World Health Worker Week: Celebrate some of the people who make global health happen
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World Health Worker Week: Celebrate some of the people who make global health happen

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By Scott Weathers and Vince Blaser, IntraHealth International and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition

This week—April 3-9—the Frontline Health Workers Coalition and advocates around the world are celebrating the amazing impact of frontline health workers in their communities during World Health Worker Week! Join us in recognizing health workers who have made an impact using #WHWWeek, and continue to follow and take action all year using #HealthWorkersCount.

Photo credit: Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International

Photo credit: Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International

Without health workers’ dedication to their communities, the massive progress made in the last two decades reducing preventable deaths and fighting diseases simply would not have been possible. Yet, more than 400 million people worldwide still lack access to all the essential health services that trained and supported frontline health workers can provide.

Our leaders in Congress need to hear your voice and know that you stand with health workers on the frontlines in the fight for an AIDS-free generation, for an end to preventable maternal and child deaths, and for security from threats like Ebola.

The bipartisan House Resolution 419, led by Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), is a promising step forward: This resolution would recognize the enormous impact of these health workers, whose work often puts their own well-being in great danger. It would also urge strong U.S. leadership and a coordinated U.S. government-wide action plan on frontline health workers to ensure we’re getting the most from our taxpayer investments in global health.

Photo credit: Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International

Photo credit: Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International

Programs led by United States like the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) depend on frontline health workers to achieve results. Preventing diseases like Zika and Ebola will also require a greater focus on frontline health workers.

A recent analysis concluded that nearly one in 14 health workers in Liberia died during the Ebola epidemic. The World Bank estimates that more than 4,000 women could die during pregnancy in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone as a direct result of the health workers lost to Ebola.

This World Health Worker Week, we have the power to make sure that health workers are able to have an even greater impact on saving lives and preventing future epidemics.

Learn more about how you can speak up for health workers, then become a ONE member to help fight extreme poverty and preventable disease in sub-Saharan Africa.

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