Axioms are statements or Ideas believed to be true by people. These axioms were derived from the early engagement of Community Health Cell with the community health movement in India in the first two years of the study reflection action experiment began in January 1984.
A mimeographed report entitled "Community Health: the search for an alternative process" was first circulated in 1987 in which these 10 axioms derived from the movement were enumerated. In 2011, during the celebration of 20 years of SOCHARA as a society (1991-2011) this reflective report popularly known by then as the red report was re-printed as “Community Health in search of Alternative Processes”. The Axioms listed below are taken from this new publication.
Community Health is a process of enabling people, to exercise collectively their responsibility, to their own health and to demand health as their right.
The Community Health Approach involves the increasing of the individual, family and community autonomy over health and over the organizations, the means, the opportunities, the knowledge and the supportive structures that make health possible.
The community health approach includes
The community health approach
The community health approach recognises that in the present inequitous and stratified social system there is no 'community' in the real sense of the word and hence community health action will invariably mean, the increasing organisation, involvement and participation of the large sections of the community, who do not participate adequately in decision making at present i.e. the poor, the under-privileged, the marginalizedsuch attempts will invariably be opposed by 'status quo' forces and all those who draw greater advantage from the present situation.
The community health approach recognises that the large majority, the poor and the disadvantaged are not themselves 'one community' even though they are linked by their poverty and social situation, since they have internalised various social, cultural religious and political differences that divide society at large.
The community health approach recognises that the present over medicalised health care system is characterised by certain features viz:
The Community Health Approach is therefore not just a speciality, a new professional discipline, a new 'technological fix' or a new package of actions. It is predominantly a new vision of 'health' and 'health care', a new attitude of mind, a new' value orientation' in health action and a new perspective for the future linked to a new vision of society. It must therefore, pervade existing health care systems, institutions, research efforts, training programmes, professional ethics and health planning exercises.
Community Health Action is closely intertwined with efforts to build an alternative socio-political-economic-cultural system in which health can become a reality for all people.
The 'community health approach' therefore recognises that the components of actions are means and not ends, and will therefore be flexible enough to reorient, reprioritize, disband or change towards more relevant actions and directions as they evolve in the interactions at the community level.