ON THE FRONTLINE: Lessons on health worker empowerment through the COVID-19 pandemic response

Publication Date: 20/04/2022

Around the world,frontline and community health workers serve to connecthealth services, commodities, and informationwiththose who need them. Equippedwith the relevant skills and community trust, theycanstrengthen health systems by bridginggeographic and financial accessibility gaps for rural, hard-to-reach, and vulnerable populations through last-mile health delivery. When integrated into national and local healthcare systems, community health workers can additionally help patients navigate complex systems of care and ensure care continuity across services. Historically during times of health crises, global governments and organizations have often relied on community health workforces as frontline responders to deliver life-saving care to disproportionate l y affected populations. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic was no exception, with many countries mobilizing their existing community health worker programs or initiating new ones to assist with pandemic response . Leveraging lessons learned through its decades long support and implementation of frontline and community health worker initiatives across 60 countries, CARE developed guidelines for community-level pandemic response and disease prevention during this time. In June 2020, CARE partnered with Abbott to launch a one-year in-depth primary care response to the COVID-19 pandemic