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Nonprofit Launches $100 Million Plan to Support Local Health Workers

A new philanthropic project will invest $100 million in 10 countries (mainly in Africa) by 2030 to provide critical access to treatment for people with limited access to healthcare. We aim to help 200,000 community health workers build bridges. Care.

The Skoll Foundation and the Johnson & The Johnson Foundation announced Monday that it has donated a total of $25 million to the initiative. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which oversees the project, made a matching donation, and he hopes to raise another $50 million.

This investment aims to empower frontline workers, who experts say are vital to fighting her COVID-19, Ebola and HIV outbreaks.

"What I Learned About Community Health Workers." Professor Francisca Mutapi of the University of Edinburgh helped lead a multi-year project to treat neglected tropical diseases in several African countries. "They are very popular. They are very effective. They are very cost effective."

During a recent visit to Zimbabwe for research, Mutapi said: , described how community health workers negotiated treatment for parasitic infections in young children who were members of religious groups that did not accept clinical medicine.

"As she went to the river to go about her daily chores, she noticed that one of her local children was complaining of a stomachache," Mutapi said. Told.

The woman contacted her child's grandmother and asked permission to take her child to the clinic. The clinic diagnosed the child with bilharzia and started treatment. Without the intervention of women, it would not have happened, according to Mutapi. said there was evidence that they could effectively provide low-cost care.

The current numbers of these workers are not well documented, but in 2017 the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 2 million people on the continent would be needed to meet health targets. presumed necessary. Many of these workers are women, but the Global Fund advocates giving them some form of salary.

, an international fundraiser aimed at eradicating treatable infectious diseases. To that re-country he will provide a three-year general grant and deploy these new charitable contributions through the Catalyst Fund to facilitate spending on some of the best practices and program designs.

Last Mile Health, part of the Africa Frontiers Health Initiative, has been working with the Liberian government to expand and strengthen community health programs since 2016.

In the early months of COVID-19, in preparation for the 19 pandemic, former Liberia President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said the last mile to tackle the response. • Convened health and other organizations.

"We were all watching a moment of déjà vu that reminded us of years ago when Liberia was hit by this tragic Ebola outbreak." Like us, the tide turned when we turned to communities.”

Along with other organizations dedicated to public health funding, research and policy, they We set out to design initiatives to expand community health programs and take advantage of the attention the pandemic brought to the need for disease surveillance. The

Catalytic Fund is the result. “I think the pandemic has shed light on the critical role of these health care workers,” said Lauren Moore, Johnson's Global His Community His President of Impact .

Don Gibbs, CEO of the Skoll Foundation, emphasized that these workers can also provide early warnings that benefit people wherever they are.

Last Mile Health received a significant donation from the Skoll Foundation in 2017 and a significant donation from the Audacious Project. Raj Panjabi, co-founder of TED and another of his funding bodies, Co-Impact, now works for the Biden administration.

"What philanthropy has found about Last Mile Health is that by actively managing community health worker programs, they have not only taken direct action on this issue, Our innovations are being adopted on a large scale into national policy,” said James Nardella, the organization's chief program officer.

SUNY's Fox and other experts say that linking the work of local health workers to the national health system is a priority, and that securing sustainable funding for that program is a priority. said to be a priority.

The Global Fund said it would support countries in their proposed expansion plans for community health care workers over the next year.

Chen acknowledged that there is no silver bullet to sustainability issues.

"Part of the work an organization like Last Mile Health has to do is sit in that discomfort and wrestle with partners and donors until they slowly squeeze out a solution here. That's it," he said Chen.

Mutapi said that ultimately the government would have to fund the program itself, and that his experience with health workers in regions such as Zimbabwe and Liberia could help people in other settings as well.

"In fact, because we lived on the inaccessible Scottish islands," she said. And local communities are very important for compliance and access. ''