Coronavirus (887) CHWs and COVID-19 (3) CHWs and COVID-19 in Brazil

7 August, 2020

Our thanks to Chia Benard Ful (Cameroon) and any other HIFA members who are helping us to identify literature on the role of CHWs in COVID-19. Tomorrow's print copy of The Lancet has a Comment on CHWs and COVID-19 in Brazil.

CITATION: Comment| volume 396, issue 10248, p365-366, august 08, 2020

Community health workers reveal COVID-19 disaster in Brazil

Gabriela Lotta, Clare Wenham, João Nunes, Denise Nacif Pimenta

Published: July 10, 2020 DOI:


'Brazil has become one of the epicentres of the COVID-19 pandemic. The failure of President Jair Bolsonaro and his administration to recognise the severity of the pandemic1 is being compounded by the neglect of Brazil's community health workers (CHWs). In Brazil, there have been no nationwide guidelines for primary health care services in the COVID-19 response. Since CHWs in Brazil are not considered to be health professionals, only an estimated 9% have received infection control training and personal protective equipment (PPE).2 Unions estimate that at least 50 CHWs have died as a result of COVID-19.3 The number is likely to be vastly underestimated, since deaths of CHWs are not registered in Brazil's official statistics of health-care worker mortality.3 Moreover, CHWs have faced threats and aggression in some territories where they work.3 We call on the Brazilian Government and the global health community to recognise and support the role of CHWs in the COVID-19 response and to ensure their health and safety...'

'Despite CHWs' position within communities, they have not been provided with clear guidance about their role in the COVID-19 response...'

'The reactions of Bolsonaro's Government to COVID-19 have ranged from denialism, peddling of unproven therapies, and attacks on his political opponents and the WHO... The present position of CHWs shows the full extent of the public health disaster in Brazil.'

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, WHO-HIFA Collaboration: Empowering Community Health Workers (CHWs) to accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage

HIFA Project on Community Health Workers

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare In

formation For All - ), a global community with almost 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese). Twitter: @hifa_org FB: