Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Health for All by the Year 2000: Can Pakistan Meet the Target?

Since the late 1970s, the “Primary Health Care” (PHC) approach in order to deliver “Health for All by the Year 2000” (HFA/2000), has been in vogue in all the underdeveloped countries (UOCs) of the world. Nearly all the developed and underdeveloped countries endorsed the proposals set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) at its Conference in Alma Ata in 1978 (WHO 1978). The signing of the Alma Ata Charter supposedly signalled the beginning of a new era which would deal with the problems of health and disease of the great majority of the individuals of planet Earth. Pakistan was also one of the signatories of the Alma Ata Charter and has since the signing, been in the forefront of the movement. Pakistan has become a spokesman for the PHC and HF A/2000 approaches at nearly all international seminars and conferences, and those who rule and can implement policies within the country, have continued giving both the policies active oral support. The Primary Health Care approach is, at least on paper, a fairly radical approach which sets out to deal with much more than the simple problems of the health of the poor of the world. It encompasses a very wide canvas, and issues, which apparently are not related directly to health care, also fall under its terms of reference. It is the purpose of this paper to see whether Pakistan can reach the goals of Health for All by the Year 2000, using the Primary Health Care approach, a goal to which it has committed itself totally.

S. Akbar Zaidi

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