May 24, 2019: Living Goods applauds the historic approval of the Community Health Worker Guidelines at the World Health Assembly, which were just passed as part of a resolution acknowledging the critical contributions community health workers (CHWs) make in enabling the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC), responding to health emergencies, and promoting healthier populations. The resolution, “Community Health Workers Delivering Primary Health Care: Opportunities and Challenges,” calls for countries and partners to utilize the WHO’s CHW Guidelines to optimize CHW programs and to allocate sufficient resources.
“This is a really seminal moment for the community health movement, because it clarifies the best practices and thinking for properly compensating, equipping, training, supervising and evaluating community health workforces, while making clear they are integral for achieving Universal Health Coverage,” said Liz Jarman, Chief Executive Officer of Living Goods. She added, “CHWs are an essential element of the public health system and have to be effectively incorporated into government budgets and operational frameworks.”
As a member of the WHO’s CHW Hub, Living Goods has spent the past year supporting the development, dissemination and implementation the CHW Guidelines. They are the most comprehensive effort ever assisting governments and partners to improve the design, implementation, performance and evaluation of CHW programs. Living Goods believes the adoption of the resolution is an important first step and looks forward to partnering with governments and implementers to share the guidelines through the CHW Hub and the Communities at the Heart of the UHC Campaign.
Living Goods is leading the campaign in partnership with Amref Health Africa, Aspen Management Partnership for Health, Financing Alliance for Health, the International Rescue Committee, and Last Mile Health. Through targeted advocacy efforts, this global campaign aims to generate political will and commitment to ensure that government-owned, high-quality, financially sustainable, and well-integrated community health programs are included in national UHC strategies.
The campaign aims to support and encourage national governments to include community-based primary healthcare updates in the country reports they will deliver at the 2019 UN High-Level Meeting on UHC. Living Goods is working with countries to highlight visions for community health that tie into broader health systems, frameworks that measure access to life-saving care for women and children, and plans for equity to ensure that community health is affordable and accessible to all.