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article imageCampaign launched for African healthcare workers

By Tim Sandle     Jun 3, 2013 in World
A campaign has been launched to provide training for healthcare providers in sub-Saharan Africa. This is part of UN sustainable development initiative.
The campaign is called the One Million Community Health Workers Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to have one million health workers trained and in place by 2015. This will produce a ratio of 1 health workers per 650 rural inhabitants in Africa. The cost is $3,584 per care worker. The campaign is being run through the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network as part of its Solutions Initiative.
According to Global Health and Diplomacy, the campaign centers on: “In poor, rural settings, the visit of a Community Health Worker (CHW), who is part of a larger healthcare system can be lifesaving. Across Africa and the low income world, governments and NGOs are turning to a new generation of CHWs which are equipped with new technologies, training, and organization.”
The campaign is heralded as a ‘public-private partnership’ several ‘Big Phama’ companies have pledged support, including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The pharmaceutical company will provide $750,000 for the creation of an online Operations Room that will track the scale-up of community health workers and serve as a central database of information for the campaign.
The GSK part of the scheme is designed help to improve the quality and expand the number of community health worker systems to provide national coverage, thus making it easier to provide basic healthcare for millions of impoverished people across the region.
Duncan Learmouth, Senior Vice President, Developing Countries and Market Access, GSK is quoted by GSK as saying: “Trained community health workers are the backbone of the health system in Africa, providing essential services to the poorest communities. We are delighted to support this campaign and to further expand our commitment to improve access to healthcare in Africa. By generating valuable new information about the numbers, capability and quality of community health workers currently working in Africa, we can help support systems to deploy them most effectively and transform healthcare in rural areas.”
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