Transitioning Campaign Interventions to the Primary Health Care System

Health campaigns share many functions (e.g., planning, monitoring, surveillance, procurement systems) with the Primary Health Care (PHC) system, yet the intervention delivery function of campaigns continues to operate largely independently. Some interventions such as immunizations and vitamin A supplementation are delivered through a mix of routine services and campaign delivery mechanisms, often transitioning between the approaches according to disease trends and country capacity. Likewise, as diseases such as polio, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, and onchocerciasis reach their elimination targets, public health approaches shift away from frequent campaigns to emphasize prevention and surveillance. As with the case of integration noted above, recently published global disease strategies call for an increased focus on country ownership and sustainability by moving away from vertical programs to approaches that strengthen primary health care systems. Understanding how and when campaigns can transition into PHC and routine services and how their inputs, infrastructure, and experiences can be leveraged to strengthen health systems in general has been identified by the Leadership Team, STAC and Coalition members as a priority area for the HCE Research and Learning Agenda. 

Priority Questions

In what circumstances (what, how, when and why) have interventions and services typically delivered via health campaigns been successfully transferred to the PHC system or routine health services?

What has been the impact on coverage, resource allocation and costs, equity, community demand and satisfaction, country health goals and can it be sustained? 

How can health campaign inputs, processes, and resources (e.g., campaign monitoring data, information on community health behaviors/perceptions, microplans with population enumeration, best practices for training, supervision and monitoring) be successfully used to strengthen routine services and impact PHC systems?