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Adequately Supporting Health Workers Through and Beyond COVID-19

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MedPoint Medical Clinic Mwiki, Kenya.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put frontline healthcare workers—the heart of every health system—in the spotlight. As part of Devex’s flagship digital event, “On the Frontlines: Empowering Global Health Workers in the Era of COVID-19”, on July 21, Anthony Gitau, Director, Sub Saharan Africa for the Johnson & Johnson Center for Health Worker Innovation sat down with Raj Kumar, CEO and Editor-In-Chief of Devex, to discuss why it is important to use this momentum to accelerate and enhance long-term supports for frontline health workers.

Gitau, who leads the Center’s engagement with the Community Health Units for Universal Health Coverage (CHU4UHC) program in Kenya in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, stressed that our clear reliance on health workers contrasts with the lack of sufficient resources to help them thrive. For example, nurses are not being compensated for their additional responsibilities during the pandemic and universal standards do not exist to compensate community health workers for their work.

He discussed the idea of a scorecard that the WHO and other global health leaders could use to evaluate how countries are supporting and compensating health workers. “If you’re serious about UHC, you must commit to supporting the health workforce,” said Gitau.

Listen to the conversation here:

Anthony Gitau discusses breaking down silos in community health