Resolution on Community Health Workers to be considered at the upcoming World Health Assembly
28 January 2019, Geneva - Achieving progress on universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goal health targets requires a strong primary health care sector as the cornerstone of health systems. The World Health Organization Executive Board, convening in Geneva from 24 January to 1 February, has taken an important step in supporting and recognizing the importance of community health workers (CHWs), as part of a diverse and sustainable health workforce skills mix.
“Promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative services and palliative care must be accessible to all - We can no longer underemphasize the crucial importance of health promotion and disease prevention, nor tolerate fragmented, unsafe or poor-quality care. We must address the shortage and uneven distribution of health workers.”
Declaration of Astana
The Executive Board adopted a resolution introduced by the Governments of Ethiopia and Ecuador, entitled “Community health workers delivering primary health care: opportunities and challenges”. The document, which builds on both countries’ experience and the Declaration of Astana, underscores the value of community health workers as a vital health system component in providing primary health care services.
The resolution, which will be considered at the World Health Assembly in May 2019, takes note of the newly-launched WHO Guideline on health policy and system support to optimize community health worker programmes (CHW Guideline), which consolidates evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of CHWs. The CHW Guideline recommendations relate to opportunities and challenges for the successful education, remuneration, deployment and supervision of community health workers, adapted to national context and health needs. Every day throughout the world, community health workers deliver a range of preventive, promotive and curative health services, in particular to underserved populations and in situations of emergency....
Best wishes, Neil
Coordinator, HIFA Project on Community Health Workers
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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG firstname.lastname@example.org