Strengthening integrated, people-centred health services (resolution WHA69.24 (2016))
World Health Organization // World Health Assembly
Global Health Council, in collaboration with Living Goods, welcome the opportunity to comment on the 2016 WHO Resolution 69.24, Strengthening integrated, people-centred health services. We applaud WHO’s adoption of the framework on integrated, people-centred health services, as this adoption will contribute to sustainable regional and country health systems, and ultimately, to WHO’s larger goal: Universal health coverage (UHC).
Living Goods is a nongovernmental organization that supports community health workers (CHWs) in delivering high-impact, low-cost basic curative and prevention services. We employ CHWs to not only help accurately diagnose childhood illnesses and conduct home visits, but to also act as a formidable bridge between facility and the community, helping connect those in high-risk and hard-to-reach communities with lifesaving tools. Community health (CH) is often a forgotten piece of the primary health system: It is underfunded by countries and donors and absent from national and global health plans. But community health and CHWs drive lasting and systemic impact, ensuring every family has access to quality health care in the communities where they live. CHWs—and CH more broadly—are key drivers in health systems strengthening and are key to achieving UHC, with the capability lower child mortality by 27 percent for less than two dollars a year per person, according to a randomized controlled trial conducted by Living Goods, Yale, MIT, IPA, and J-PAL.
We recommend WHO stress Member State participation in the framework on integrated, people-centred health services. Commitment from Member States to provide additional resources and focus on regional-level health services is essential to strengthening health systems and regional healthcare. We also recommend WHO explicitly include CH and CHWs in its framework, as CHWs are integral to driving progress in primary and people-centred health services, and subsequently important in achieving UHC.