GHC statement on primary health care at the 73rd World Health Assembly

November 09, 2020

Global Health Council was unable to submit statements on all (or some) official agenda items.

Global Health Council, in collaboration with The Hunger Project, VillageReach, and Partners in Health notes that:

COVID-19 demonstrates that Universal Health Coverage in every community must be the top priority. Increased investment in all seven Global Action Plan accelerators must focus on community health systems so that tests and vaccinations can succeed.

  • Sustainable financing requires a fair share of public budgets for delivery of health services and products at the tier of governance closest to the people.
  • Community Health Centers (CHC) must be accessible (within 5km) and free to all, particularly in low-income rural communities. Every CHC must have access to clean water, sanitation,internet access, and well-trained healthcare workers.
  • Community Health Workers (CHWs),particularly women, are critical to maintaining essential services and responding to the pandemic, ensuring every person is reached to halt misinformation, stigma, and to prevent gender-based violence. CHCs must institutionalize links with community associations, particularly women’s groups. 
  • Integrated centers to support determinants of health. CHCs can be the anchor for one-stop access to all public services and education on health and nutrition. Health ministries should require Citizen Charters and mandatory social accountability mechanisms to ensure quality.
  • Research & Development, innovation and access. Greater investment must be made to ensure CHWs have adequate personal protective equipment and fair compensation to support their role in deployment of testing and vaccines. 
  • Data and digital health. All CHWs should have access to remote continuing education and two-way communication at all times. 

Innovative programming in fragile and vulnerable states. The pandemic spotlights community resilience and the value of online platforms and connectivity to enable CHWs to network, access innovations, and share best practices even when higher tiers of government are disrupted.