Christopher is a vital link in his community. As a community health worker in Liberia – where there is just one skilled health worker for every 1,500 people – communities rely on people like Christopher for essential healthcare.
Every day, Christopher heads out to visit people in remote villages. He provides education on preventing common illnesses like diarrhoea and malaria – among the biggest killers of young children in countries like Liberia – as well as the underlying causes, such as malnutrition.
We use these funds to support three non-governmental organisations (NGOs) – Amref Health Africa, CARE International and Save the Children – who have so far helped to train 40,000 frontline health workers, reaching 11 million people. Together, we currently run programmes in 54 countries from Liberia to Tanzania, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Our reinvestment programme focuses on training frontline health workers who are most critical to child and mother survival. This includes community health workers, midwives, nurses and doctors, who act as the first point of contact in remote areas – where the nearest health facility could be hours or even days away.
We are also educating and supporting communities to take greater ownership for managing health; advocating for improved human resources for health at the community, regional, national and global level; and using technology such as mobile phones to support training and connectivity between health workers and public health systems. At every step of the way, we make sure our programmes are in line with a government’s health care goals and the needs of a particular community.
Each of the health workers trained by the three NGOs – like Christopher, trained with the support of GSK and Save the Children – have extraordinary tales to tell of providing vital healthcare services in communities that need them.
Seeing the difference these frontline health workers make has inspired us to go further. Our commitment to health worker training will now be expanded to include low- and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We are partnering with charities to help train an additional 10,000 community healthcare workers across Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria. This is designed to address the health inequalities that exist even in fast-growing countries.
By supporting those health workers on the frontline, by drawing on the expertise of NGOs operating at the grassroots, together we can build sustainable healthcare systems – and help make sure that no matter how remote or poor a community, it has access to a health worker like Christopher.
Image source: Martin Webb/Save the Children
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Behind the science
Behind the science
In partnership with The King’s Fund, we’ve helped more than 300 UK healthcare charities, through the annual GSK IMPACT Awards.