Frontlines of Health
How can communities invest in frontline health workers and services to improve their access to effective and affordable care?
At least half of the world’s population does not have regular access to essential health services. From the Za’atari refugee camp, to rural Liberia, or the slums of Bogotá, too many mothers go without any prenatal or childbirth care, and infants without vaccinations or basic medication. In many places, the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chronic or mental health conditions can be nonexistent.
While dramatic progress has been made, including the reduction of infant mortality rates worldwide, more than 50 million people a year still die of preventable and treatable conditions. Rural populations are often hours or days away from the nearest medical center, nurse, or physician. Even in communities with some access to primary care, many people cannot afford even the most essential health services. Across the globe, a health shock—wherein a family member falls sick and requires extensive care—has the potential to push millions back into poverty and debt.
To address these issues, workers on the frontlines have expanded care from inside clinics and hospitals into the communities that they serve. Frontline health workers include doctors and nurses as well as pharmacists, midwives, community workers, and volunteers. They provide services for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment where alternatives either do not exist or are inaccessible due to cost, distance, or stigma.
The Solve community aims to find and advance innovative solutions that support and invest in frontline health workers and health services. Solve seeks solutions that make healthcare more available, affordable, and effective for marginalized communities and welcomes solutions from innovators around the world that:
- Expand the availability of affordable, effective community health services and treatments, and the use of data—especially through digital technologies
- Accelerate the training, recruitment, and decision supports for frontline health workers
- Enhance referrals and coordination of care between frontline health workers and higher levels of care—irrespective of geography
- Strengthen the procurement or local production of medication, diagnostic tools, and medical supplies