Community Health Workers are being recognised by the WHO for their work to bring care closer to home for children affected by the most severe form of hunger.
We are excited to let you know that our partners at Action Against Hunger (AAH) have just had a really big win. With £1.75m in support from the innocent foundation over the past nine years AAH have designed, tested and proven a new way of supporting hungry children—Community Health Workers (CHWs). Starting as a small test-project in Mali in 2014, this month, CHWs have become a globally recommended practice by none other than the World Health Organisation (WHO). “We’re thrilled that our longstanding partnership with Action Against Hunger has contributed to these new guidelines from the World Health Organisation on tackling malnutrition. Since 2014, our simple but effective initiative has shown the vital role played by Community Health Workers in the fight against hunger, and we’re proud that our investment and work together has led to this global policy recommendation.” – Nick Canney, innocent foundation Trustee and innocent Chief Squeezer.
A little background: Children who don’t have enough to eat for a prolonged period of time can experience wasting, the most extreme form of hunger. People caring for wasted children often have to travel long distances to health centres for support and treatment. These journeys can be difficult, even dangerous, adding one problem on top of another. Community Health Workers (CHWs) like Kindiaba in the picture are trained to care for wasted children and their families in the community—bringing the help they need right to the doorstep.
Support from the innocent foundation has helped AAH to find evidence that using trained Community Health Workers to diagnose and treat wasting is effective for saving the lives of children globally. Now, countries worldwide have the formal direction from WHO to implement this way of working into their country health programmes, bringing help closer to home for millions of children affected by this most extreme form of hunger.
When we set out on this journey in 2014, no-one could have imagined that within less than ten years it would influence global policy. We’re so proud of our partners at AAH and so grateful to the trained Community Health Workers helping more children than ever to recover.
Photo credit: Namusa, her son Samakoun and Kindiaba, the community health worker smile as Kindiaba monitors Samakoun’s mid-upper-arm circumference, a simple way to assess whether a child is undernourished. B.Stevens/i-Images for Action Against Hunger
Posted on July 20, 2023