Strengthening primary health care in responding to communicable disease outbreaks: Providing policy options for Iran
Strengthening primary health care
Keywords:Communicable Diseases, Primary Health Care, Health System, Systematic Review
BACKGROUND: Primary health care (PHC) is one of the best structures for managing and responding to health-related crises. The current study was conducted with the aim to review the experiences of other countries in using the PHC system to deal with a contagious disease crisis and provide solutions for the management of communicable diseases for Iran’s health system.
METHODS: This systematic review was conducted in July 2021 based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). This checklist includes the essentials for transparent reporting of scoping reviews. PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest, and Google Scholar were searched to identify the most important strategies for strengthening PHC in response to communicable disease disasters.
RESULTS: Based on the study inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 32 studies were included in the final analysis. The experiences of the countries were categorized based on the 6 health system building blocks presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) and 17 sub-categories. Experiences of the countries in strengthening PHC in responding to communicable disease crises were reported in the 3 categories of unity of command and support for primary care at the macro level, development and updating of protocols and guidelines, and involvement of PHC stakeholders in decision-making.
CONCLUSION: Health systems in each country are a function of the economic, social, cultural, and political conditions of that country, and it is very difficult to find countries with identical health systems. Therefore, the proposed policy options need to be used with caution and the circumstances of the country must be taken into account.
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