The Ibarapa Community and Primary Health Care Programme was established in February 1963 to provide a learning setting and experience which would make medical and health science training at the University of Ibadan relevant to the needs and realities of Africa. At that time, it was the first of what has now become known as community-based and community-oriented medical education and health services. The Programme began and has remained a joint venture of the University of Ibadan (College of Medicine), the Oyo State Ministry of Health (formerly Western Region), the University College Hospital (UCH), the Local Governments in Ibarapa Division (Ibarapa East, Central and North) and, of course, the community. These stakeholders provide the members of the Management Board of the Programme chaired by the Provost of College of Medicine. Initially, funding to establish the 43.605 hectares base campus came from the Rockfeller Foundation. The land was donated by the community around an existing State Government Health Care Centre which became the hub of operations. The mini campus, located in Igbo-ora, the largest of Ibarapa's seven towns and several villages and hamlets, is situated approximately 85 kilometres from Ibadan, the state capital.
Since its inception, Ibarapa has hosted 203 community health postings (rotations) of medical students (each of 6-8 weeks duration) from the University of Ibadan as of February 2016. Dental students of the University commenced an annual posting in Ibarapa in 2007. Masters and Diploma students from the African Regional Health Education Centre at the Department of Health Promotion and Education were regularly posted to Ibarapa for 3 months internship between 1978 and 2000. Community health officers in training at the University College Hospital have completed about 23 annual postings. Nursing students from UCH were posted regularly to Ibarapa during most of the 1970s. The UCH Schools of Midwifery and Peri-operative Nursing have been sending their students annually since 1987 and 2006 respectively. The School of Hygiene, Eleyele has used the place for training and field experience of its community health extension workers since 1993. Elective students from America, Europe, Canada, the Netherlands, Britain, Finland and other parts of the World come regularly to Ibarapa for experience in community health and tropical medicine.
The Director and Coordinator of Studies of the Programme, resident doctors, environmental health specialists and health visitors assisted by visiting consultants and resident medical staff of the College of Medicine, University College Hospital and other research workers drawn from several departments in the College are responsible for teaching and supervision of the students. The programme is overseen by the office of the Provost through the Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences. Currently, plans are on ground to revise the programme so as to bring it up to date with where community-based and community-oriented medical education and health services are today as well as to regain the leading position thereof as it was in the beginning.
Virtually all the faculties and departments in the University of Ibadan are now being involved in this, beginning with the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, with all the departments there.