Catalyzing development of best practice guidelines for community-managed health programs: Case study of a community-academic partnership


Background. There is a need to standardize community health practices, while still adhering to principles of community involvement, to ensure social acceptability and equitable access to health services. A set of Best practice guidelines (BPGs) were thus developed through a community-academic partnership (CAP) between the Integrative Medicine for Alternative Healthcare Systems Philippines, Inc. and its affiliated community-managed health programs (CMHPs), the University of the Philippines, and Bicol University. Objective. This study aimed to report the process and insights gained from the crafting of the BPGs. Methods. The BPGs were developed using a community-based participatory research approach and focused on top ten (10) diseases based on local prevalence and experiences of its CMHPs. Results. BPGs were developed for eight (8) communicable diseases (common cold/cough, influenza, measles, pulmonary tuberculosis, acute gastroenteritis, amebiasis, scabies, and intestinal parasitism); and two (2) noncommunicable diseases (diabetes and hypertension), which also provided information on signs and symptoms, initial referral criteria, management, and, where appropriate, specific use of medicinal plants, acupressure, and traditional massage. Emerging issues from this project include how community involvement led to the development of BPGs, the need to update its content, its potential application as a model for costing public health interventions, its anticipated benefits to health workers, the state of local health service delivery, and how the project epitomizes the ideal concept of community-academic partnerships. Conclusion. As a CAP project, this process holds promise as a catalyst for stakeholder engagement and health service delivery improvement. Further studies are necessary to map out other potential challenges and success factors, especially the socio-cultural, political, and health impact of CAPs.








Jaifred (Jim) Lopez


Jaifred Christian Lopez, or Jim, is a doctoral student at the Department of Population Health Sciences, Duke University. He is a clinically trained physician (licensed in the Philippines) with a master’s in public management. He now focuses on health systems research.

He is currently involved in projects related to health systems innovation within the US Veterans Health Administration, and in the global health context (through ongoing collaborations with colleagues based in the Philippines and other countries). He has been published in local and international journals and has been featured in print and mass media in the Philippines and internationally.

At Duke, he is a scholar of the Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement (BioCoRE) program, which aims to promote diversity and inclusion in biomedical and health sciences research. He is a founding member of the board of trustees of the Philippine Society of Public Health Physicians, Inc., founding member of the Young Physician Leaders (YPL) Alumni Steering Committee, which gathers graduates of the InterAcademy Partnership's YPL Programme, and a founding trustee of Tambalista, Inc., which aims to advance nature-based products research in the Philippines through academe-industry partnerships.


Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.