James Militzer

Game Changer?: The campaign to train one million African health workers – Part 2

With the 2015 deadline fast approaching, the UN’s Millenium Development Goals seem out of reach in much of the developing world.

Enter the One Million Community Health Workers campaign, which is making an ambitious push to achieve the health-related MDGs in one of the world’s poorest regions. To that end, it aims to train, equip and deploy one million health care workers in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2015, reaching millions of underserved people.

The campaign will bring together NGOs, aid organizations, UN agencies, corporate partners and African governments. It plans to dramatically scale up existing public and non-governmental community health worker programs by financing and training new health workers, each of whom would serve an average of 650 rural inhabitants. In addition to providing basic treatment and preventive care, these workers will keep track of disease outbreaks and overall public health, and link patients to the broader health care system of doctors, nurses, hospitals and clinics.

I spoke with Dr. Prabhjot Singh, Co-Chair of the One Million Community Health Workers Campaign, about the initiative’s political and financial support, and about the business opportunities it could spark. You can view some highlights of the second part of our discussion below, view highlights of the first part here, or check out the full interview here.

Question 6: “How will the steering committee comprised of African leaders support the campaign, and is there a risk that this political support will not last?”

Question 7: “How much money will be needed to achieve the campaign’s goals, and where will the funds come from?”

Question 8: “What role do you see social enterprise playing in the development of BoP health care systems?”

Question 9: “Do you think this campaign could spark business opportunities in the countries affected?”

Question 10: “If the campaign brings results in Africa, do you envision this approach being applied in other countries?”

Health Care, Technology
public health