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BMJ provides crucial knowledge to improve care in remote areas.

BMJ provides crucial knowledge to improve care in remote areas.

Since 2007, PACK has been scaled up to reach 20,000 health workers across 2,000 government healthcare facilities in South Africa.

BMJ supports the global expansion of the Practical Approach to Care Kit (PACK) programme to improve patient outcomes.

Primary health care is key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, but a lack of skilled health workers makes this difficult, especially in developing countries. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates a shortage of 4.3 million health workers worldwide.

BMJ has partnered with the University of Cape Town Lung Institute's Knowledge Translation Unit (UCTLI KTU), to develop and distribute the Practical Approach to Care Kit (PACK) programme to health workers in low to middle income countries.

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The PACK programme is a comprehensive clinical practice aid that enables healthcare practitioners to diagnose and manage common conditions. It covers 40 common symptoms and 20 conditions including cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, women’s health, and end-of-life care. 

PACK is updated annually to comply with local clinical policy, regulations and essential drug lists, and is translated where necessary. It incorporates regular evidence updates from BMJ and other credible sources including WHO, to ensure that it is relevant and provides the latest best practice guidance.


In this video, founding head of the Knowledge Translation Unit in South Africa, Professor Lara Fairall, explains how she has leveraged BMJ Best Practice and WHO content to keep the PACK workbook updated to support medical staff working in remote areas of South Africa.

BMJ is now promoting the global expansion of PACK, in partnership with KTU and other stakeholders including governments, universities and NGOs. The intention is to train and support doctors, nurses and pharmacists to improve primary care services in under-resourced regions.

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The BMJ

The Practical Approach to Care Kit (PACK) is a clinical decision support programme guides primary healthcare clinicians through the diagnosis and management process of more than 500 common symptoms and conditions, including:

  • Cardiovascular and respiratory disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • HIV and AIDS and other infectious diseases
  • Skin disorders
  • Women’s health
  • Mental health
  • End-of-life care. 

This four pillar training programme improves primary health care in low and middle income countries. It works most effectively by partnering with governments, universities and NGOs to partner with us. Provide PACK to your clinicians working in remote areas today by contacting Dr. Tracy Eastman.

Dr Tracy Eastman, KTU Director of PACK Global Development and Delivery
Tel: +44 (0) 208 872 6323
Email: teastman@bmj.com