The regional perspective

The community-based heath and first aid (CBHFA) approach is the Red Cross Red Crescent integrated primary health care approach to community health promotion. It aims to create healthy, resilient communities worldwide and is a vital part in IFRC`s Strategy 2020 and contributes to Millennium Development Goals 4, 5, 6 and 7.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) aims to effectively contribute to building resilience by meeting the basic health, shelter, education, food, water and sanitation needs of vulnerable people. The IFRC strives to eliminate health inequities for all, by ensuring that the social costs and benefits of health systems are fairly shared between and within countries, based on a human rights framework and respecting local values.

Community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) is the Red Cross Red Crescent approach to empower communities and their volunteers to take charge of their health. By using simple tools which are adapted to the local context, communities can be mobilized to address priority health needs.

National Societies, supported by the IFRC, have a long history of addressing first aid and health promotion. In the 1990s, Community-based first aid (CBFA) was the principal method of reaching communities. To increase community participation and focus on behavioural change, CBFA was revitalized starting in 2005. In 2009 the revised CBHFA approach and materials were launched and disseminated. So far, in 2015 the IFRC carried out a global mapping exercise to better understand how

National Societies are utilizing the CBHFA approach. The mapping showed that 109 National Societies were implementing community level health programmes using the CBHFA approach, with the support of the IFRC and 18 Partner National Societies. The programmes were implemented by 33,885 active volunteers (23,300 are in APRO )with 983 master facilitators,  reaching 5,052,477 people beneficiaries globally (APRO contributed to 44%).

Most National Societies link CBHFA with other programme areas such as disaster risk reduction (DRR), water and sanitation, emergency health, HIV, malaria, maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) or non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Different technical areas are looking for ways of harmonizing their tools, especially in community-based participatory assessment. The common goal for community-based approaches is to reduce the vulnerabilities of the most disadvantaged and build individual and community resilience.

Community Based Health and First Aid online course available on IFRC Learning Platform is:

e-mail: Mr. Pornsak Khortwong (PK), at 

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