How Can Health Systems Engage Communities to Achieve Universal Health Coverage?
Organised by African Population and Health Research Center, as part of the Eastern Africa Health Policy Research Organisation Consortium under the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) Initiative
Community health workers (CHWs) facilitate access to health services and contribute to the attainment of the first pillar of universal health coverage. However, questions on how they can be sustainably integrated into the health system persist. This symposium aims to encourage an evidence-based discourse on this issue to redefine health policymaking and programming. This discussion is timely as the role of communities is amplified not only in addressing health emergencies but also identifying local solutions to health challenges. Further, African countries are exploring a policy approach to recognize CHWs as a cadre in human resources for health. However, they face challenges on how to address recruitment, training, motivation, and supervision of CHWs. Through the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa initiative, researchers are testing innovations that have community components. As a result, they are acquiring new knowledge on how to engage communities in health to achieve universal coverage.