Africa CDC, partners to operationalize continental coordination mechanism for community health programmes


From February 21-23, 2024, Africa CDC convened a strategic meeting in Accra, Ghana aimed at operationalizing the Continental Coordination Mechanism (CCM) for Community Health to enhance the coordination of community health systems across Africa.

The meeting brought together leadership for the Continental Technical Working Group (CTWG) on Community Health including representatives from Member States such as Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, and Liberia, who also chair the sub-groups of the CCM. Additionally, representatives from partner organizations such as UNICEF, the International Federation of Red Cross, and Africa Frontline First participated as co-chairs of the sub-groups of the CCM.

The primary objectives of the meeting were to discuss and adopt operational guidelines for the CCM, plan and cocreate activities for 2024, and build the capacity of core working group members to effectively execute the work.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Andrews Ayim, Deputy Director of Policy at the Ghana Health Service, underscored the importance of investing in community health programs for the well-being and health of communities.

He reaffirmed the government of Ghana’s commitment to investing in community health workers and highlighted the significance of the outcomes of the meeting in shaping future community health policies in Africa.  He said, This meeting is timely and has come at a time where Ghana is set to implement its revised community health policy of the Network of Practice with an initial investment of US$180 million.”

Dr. Mohammed Abdulaziz, Head of the Division of Disease Control & Prevention at Africa CDC, emphasized the need for governments, partners, and stakeholders to collaborate through the CCM to enhance and strengthen primary healthcare at the community level. He reiterated Africa CDC’s dedication to ensuring the CCM fulfills its mandate and noted the widespread interest from diverse stakeholders in Africa’s community health landscape and the CCM.

“We have not used community health workers to the fullest because we have not improved their efficiency. This is further worsened by the verticalization of community health worker programs. We need to break the silos in community health programming,” Dr. Abdulaziz highlighted.

Notable outcomes of the meeting include the development of standards and operating procedures for the sub-groups, a workplan to operationalize the CCM, and a revised process for implementing the Joint Country Capacity Support Planning Program.

Looking ahead, Africa CDC and its partners are committed to working collaboratively to implement the strategies and recommendations outlined during the meeting. Launched in November 2023, the CCM is an initiative by the Africa CDC that brings together partners to institutionalize, integrate, harmonize and coordinate community health worker programs in Africa in a sustainable manner.

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