Laura Nel

Director, Global Community Impact
Laura leads the Company’s social impact strategy in sub-Sahara Africa working closely with her colleagues in the EMEA region who are responsible for supporting and championing the people on the front lines who are at the heart of delivering care. She is driven by the belief that together we can create a world where thriving nurses, midwives and community health workers provide the world’s most vulnerable people with the quality care they need to live full, healthy lives. In her 29+ year Johnson & Johnson tenure, Laura has held leadership roles in several functional areas across different commercial sectors and multiple geographies.
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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
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.
5 Min Read
The COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted front line health workers into the limelight. Across the globe, healthcare leaders, advocates and the general public are joining in well-deserved outpourings of gratitude from balconies to social media. While this appreciation for all of those at the front lines of care is welcome and important, the attention received by community health workers in particular may help ensure more stakeholders throughout health systems understand this cadre’s vital role in ensuring access to quality, community-based primary health care.
3 Min Read