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Institutionalizing Community Health Conference 2021

by Public Health Update


The ICHC 2021 Marketplace takes place on Wednesday 21 April 2021 during the second Institutionalizing Community Health Conference (ICHC 2021). The Marketplace will feature a virtual poster hall style forum for Ministries of Health, Country Roadmap partners to submit and showcase technical guidance materials, technical tools or resources, peer-reviewed research, new and emerging evidence, and innovation. The aim of the marketplace is to create a space for country dialogue, networking and exchanging knowledge and ideas.

The vision for Primary Health Care (PHC) in the 21st Century encourages countries to (re)commit and reinforce their efforts to orient health systems around PHC. Transforming commitments into action will accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and create a pathway for achieving the health related SDGs. Actions at the community level are a cornerstone to achieving progress in PHC. When the health system is strengthened and high impact, high quality interventions are delivered to the last mile in an equitable, cost-effective manner by government remunerated and institutionalized community health workers, the full benefits of the health related SDGs can be realized. 

Over the past 30 years, significant progress has been realized, across various contexts, to accelerate PHC inclusive of community health. The measurable gains in reducing childhood morbidity and mortality are a testament to this progress. Despite these achievements, there continue to be bottlenecks that impede progress. With less than a decade to attain the SDGs, the time is now to double down on collective action- at all levels- to fully translate commitments into actions and achievements.

UNICEF in collaboration with USAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Community Health Roadmap and the Community Health Community of Practice (CH-CoP) will convene a second Institutionalizing Community Health Conference (ICHC) to take stock of and build on experiences and knowledge since ICHC 2017. ICHC 2021 will leverage learning and harness lessons that are emerging from implementation of key initiatives and partnerships, such as the Integrating Community Health Collaboration and the Intelligent Community Health Systems. Learning, actions and recommendations from major assemblies and conferences in recent years (Global Conference on PHC, High Level Meeting on Universal Health Care, Institutionalizing iCCM, Global Pneumonia Forum, and the World Health Assembly’s resolution on CHWs) will also be embedded throughout ICHC 2021. 

ICHC 2021 aims at renewing global commitments to a decade of accelerating PHC through community health to achieve the SDGs, drawing from the opportunities and lessons learned from the COVID-19 response. This whilst taking stock of country progress in institutionalizing community health within broader health systems to galvanize increased coordinated investments and joint actions. The conference is an opportunity to share progress, reforms and facilitate country action on urgent priorities for PHC at community level. 

ICHC 2021 Objectives: 

  • Distill and elevate country specific progress made towards institutionalizing community health within broader health systems
  • Accelerate political momentum through a country-led call to action for accelerating PHC by leveraging community health to address child survival to close the gap to the SDGs
  • Leverage partnerships and coordinate actions at country level to galvanize joint efforts and increase domestic and external investments
  • Strengthen linkages to the PHC Global Action Plan accelerator and to the ongoing child health re- design agenda expanding beyond survive to thrive, to optimizing service delivery platforms and modalities

The conference will foster rich dialogue and facilitate cross country learning by convening country delegations inclusive of Ministries of Health and other relevant ministries, cross-programmatic country teams, and civil society. Donors and implementing partners are invited to participate and contribute technical input to thematic and plenary sessions alongside high-level panel participation by country delegations.

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