In Africa, Health Workers Deliver Urgent Care Despite Adversity

by   |   April 10, 2015 3:00 pm   |   0 Comments

Every day, in dozens of countries across sub-Saharan Africa, tens of thousands of women and men rise each morning and travel many miles across rough roads, rivers, and streams to provide essential health care to remote, vulnerable, and hard-to-reach communities.

In recognition of World Health Care Worker Week, we present this map, a data visualization that tells the story of community healthcare workers and their work during one long day in sub-Saharan Africa.

The map, created by Esri, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, and Direct Relief, chronicles the challenges that community health workers face and celebrates the commitment and dedication they bring to meeting these challenges and providing essential care to the people and communities that count on them every day.

The efforts of community health workers in response to last year’s Ebola outbreak in West Africa are well known, but their work extends much further, as documented on this map. At any given moment, they could be entering data into mobile apps that report real-time data on Ebola contacts, counseling an HIV-positive person, surveying basic health needs, or helping a newborn at risk of pneumonia.

The One-Million Community Health Workers (1mCHW) Campaign was formed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University to advocate for community health workers and document their far-reaching impact. Last year, Direct Relief and Esri teamed up with the Campaign to build the Operations Room, a suite of mapping applications that use data to track the scope and enable a detailed comparison of the activities of community health workers. This map is the latest in the 1mCHW Campaign.

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