register can be found here.

The university has substantially reduced the non-credit tuition charges in order to expand access. If participants wish, they also have the opportunity to take the courses for academic credit in order to receive an official transcript from the Bloomberg School.


That’s it for now. If you have any information that you think others might be interested in, feel free to forward it to me. I intend to be highly selective in what I share since all of us are overburdened with information of questionable value!

Thanks, and best wishes,


Henry B. Perry, MD, PhD, MPH

Senior Associate, Health Systems Program

Department of International Health

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Baltimore, MD, USA 21205; 443-797-5202

HIFA profile: Henry Perry is a Senior Scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA. Professional interests: Community health and primary health care. hperry2 AT