Community Health Workers

At the Johnson & Johnson Center for Health Worker Innovation, we recognize that frontline health workers are the heart of strong community and primary care systems. When the world shifted its attention to health workers amidst COVID-19, the Center was already working with partners around the globe to strengthen community-based health systems by supporting frontline health workers to achieve health for all by 2030.
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Vusumuzi Christopher Mnqayi didn't realize how much of a toll his job as a community health worker in South Africa was taking on his mental health. That is, until he received coaching that has transformed the way he copes with the challenges of his crucial front line role.
1 Min Read
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are playing a pivotal role in fighting COVID-19, especially in countries with vulnerable health systems. Beyond the pandemic, CHWs can contribute to advancing universal health coverage, but only if they are set up for success—according to the Community Health Impact Coalition (CHIC) which is working to make professionalized community health workers a norm worldwide.
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At the Johnson & Johnson Center for Health Worker Innovation, we believe that in order to effectively strengthen community health systems, including closing the 18 million health worker shortage, we must prioritize the needs of individual health workers and what they need to thrive on the job.
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John Lazame Tindanbil, Executive Director of MABIA-Ghana, is a recipient of the 2020 Aspen Nurse Innovator Grant in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Foundation. The grant recognizes nurse/midwife innovators for their innovative practices to provide healthcare access to marginalized communities.
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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage throughout Africa and essential health services like immunization campaigns are interrupted, community health workers (CHWs) continue to play a key role in protecting their communities by providing vital and often life-saving care. The demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) has grown substantially and, in many countries, CHWs are not included in the forecasting for PPE. This lack of recognition puts the front line of primary healthcare “last in line” for this essential equipment.
3 Min Read
Community health workers already struggling to address healthcare gaps in the rural village of Bongco in the Iloilo province of central Philippines are facing a serious challenge with the surge in locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases.
1 Min Read
Frontline health workers, including nurses, midwives and community health workers (CHWs), are vital for effective, strong primary healthcare systems that deliver for everyone, everywhere. These cadres of health workers are the first, and in some cases often the only, point of contact with the health system for millions of people. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, nurses stepped up to lead not only at testing sites but in critical care of very ill patients, and community health workers played key roles in contact tracing and testing in many countries around the world.
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Frontline health workers usually have higher than normal levels of stress while providing healthcare in communities. They are facing tremendous stress now in providing care and services, sometimes managing acute cases, through the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF has committed to addressing the mental health and psychosocial needs of frontline health workers across all of their work.
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At the Johnson & Johnson Center for Health Worker Innovation, we believe that sustainable improvements in the delivery of and access to quality primary care require a long-term commitment to enabling and supporting the well-being of the deliverer of care—the frontline health worker.
5 Min Read