2022 was a momentous year with new commitments at national and global stages to strengthen community health, but these must now be followed by action. The Global Fund’s new investment case that points to increased funding for CHWs as an irreplaceable component of effective and resilient health systems, preceded by the launch of the Africa Frontline First Catalytic Fund (AFF-CF), are steps in the right direction. We are proud to be a partner in AFF’s ambitious goal to mobilize significant funds to close the $4 billion annual financing gap for community health in Africa.
At the regional level, we have been a partner to Africa CDC to support African countries to scale and institutionalize CHW programs. We inputted into their Digital Transformation Strategy to ensure representation of digitized community health best practices.
In Uganda, we worked with other partners under the Intelligent Community Health System (iCoHS) project and the Oyam Project—where we piloted implementation of DESC in the public sector—to influence the design, adoption and scaling of the eCHIS, led by the Department of Health Information at the MOH. This system will benefit all CHWs in the country and promote standardization of care at the community level. This work contributed towards the development of the National Community Health Strategy—which incorporates DESC—and the National Health Information and Digital Health Strategy.
In Kenya, we played a big role in rolling out the guidelines permitting community-based management of pneumonia—one of the leading causes of death among children. Other exciting policy wins included the passage of community health legislation in Kisumu and Isiolo counties where we supported consensus building among civil society organizations, provided technical support on the content of the bills, and rendered financial support for consultative forums and learning visits to other counties. Enactment of legislation is a key step for ringfencing resources for community health and is critical in solidifying the role of community health in attaining Universal Health Coverage. Governments and donors must now monetize their commitments to scale effective community health approaches that have the potential to save and improve more lives