Global Health Council, Inc.

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Meeting: 
Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Community health workers delivering primary health care: opportunities and challenges
Statement: 

Global Health Council supported by Living Goods, Pathfinder, Management Sciences for Health and the Community Health Impact Coalition notes the following:

Randomized trials indicate that community health programs are effective in the delivery of a range of preventive, promotional, and curative health care services, that they can improve access to care and ultimately lower morbidity and mortality. Community platforms and a strong, digitally-empowered health workforce are essential elements to deliver comprehensive, patient-centered, quality health services to all.

We are proud partners to governments to help introduce, improve, and/or formalize community health policies as part of national health systems. We encourage national public policies to prioritize quality community health delivery in building stronger health systems for UHC.

We are encouraged by the language around formal certification in the resolution and look forward to the day when community health workers are a fully accredited health worker cadre in all member states, and, like any accredited cadre, are paid a living wage, required to meet a minimum standard before carrying out their work, regularly stocked from the national supply
chain, and linked to health worker teams and facilities.

In relation to the minimum education levels noted in the resolution, we emphasize that the WHO Guideline itself notes that a “requirement for relatively higher levels of education may restrict excessively the pool of potential candidates and risks excluding women in particular.” We urge Member States to test for competencies during selection rather than employing strict education
attainment requirements.

We believe that only by prioritizing quality community health delivery in building stronger health systems for UHC, can the global community ensure we Leave No One Behind. We affirm our commitment to working together with Member States to do so.