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Unveiling the Future: A Preview of the Upcoming UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage in September

The global stage is set for an event of immense significance as the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (HLM-UHC), scheduled for late September, promises to bring together world leaders, experts, and activists to commit to an actionable agenda for achieving health for all.  As we approach the UN HLM-UHC, we join the Communities at the Heart of UHC campaign to call on world leaders to recommit to achieving UHC through investing in strong community health systems that are integrated into national health systems, financially sustainable and rooted in quality. 


Robust community health systems are an important vehicle to achieving UHC by ensuring all hard-to-reach communities have access to affordable and quality primary health services. These systems focus on delivering primary healthcare services and preventive interventions to communities directly, addressing their unique health needs and challenges. Research indicates that 90% of all health needs can be met at the primary care level and it is well documented that community health workers (CHWs) can deliver better maternal, child, reproductive and adult health outcomes when properly integrated into the system and supported by evidence-based best practices. When community health workers are well resourced, trained, equipped, and renumerated, they will greatly improve service delivery and health outcomes at low cost. Investing in the community health workforce connects last mile communities to the health system, expanding primary health care services as the cornerstone of responsive and resilient health systems.












From basic medical check-ups to increasing vaccine coverage, CHWs deliver crucial primary healthcare services, acting as the first line of defense against health issues. Women are almost 70% of the global health and social workforce. However we cannot talk about CHWs without acknowledging that the majority of CHWs are women, that is why it is important that country governments implement recruitment, training, and employment policies, and practices that accommodate, and encourage women CHWs. The impact of CHWs goes beyond medical care. They build relationships based on trust and familiarity, overcoming language barriers, customs, and apprehensions. This trust forms the foundation upon which they provide not only medical aid but also support and guidance, creating an environment where individuals feel comfortable seeking help and advice. Susan Magulu, a CHW in Uganda, says “I deliver universal health coverage by educating people in my community about health issues and assisting and referring them to health centers.”

Strong community health systems are the building blocks of achieving UHC. By emphasizing preventive care, cultural sensitivity, and local accessibility, these systems pave the way for equitable healthcare services. As we work toward a future where quality healthcare is a universal right, we hope world leaders at UNGA  acknowledge that investing in community health systems is a powerful strategy to ensure that no one is left behind in the journey toward better health and well-being. The upcoming UN HLM-UHC is an important moment for ourselves, our partners, and our government allies. Our country and government partners' engagement in the processes leading up to the UN HLM-UHC will be critical to ensuring professional CHWs remain at the forefront of the UHC agenda. We call on our government partners and allies to commit to the highest level of political participation at UN HLM-UHC in September and ensure strong commitment to bolstering community health systems is included in the resulting political declaration on UHC. Join us in calling upon our governments to prioritize the growth of community health systems for the growth of primary care programs, and guarantee fair compensation for frontline healthcare workers to create a healthier, more secure future for all. 











“There is a high need to digitalize the CHWs’ work. An example of E-Heza that I have been using since 2020, mothers get an idea of what actions to take and not to take depending on the content of the pregnancy report generated by the tool. A mother used to forget the information I shared with her but now, with E-HEZA through the pregnancy progress report, she can access this information every day until the next visit. Once she looks at it, she remembers what I told her, and she easily adopts these good practices as the baby grows”. 

Marie Louise NYIRANSABIMANA, A Community Health Worker in Gataba village, Rwanda.






“To achieve universal health coverage, governments must build more health infrastructure and reinforce the staff at existing and new health centers to support them in caring for rapidly-growing communities, especially in zones where there is insecurity.”


Hawa Logue is a Muso-supported Community Health Worker Advocate working in Bankass, Mali.

Authored by: Lindsey Brown, Global Advocacy Fellow, Living Goods

With support from:

Godfrey Philimon, People's Health Movement, Tanzania

Maziko Matemba, Community Health Ambassador, Malawi

Edirin Aderemi, Regional Advocacy Manager, Pathfinder International

Dr. Diana Nsubuga, Africa Regional Director, TIP Global Health

Nana Mariam Maiga, Communications Manager, Muso Health

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