TEHRAN (Iran News) – Ahmed al-Mandhari, the World Health Organization director for Eastern Mediterranean Region, has said the Islamic Republic of Iran is a role model for primary health care.
For the past four decades, its PHC network has aimed to ensure that people have timely access to affordable, accessible, and acceptable essential health services, he said in a message to the inaugural ceremony for 696 primary health care facilities across the country on Tuesday.
“These new facilities will help to increase the level of health care coverage towards 100 percent,” he added.
“At the outset of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Islamic Republic of Iran made its primary health care system a core part of its national response. This PHC infrastructure allowed systematic outreach activities for early case detection, contact tracing, and triage for hospital referral (if necessary) by community health workers.
In addition, the PHC registry system helped to better identify vulnerable groups, including age groups at high risk of developing moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms who might need hospital care.
PHC also played an important role in efforts to leave no one behind, through stepwise national campaigns to combat COVID-19 including equitable access to vaccines for the most vulnerable people in the fifth round.”
He went on to say that as the pandemic has demonstrated, there is a global need to integrate primary health care across a wide range of policies, strategies, activities, and services This reorientation of the health system requires clear political commitment and strong leadership at all levels.
Engaging individuals, communities, and stakeholders from all sectors is crucial to better define health needs, identify solutions and prioritize actions by working closely together, he concluded.