PACK Overview

The Practical Approach to Care Kit (PACK) is a health systems improvement programme designed to support the work of primary care health workers in underserved communities (like doctors, nurses, midwives, health officers, community health practitioners), strengthen the health services in which they work and thereby achieve the best possible patient outcomes.

The PACK programme comprises 4 pillars:

A clinical decision support tool, the PACK guide
The PACK training programme
Measures to strengthen health systems
Monitoring and evaluation tools

The programme’s development and implementation are guided by a set of 8 key core principles:

Since 1999, the PACK programme has been developed, implemented and evaluated in South Africa. It has been scaled up across primary care facilities in the country, reaching more than 30 000 health workers. Read about the PACK programme in the Western Cape Province and in the rest of South Africa (known as Adult Primary Care).

Thus far the scope of PACK has focussed on adult primary care, but the Knowledge Translation Unit is working to ensure that the PACK programme covers the life course and supports all health workers in the primary care team. Read about the programmes under development and in pilot phase: PACK Child, PACK Adolescent and PACK Community.

The guide has also been incorporated into undergraduate and postgraduate health worker education. Read about PACK in health worker education.

The PACK programme has since been designed to be localised to other low and middle-income countries. Read about the PACK Localisation Package and the in-country PACK localisations: Malawi, Botswana, Brazil, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

This work to take PACK to other low and middle-income country setttings has been supported by a partnership with the BMJ. Read about the KTU-BMJ partnership.

Descriptions and evaluations of the PACK programme and its predecessors have been reported in over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Read more about the KTU research and access the unit’s publication list.

The KTU and BMJ have launched a Global Social Movement to advocate for the improvement of primary care worldwide and to support the implementation of the PACK programme in low-resource settings around the world to achieve this aim. Read about and join the PACK Movement.