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COVID-19: Why Communities Should be the Focus to Reduce the Impact in Africa

September 23, 2020 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm EDT

Organized by Chestrad Global, Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for UHC2030, Communities at the Heart of UHC, Last Mile Health, Living Goods, Pathfinder International

COVID-19: Why Communities Should be the Focus to Reduce the Impact in Africa

September 23, 2020


In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic once again brought to the fore the global need for to support and invest in strong and resilient health systems. While some governments have strongly responded to the pandemic with a systems-based approach, other governments realized that their lack of long term investments in their health system – especially at the community level – have made effective COVID response an uphill battle. Without strong fundamental health systems, countries are struggling to both respond to the pandemic and continue to provide essential health services resulting in reversals of gains made in anti-natal care, maternal health interventions and basic immunizations. Adding to these challenges, misinformation about COVID-19 and stigma against health workers are growing across lower- and middle-income countries. Even if there is a vaccine for COVID-19 in the near future, communities must overcome their distrust of government, widespread misinformation, and concerns of health workers to even consider this option.

Investments in community health especially beyond the facilities and formal and informal community engagement are key to respond to COVID now, minimize forthcoming negative health impact due to the disruption of services, and set-up countries for success, including achieving UHC, in the future. Governments at all levels, civil society groups, donors, grassroots organizations, and foreign assistance programs must work together to ensure that COVID-19 only slightly bends the health systems in low- and middle-income countries rather than break them. So how do we do it?

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September 23, 2020
10:30 am - 12:00 pm EDT
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Communities at the Heart of UHC
Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for UHC2030
Last Mile Health
Living Goods
Pathfinder International