DAVOS, Switzerland — Across sub-Saharan Africa, community health workers using mobile phones and broadband access to sophisticated medical resources are delivering health care to where it is most needed, among the rural poor. A new campaign aims to greatly expand that effort by training, equipping and deploying one million health care workers by the end of 2015, reaching millions of underserved people.
At the World Economic Forum today, Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez joined Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs in announcing the campaign, which will be overseen by a steering committee at the Earth Institute and will be run through the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (www.undsdsn.org) as part of its Solutions Initiative. The effort is also supported by the UN MDG Advocates and the UN Broadband Commission, both of which are co-chaired by President Kagame.
“As President of Rwanda and Co-chair of the Millennium Development Goals Advocates Group and the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development, I wholeheartedly endorse the ‘One Million Community Health Worker Campaign’ to scale up community health workers throughout Africa. We have seen in Rwanda the ability of community health workers to improve public health and believe that this initiative can serve the cause of public health throughout“ Africa. This campaign will support many ongoing public-private partnerships, United Nations initiatives, and African Union efforts to meet the health Millennium Development Goals.”