UNGA78 kicks off with a spotlight on community health workers.

“Investing in #CHWs can’t wait; it’s NOW!” exclaimed Bupe Sinkala, a dedicated Community Health Worker from mothers2mothers (M2M), during the opening #UNGA78 Community Health Impact Coalition (CHIC) session titled “From Words to Action: Winning the Budget Line for Professional Community Health Workers.”

Bupe emphasized that female #CHWs deserve fair compensation for their invaluable contributions to their communities. The session opened with remarks by CHIC members Liz Jarman, CEO of Living Goods, and Julius Mbeya, Co-CEO of Lwala Community Alliance, showcased the significance of radical collaboration.

L-RJohn Fairhurst, Global Fund, Liz Jarman, CEO Living Goods, Julius Mbeya, Co-CEO Lwala Community Alliance, Bupe Sinkala, Mothers2Mothers, David Walton PMI/USAID, Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, MoH, Malawi, Dr Madeleine Ballard, CHIC

Living Goods, with its mission to unite governments, funders, implementing partners, and communities, believes that collective dedication drives progress and innovation in addressing monumental challenges. Liz expressed, “Radical collaboration is a core principle of the Community Health Impact Coalition, and I believe it’s a key factor in our success in making professional #communityhealth workers the norm.”

To achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030, the focus must be on ensuring fair compensation, safe working conditions, training, and equipment for all health workers, with a special emphasis on the 70% who are women. Africa currently grapples with a severe health worker shortage.

#UNGA78 leaders were urged to prioritize, invest in, and integrate professional CHWs (proCHWs) into health systems as a vital step toward achieving UHC. The aim is to establish salaried, skilled, supervised, and well-equipped CHWs as the global standard, with a sense of urgency to provide basic healthcare access to nearly half a billion people in Africa who still lack it.

Key solutions proposed for ensuring legal recognition and protection of #CHWs include evidence-based policy changes, active involvement of CHWs in research, long-term sustainable funding mechanisms, and fostering international partnerships. Let’s turn these words into action for the benefit of communities worldwide.

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