– The creation of an adequately funded, trained and motivated community health care workforce is urgently needed to help African countries deal with a growing burden of disease, a senior official with the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. of Diseases (Africa CDC).
Herilinda Temba, an Africa CDC medical epidemiologist, speaking at a regional workshop held in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa, emphasized that investments in a strong community health care system will improve the continent’s ability to predict, diagnose and treat disease.
Temba said that recruiting additional community health workers will also boost Africa’s post-pandemic recovery, noting that community health workers have been key players in raising awareness about infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, as well as helping patients. to adhere to the medication in the long term.
According to Temba, Africa’s fight against COVID-19 received a much-needed boost thanks to the active involvement of community health workers in contact tracing, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
He noted that policy, funding and capacity gaps had derailed the integration of community health workers into national disease management programs across the sub-Saharan African region. Temba urged governments to take advantage of digital tools, innovative financing, collaborative research and training to strengthen community health systems.
Leading policymakers, funders and researchers will attend the five-day forum in Mombasa to discuss innovative ways to promote community health systems in Africa in light of the growing burden of disease.
Salim Hussein, head of Community Health Services at the Kenyan Ministry of Health, said the government has increased investments in grassroots health systems as part of efforts to adequately prepare for future disease outbreaks.
According to Hussein, grassroots health workers are receiving the right facilitation to help them reach underserved communities in rural areas and urban slums. ■