The Department of Community health and Primary Care was created in August 2008 with the merger of the former Department of Community Health and the Academic component of the former Institute of Child health and primary care.

Courses offered by the Department start in the first year of the Medical School curriculum and run throughout the whole Curriculum. Students are taught the principles and applications of Medical Sociology, Medical Statistics, Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health, Principles and practice of primary health care and General medical practice, Maternal and child health, Health management planning and development.  The Department has now integrated the use of Information Technology (IT) in Medicine and Medical Research into its curriculum. In addition, each student must carry out and report on a community health project before they can graduate from the College of Medicine.
In all these activities, the objectives of the Department remain to facilitate the achievement of the main goal of the College which is to produce doctors of high quality in numbers required to meet the health care delivery system.

The focus of the teaching programmes in the Department is to i. portray man as an integral part of the environment – biological, physical and social.
ii. demonstrate to the students, through their involvement in community health practice, that adapting man to his environment, and his environment, and his environment to man, can be carried out to benefit the health of the individual and the community.

The department encourages inter-departmental teaching as a strategy for presenting man as an integral part of his total environment. The department thus supports and promotes collaboration with other departments such as Medicinal Microbiology & Parasitology, Paediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The department provides postgraduate training in form of a Master of Public Health Degree (MPH) programme as well as a Master of Science in Public Health programme. The MPH programme is a full time course which extends over a period of twelve months and prepares Doctors for leadership positions in the public and private sectors of the health system.

The Master of Science in Public health (MSc Public health) is offered in four options; Epidemiology, Health Management, General Public health and Medical Statistics. The MSc Public health programme is run part time as well as full time and is open to all graduates with a first degree in Physical and natural sciences. In collaboration with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, the Department supports a Residency Training programme in Public Health which leads to the award of the Fellowship of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria. As at today, well over 50% of all Fellows of the National College in Public Health were trained in the Department. Most of the remaining Fellows of the College (i.e. those who became Fellows through examination) must have attended one short course or the other at the Department. The Department has achieved for itself a reputation in postgraduate medical education.

Academic members of staff serve as Honorary Consultants to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and thus provide expert clinical and community based services. Members also serve on various technical committees at Federal, State and Local level in support of the Country’s health system.

Research activities in the Department cover areas in health system development, health management, primary health care, epidemiology, population dynamics, sociology, occupational and environmental health, maternal and child health and family medicine. In addition, the Departmental Library now stocks current journals and electronic data bases in different areas of Public Health to promote academic excellence.