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AMREF, AU launch Workers not Volunteers campaign

Amref Health Africa Group chief executive officer Githinji Gitahi

DOREEN NAWA, Nairobi
AMREF Health Africa and the African Union (AU) and other partners have launched a campaign aimed at making community health workers (CHW) available to everyone everywhere in Africa.
The campaign called Workers not Volunteers Campaign was launched on Tuesday at the ongoing Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC) 2017 meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
The campaign was initiated to acknowledge that community health workers close the gap between communities and the formal health system in the continent.
Speaking at the launch, Amref Health Africa Group chief executive officer Githinji Gitahi said the community health workers have an important role in health promotion, disease prevention and referral of community members to the formal health system.
Dr Gitahi said achieving global health security is only possible if communities in Africa are able to take charge of their health needs, including community-based disease surveillance, early disease detection, referral and treatment.
“Community health workers are the backbone of a competent community health system. A functional community health system is key to achieving universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) health goals,” Dr Gitahi said.
And World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said many countries in Africa have trained and continued to train CHWs but are unable to retain them in service.
And AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko said the goal of the campaign is that by 2022, CHWs will be adequately remunerated and recognised as part of the national health workforce by African governments.

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