Centre for International Health
New book

New e-book: Community-oriented health services

A new ground-breaking textbook switches focus from the individual’s health perspective to the community’s participation in health management and promotion. CIH Professor is contributing to the book.

Cover of book - Community-oriented health services
New book: Community-oriented health services

Main content

Healthy communities
Community action theory proposes that communities are themselves health systems and their health qualities impact individuals who are member dwellers. Healthy communities have populations that participate in their own health promotion, maintenance, or sustenance.

The book, which is entitled “Community-Oriented Health Services: Practices Across Disciplines” is edited by professor Elias Mpofu at the University of Sydney. The text is grounded in a trans-disciplinary approach and provides extensive, evidence-based information on the value of communities as the primary drivers of their own health and wellbeing. It describes foundational community health concepts and procedures, and presents proven strategies for engaging communities as resources for their own health improvement-an important determinant of individual wellbeing.

Contribution from CIH – Home-based voluntary HIV counselling & testing
Professor Knut Fylkesnes at the Centre for international health together with long-term research partner Professor Charles Michelo at University of Zambia authors the chapter “Home-based voluntary HIV counselling and testing rooted in a community-oriented strategy in low resource settings”. This contribution is a part of the third section of the book, under the theme Evidence-based practice and policies in community-oriented health care.

Inclusion of environmental and social justice issues
The textbook is based on recommendations by WHO's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and on the premise that healthy communities are those with populations that participate in their own health promotion, maintenance, and sustenance.

The book is unique in its integration of environmental and social justice issues as they significantly affect the advancement of community health. The text focuses on community-oriented health interventions informed by prevention, inclusiveness, and timeliness that both promote better health and are more cost effective than individually focused interventions.

History, concepts and detailed case studies
It addresses the foundations of community-oriented health services including their history, social determinants, concepts, and policies as well as the economics of community-oriented health services and health disparities and equity.
It covers procedures for designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating sustainable community health coalitions along with tools for measuring their success.

Detailed case studies describe specific settings and themes in US and international community health practice in which communities are both enactors and beneficiaries.

Resources for instructors and students

Each chapter includes learning objectives, discussion boxes, research boxes, and case studies. An accompanying instructor's manual provides learning exercises, field-based experiential assignments, and multiple-choice questions.

A valuable resource for students and practitioners of education, public policy, and social services, this book bridges the perspectives of environmental justice, public health, community wellbeing and development, which, while being mutually interdependent, have rarely been considered together.

The E-book is available online here: