In 2019, the Political Declaration for Universal Health Coverage was unanimously adopted by member states at the UN General Assembly. Member states committed to the scale-up of competent, skilled, and motivated health workers, including community health workers. We have the opportunity to leverage this historic window of support and interest in community health and ensure the declaration is translated into transparent funding commitments.
In order to achieve full potential, these programs must be country-owned, sustainably financed, and incorporated into national health strategies. To be effective, community health programs cannot be treated as stand-alone or vertical programs; rather, they must be integrated into the national PHC system. These programs should also be included in national health strategies to increase access and provide services aligned to population needs and locations.
MEASURING COMMUNITY HEALTH
Following the 2018 Primary Health Care Conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, the recent launch of WHO’s community health worker (CHW) guidelines and the upcoming High-Level Meeting on UHC in September 2019, there is a global momentum for community health. Our global workstream works towards ensuring the sustainability of this global momentum by integrating community health as a priority in global UHC strategies and key documents. At the same time, we believe now is the time to translate this global momentum into local change and follow up on commitments made in global spaces around community health
We will work to ensure that community health is a politically and financially supported priority at national levels and incorporated into long-term, government-led strategies. Community health advocates need to leverage public statements made by political leaders to hold them accountable and work together to advocate for public disclosures of health expenditures. Our long-term objectives for the campaign at the country level will begin with collecting baseline information on the status of community health across domains . We will develop country-specific long-term objectives for each target country.