AFRICA – Non-profits have partnered to invest US$100 million in 10 countries especially countries in the African region through a new philanthropic project that aims to empower front-line workers who are essential to battling current outbreaks of COVID-19, Ebola, HIV and future health emergencies.

The Skoll Foundation and The Johnson & Johnson Foundation have donated a total of $25 million to the altruistic healthcare initiative while the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria will oversee the project and has announced plans to raise an additional $50 million.

The Global Fund will assist countries with the design of proposed community health care worker expansions over the next year as part of ongoing efforts to link the work of community health care workers to the national health system along with securing sustainable funding for their programs.

The Global Fund invests US$4 billion a year to defeat HIV, TB and malaria and ensure a healthier, safer, equitable future for all.

The Global Fund will also provide its regular three-year grants to countries and deploy the new philanthropic donations through a catalytic fund to encourage spending on some of the best practices and program designs with the aim of eradicating treatable infectious diseases.

The project partners will use the funding to support 200,000 community health workers who serve as a critical bridge to treatment for people with limited access to medical care which will significantly contribute to attainment of universal health coverage by improving effective service coverage.

Under the philanthropic project, partners will invest up to US$100 million in funding in African counties by 2030 to empower front-line workers and ensure community health workers can effectively deliver low-cost care by actively managing community health worker programs.

The health financing plan seeks to support health workers in delivering health care in different parts of Africa as well as train workers who can raise valuable early warnings that benefit people everywhere and catch the next set of diseases that could threaten populations around the world.

The project comes at a time when the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that the continent required 2 million community health workers to meet health targets hence the funding will support continental efforts to create good jobs along with maximizing the health impact.

Meanwhile, Last Mile Health, part of the Africa Frontline First health initiative, has worked with the Liberian government to expand and strengthen its community health program since 2016. Last Mile Health and other organizations partnered to launch an effective COVID-19 response.

Last Mile Health collaborated with other organizations that specialize in the financing, research and policy of public health to expand community health programs and to capitalize on the attention the widespread pandemic brought to the need for disease surveillance.

In addition, Last Mile Health won a major donation from the Skoll Foundation in 2017, received large donations from the Audacious Project from TED and Co-Impact and the organization’s co-founder, Raj Panjabi, now serves in the Biden administration.

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