Briefing Paper

Achieving Community Participation in Primary Health Care Service Delivery: What Should We Do?

An action strategy is proposed in this policy brief for engaging communities in the promotion of primary health care services in rural communities of Delta State. The term ‘community participation’ is commonly understood as the collective involvement of local people in assessing their needs and organizing strategies to meet those needs. Community members, often perceived as consumers, are a potential resource that could be tapped into so as to strengthen health systems. The Delta State Government and other providers of primary health care services need to articulate strategies of empowering and involving communities to ensure ownership and sustainability of primary health care programmes. Community participation should not be limited to cost sharing only, but should also include other aspects of the primary health systems including the delivery of services.