The UP Department of Family Medicine has developed the UP COPC Research Unit as part of the Community Oriented Primary Care project (COPC). In the UP COPC Research Unit, a range of research projects are done. All the research projects form part of the development and implementation of COPC through the Ward Based Outreach Teams (WBOTs). 

To be the leading Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) research, learning and service innovators.

Mission (Purpose): 
The mission of the UP COPC Research Unit is to explore and innovate the practices and processes of doing information and communication technology (ICT) enabled community-oriented primary care. The research activities within the unit will focus on innovative and sustainable contributions to reengineering primary health care in order to change health outcomes for ordinary people in a meaningful way and to significantly contribute to health care capacity development within and beyond the COPC project sites.
Statement of Aims (Aims and Objectives):
The aim is to create multi-disciplinary inter-professional research, learning and service collaboration in order to explore and develop:
1. COPC as a concept and an approach
2. The social and economic implications of COPC as an implementation model
3. A capability approach to workplace learning 
4. The implementation and impact of COPC 
5. The role of ICT in COPC

Education & Research Platform to support Primary Health Care:
The COPC research environment is an academic platform that has been developed to support the national government’s re-engineering of primary health care initiative. Health and social care are always concrete and specific to particular contexts. Historically, hospitals and clinics provide an institutional academic platform for doctor, clinical associate and nursing education, training and research. Similarly, we propose that community-based health care provides the academic platform for service providers from community health workers through the multiple layers of health care professionals.

Like its institution-based counterpart, a COPC academic platform built on community health teams will provide the scaffolding that is needed for service providers to deliver the best possible primary health care based on the best possible education and research.

- Author Ronald Mosweu

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