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m2m Marks World Health Worker Week 2024

World Health Worker Week (1st-7th of April) is a week led by the Frontline Health Workers Coalition (FHWC) and its partners, to bring together advocates, health workers, leaders, and communities around the world to call for greater funding and faster implementation of commitments made to protect and support the health workforce—especially women community health workers. As an FHWC member, mothers2mothers (m2m) is joining in this call to urge policymakers and decision-makers to translate policies and promises into long-term investments in the health workforce and integration in health systems—doing so not only strengthens the health of communities, but also pays other development dividends.

 As an African organisation that has invested in local women leadership for more than two decades, by training and employing women living with HIV as community health workers (known as Mentor Mothers), we have seen the ripple effect of care and well-being that can be created when this health workforce gets the support—human, material, and financial—that it needs and deserves. The almost 12,000 m2m Mentor Mothers have reached more than 15 million women, children, adolescents, and families in their communities across a dozen African countries since 2001, and have helped to keep over two million at risk women and children alive. 

 Investing in #SafeSupportedHealthWorkers has the potential to save millions of lives. Expanding primary care has the potential to save 60 million lives, increase life expectancy by 3.7 years, and promote health equity. But to do so, a more robust health workforce is needed to provide services to communities around the world. 

 What do we want to see? 

  • Investment: Global leaders and donors need to invest in supporting and protecting health workers now and address health workforce challenges, not after the next pandemic, or after conflict and climate change has further intensified our global health challenges. Governments can do this by mobilising domestic resources for health workers to bridge funding gaps and international donors can support these efforts. 
  • Regional political leadership: African leaders and other key funders and policymakers should commit to participating in the African Health Workforce Investment Forum that will take place in May. 
  • Turning words into action: There are many global, regional, and country commitments to safe and supported health workers but policy-makers need to translate promises and policies into long-term investments and integration in health systems. 

Follow m2m’s social media channels this week as we unpack this call to action, and help us amplify the movement for #SafeSupportedHealthWorkers!

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