In Sub-Saharan Africa people continue to die from treatable illnesses like malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea.
The traditional model for healthcare relies on families finding their way to a doctor or a hospital, but millions of families live in hard-to-reach communities that are often hours, or days, from the nearest clinic. This is why community health workers – paid, professionally trained, members of local communities – are vital for bringing primary health services straight to their neighbours’ doorsteps.
With proper investment and commitment community health workers are equipped with the training, supervision and digital tools needed to extend the reach of the healthcare system to rural and remote communities.
Through the Audacious Project, Virgin Unite have been supporting Last Mile Health and Living Goods as they work to bring quality health care to millions of people in need across East and West Africa. The model is working and community health workers are dramatically reducing mortality rates for pregnant women and their children.
Since 2018, Living Goods and Last Mile Health have deployed over 10 thousand community health workers, reaching more than 6.6 million people. Along with our fellow Audacious Project partners, we’ll continue to work to ensure community health workers are digitally equipped to extend healthcare for all.
As the UN General Assembly continues to take place in New York this week, Virgin Unite want to highlight the work of our incredible partners and amplify the conversation around universal health coverage.
Many governments across Africa are currently rewriting their healthcare plans and the question is – will they do this effectively? Are they going to do what’s needed to support community health work? Will policy makers be as brave as everyday community health workers when it comes to designing the systems to support them?