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Examining The Role Of Frontline Health Workers In Achieving Universal Health Coverage

Noting that universal health coverage was a major theme at this year’s World Health Assembly, Jeffrey Meer, special adviser on global health policy and development for the Public Health Institute, writes in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, “The recognition that a just world is a place where everyone has access to health care implies a significant expansion of coverage to include many who do not now have such access. And community health workers and other frontline health workers seem like an obvious way help us get there.” While the U.N. High-Level Panel’s report on the Post-2015 Development Goals discussed “the ambitious goal of ‘universal access,’” “[t]here is one mention in the report of the role of skilled birth attendants in preventing maternal mortality, but otherwise it offers little in the way of ideas how to meet this ambitious target,” he notes. Meer continues, “For some in global health, frontline health workers, including well-trained, compensated and valued community health workers, are essential parts of the equation” (6/13).