Millions of children and mothers across the world lack access to essential health services.
High costs and long distances to health facilities prevent families in many rural communities from receiving care. Others may face barriers due to conflict or insecurity.
Community health programmes are essential for bringing critical services to the hardest-to-reach children. As trusted members of society, community health workers help families make informed decisions about their health and well-being, and educate them on available services. Community health programmes also provide a critical channel for emergency response teams.
Despite being highly cost-effective, these programmes remain seriously underfunded.
It is estimated that in sub-Saharan Africa alone, the roughly $2 billion needed to strengthen the community health system could generate over $21 billion in economic benefits, mostly from improvements in productivity and reductions in disease.
Without adequate investment, community health workers worldwide cannot receive the training and supplies they need to deliver basic and essential care.