About The Course
Welcome Message

Welcome to the CoursePlus Web site for CASE STUDIES IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE (221.635.01), a course offered by the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

"... the minds of the educated now soar in the realm of thought, like clouds in the sky, far away from the earth. The two could be brought together in fruitful union only if they (the clouds) were to melt and descend in the shape of rain. The new monsoon of this new age will have come in vain, if all this imposing preparation roams on in the sky only in wind and vapour. Not that there has been no shower, but the fields have not been ploughed. Nobody yet pays any attention to those places which alone, if properly irrigated by ideas, can grow a rich crop." (Sen. Sundhir. Rabindranath Tagore on Rural Reconstruction, Calcutta, Visva-Bharati, 1943, pp. 40-41)

Course Description

Introduces students to the origins, concepts and development of community-based primary health care through case studies from both developing and developed countries. Like clinical bedside teaching, the course uses real cases to help students develop problem-solving skills in practical situations. Participatory approaches in the organization and management of health services and other factors such as equity, socio-cultural change and environmental protection are discussed.

Course Learning Objectives

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • describe the key concepts of the SEED-SCALE and illustrate their use in a description of a plan for implementing Community Based Primary Health Care
  • demonstrate practical methods of promoting participatory activities in communities and action groups
  • comprehend the methods for examining the conditions and practical techniques for developing partnerships to improve bottom-up participation of communities, top-down support by officials and outside-in stimulation by experts
  • explore in depth and be able to describe concepts of equity, justice, sustainability, scaling up, the tilting point in community empowerment and challenges in promoting changes in behaviors and social norms
  • describe strategies of multisectoral collaboration and integration within health services and demonstrate the methods for analysis of these strategies
  • identify successes and failures or weaknesses of each case study and describe the lessons learned from them
  • Overall objectives of this course are: 1) to help students clarify their own values and attitudes in developing partnership relationships with communities and colleagues
  • to facilitate students' ability to Discuss participatory methods in building community capacity to solve priority problems in varied health care settings
  • to build on students' prior experiences and help them develop skills in learning how to use case studies in their own work and teaching
  • to facilitate students' ability to scale up community-based succeses from a local situation to general extension

Additional Course Objective(s):



1)     To learn practical methods of promoting participatory activities in communities and action groups.

2)     To understand the principles of Community-Based Primary Health Care.

3)     To critically identify successes, failures, strengths, and weaknesses in a variety of case studies in Primary Health Care; to be able to transfer these “lessons learned” to other situations.

4)     To apply a systematic paradigm for implementing Community-Based Primary Health Care, such as SEED-SCALE, Alma Ata, CBIO, COPC, or Care Groups, to a real-life situation.

5)     To critically examine the conditions and practical techniques for developing three-way partnerships which maximize the bottom-up participation of communities, top-down support by officials, and outside-in stimulation by change agents.

6)     To explore challenges in promoting changes in behaviors and social norms with in-depth key concepts such as equity, justice, sustainability, scaling up, and the ‘tilting point’ in community empowerment.

7)     To analyze and apply process strategies which enhance multi-sectoral collaboration and integration within health services


Course Time

Tue Thu   1:30 PM to 3:20 PM

Course Faculty

Henry Perry
E-mail: heperry@jhsph.edu
Henry Taylor
E-mail: hgtaylor@jhsph.edu

Additional Faculty Notes:

Primary Faculty

Henry .Taylor, MD, MPH
E-mail: hgtaylor@jhsph.edu
Office: W2001C
Phone: 304-610-1139
Home Page: http://faculty.jhsph.edu/default.cfm?faculty_id=1703

Henry Perry, MD MPH PhD
E-mail: heperry@jhsph.edu
Office: E8008
Phone: 410-377-0421

Associate Faculty

Archie Golden, MD MPH
E-mail: agolden77@comcast.net
Office: Bayview Pediatrics

Robert Parker, MD MPH
E-mail: bcparker2@verizon.net



Additional Faculty Notes:

We routinely waive the requirement for 220.621 the Introduction to International Health. However, students are expected to understand and apply the basic concepts of public health, conduct a literature search on PubMed (surprise - Google Scholar is not enough - lol) and read public health journals.

Intended Audience

Those who have an interest in the practical issues of implementing primary health care programs in developing countries.

Additional Faculty Notes:

This course is designed for students who expect to promote and participate in community-based programs. It is not appropriate for those whose interest is in basic research dealing with numbers rather than people, or patients rather than communities.

This course is an elective for the Certificate in Community Based Public Health.

Course Topics


Active class participation is essential. Almost half of the class time is experiential. Small groups discuss issues raised by the readings and lectures. Group work culminates in a final presentation to the class. Auditors are only allowed under highly unusual circumstances.
The lectures assume the required readings have been done in advance. There will be one to two hours of preparation for each hour of class. There is more reading in the first half of the course, and more out-of-class group work later on. Pay close attention to the CoursePlus syllabus for more detailed guidance.
The class will review at least 16 cases demonstrating important concepts of Community-Based Primary Health Care. For most cases, additional background documentation is available on the course website. We encourage students be creative in identifying additional sources that can be added to our archive for future classes.

Grading Policy & Grading Restrictions

Grading Policy: Student evaluation based on discussion, participation and a final paper.

Grading Restrictions: Letter grade

Administrative Contact

Henry Perry
E-mail: heperry@jhsph.edu