03 September 2019
GENEVA – The Global Fund joined Last Mile Health and Co-Impact to strengthen support to Liberia’s community health worker program, increasing domestic investment and expanding access to health care.
Co-Impact, a global philanthropic collaborative, is making a US$20 million investment in partnership with the Global Fund and Last Mile Health over five years, supporting the government of Liberia to expand and strengthen community health systems in the country. The partnership will contribute US$6 million to the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment.
“Co-Impact and Last Mile Health show how partners can catalyze great progress in our efforts to end AIDS, TB and malaria and strengthen health systems,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Community health workers are essential to delivering health care to those who need it most, so no one is left behind. This kind of partnership can save lives and bring us closer to achieving access to health care for all.”
Launched in 2016, Liberia’s National Community Health Assistant Program has deployed over 3,000 community health workers and supervisors, who have conducted 1.6 million home visits.
An estimated 30% of nationally reported malaria cases among children under age 5 are diagnosed by community health workers. With the support of Co-Impact, the government of Liberia will expand this program to provide access to primary health care services to 1.2 million people. This will support the government’s goal to reduce the under-5 mortality rate by 20%.
“It is really exciting to see this partnership come to fruition,” said Olivia Leland, Founder and CEO of Co-Impact. “It’s an honor to support work of this significance and scale, to ensure that every person in Liberia has access to basic health care. It’s also a tangible example of how philanthropy can play a more effective role in supporting large-scale change. Each grant we make builds on the important work of existing partners and helps create additional opportunities for others to co-invest. We look forward to continuing to build these sorts of partnerships through which we can reach millions of people.”
The Global Fund has invested US$252 million to date to improve health care delivery in Liberia, focusing on financial management, procurement and supply chain, and monitoring and evaluation. Following the Ebola outbreak in 2014-2016, the Global Fund intensified its collaboration with the Liberian government to rebuild a strong, sustainable health system, with a strong backbone in community health.
“Liberia has made great progress building a government-led and unified national community health worker program that is rooted in quality,” said Raj Panjabi, co-founder and CEO of Last Mile Health. “This partnership not only seeks to bring the program to scale, but looks to further engage new and existing partners to demonstrate what’s possible when governments invest in community health workforces to advance universal health coverage.”
The new partnership, which brings together a philanthropic investor (Co-Impact), a health nonprofit (Last Mile Health) and the Global Fund as the scale-up partner, can serve as a model for driving change in countries with the engagement of private donors.
France will convene the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference on 10 October 2019, in Lyon, France. The Global Fund seeks to raise at least US$14 billion – including US$1 billion from the private sector – for the next three years. The funds will help save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023.
Co-Impact is a global collaborative for systems change, focused on supporting efforts to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. With an emphasis on proven initiatives addressing big social challenges at a systemic level, the organization brings together a global group of philanthropists, foundations, and other funders to invest in such efforts through a flexible model. Co-Impact works in the areas of education, health, and economic opportunity in low- and middle-income countries. For more information, visit www.co-impact.org
About Last Mile Health
Last Mile Health partners with governments to design, scale, strengthen, and sustain high-quality community health systems, which empower national community health workforces to bring life-saving primary healthcare to the world’s most remote communities. For more information, visit www.lastmilehealth.org