The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on Wednesday renewed calls for the continent to explore innovative financing towards community-based healthcare systems in order to boost response to infectious diseases.
Mohammed Abdulaziz, Head of Division for Disease Control and Prevention at Africa CDC said that a robust and motivated community healthcare workforce was required to hasten post-pandemic recovery in the continent.
“The community health workers played a crucial role in pandemic response and therefore we need to provide them with financing and technical tools in order to strengthen the resilience of our public health systems,” said Abdulaziz.
He told a virtual forum organized by Africa CDC and partners that integrating community health volunteers into the broader healthcare systems in the continent would revolutionize disease prevention, treatment and management.
Abdulaziz added that many African countries had domesticated global best practices to help raise the visibility of community health workers as the continent grappled with a growing burden of infectious and lifestyle diseases.
He said that empowering community health workers and integrating them in national and regional disease response strategies featured at the inaugural conference on public health in Africa held virtually in December 2021.
On her part, Herilinda Temba, an epidemiologist with Africa CDC said that harmonizing training for community health workers, providing them with medical insurance and sustainable remuneration would boost action on disease outbreaks in the continent.
Temba emphasized that community health volunteers were key to reducing maternal and infant deaths in Africa besides promoting hygiene and immunization to prevent transmission of vector-borne diseases.
She called on African governments to leverage domestic financing, experience and knowledge sharing in order to establish a robust and resilient community healthcare workforce. Enditem