The Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) Summit brought together world leaders, the private sector, civil society and key technical partners with an aim to raise US $2 billion for global vaccine equity. These funds will accelerate access to 1.8 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses for lower-income economies through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment.
At Last Mile Health, our vision is a world where no patient is out of reach of essential health services, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Our CEO Lisha McCormick shared the following remarks with the global leaders gathered for the Summit:
Hi, my name is Lisha McCormick and I’m the CEO of Last Mile Health. Our vision is a world where no patient is out of reach.
COVID-19 has exposed gender and other inequities in our health systems, reinforcing the importance of reaching everyone, everywhere — which isn’t possible without paid, professionalized frontline and community health workers, 70% of whom are women.
During the pandemic, community health workers have driven forward efforts to educate their neighbors, rapidly refer patients for care, and maintain essential health services in many communities around the world.
Now, they are on the frontlines of the global vaccine effort, working to generate demand and awareness for vaccines; combating misinformation; and ensuring equitable vaccine delivery to remote communities.
We applaud investments from Gavi and others in prioritizing distribution of vaccines to frontline and community health workers. Thanks to COVAX, over ten thousand Liberian frontline and community health workers received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of this week.
And yet, we can’t lose sight of the work ahead to fully vaccinate frontline health workers worldwide by investing in the community health systems that make reaching the last mile possible.
We urge the global community to continue and expand investments in vaccine delivery through Gavi, especially for frontline and community health workers, to accelerate progress to ensure no one is left behind.
The legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic can be resilient and equitable health systems, which will be our best protection against future pandemics — but only if we invest in community health workers now.