Community healthcare for families in Uganda

Jan 2022

Living Goods

Charity Partner
Partnering with Living Goods, our grant this month will go towards supporting 5 Community Health Workers in Uganda for a 12 month period with supervision, training, travel, supplies, equipment and other costs to ensure provision of the primary healthcare services. As of Q2 2021, each Ugandan CHW supported by Living Goods was providing health assessments, diagnoses, and treatment for 34 children under five and 7 children under 1 each month. These health assessments, diagnoses, and treatments are provided in the child’s home, ensuring parents do not have to go long distances to seek care for basic childhood ailments. One billion people in the developing world lack access to healthcare. In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 1 million Community Health Workers are required to meet the need for this number. As a result millions are forced to settle for healthcare systems that are chronically underfunded and under managed, all of which disproportionately affects women and children. Because of these shortcomings in the system, CHWs are often the first and only link to healthcare for millions of people across the developing world. CHWs are community members with basic health training who expand access to healthcare and education by proactively bringing essential health services to their neighbours’ doorsteps. Living Goods’ approach confronts the biggest impediments for CHWs: reliance on paper-based systems, difficulty accessing treatments, minimal training and supervision, and working without compensation. In Uganda, CHWs have formed the bedrock of the primary health system since 2001. At least 76% of Uganda’s population lives in rural areas and has very poor access to quality healthcare, with less than two doctors for every 10,000 people. The government of Uganda reports that an estimated 33 million cases of malaria, diarrhoea, and pneumonia—the top three causes of death among children—go untreated every year in the country. Good health is the foundational element on which children can grow and thrive. In time, they can build economically productive, personally fulfilling, and rich lives—reaping benefits both today and years into the future. In addition to serving the health needs of their neighbors, CHWs help build thriving communities. Healthy families mean more children are in school, women have more time to dedicate to their work, and communities become more productive. With access to basic healthcare, children get a real shot at reaching their full potential and women gain more agency over their own lives and the future of their families.  

Living Goods saves lives at scale by supporting digitally empowered community health workers (CHWs) who deliver care on call – making it easy for families in need to get the care they need. Living Goods-support CHWs focus on where they can make the biggest impact at the lowest cost: treating preventable diseases in children (such as malaria, pneumonia or diarrhea), supporting pregnant women, offering family planning services, and providing immunization referrals. By equipping CHWs with the tools and compensation they need, Living Goods is lowering child mortality, ensuring safe birth practices, and providing opportunities to women. As a GiveWell Standout Charity since 2014 and a The Life You Can Save Recommended Charity since 2015, our work is externally validated to be effective and impactful. Living Goods works with local and national governments in sub-Saharan Africa to develop and improve community health programs, working towards sustainability.

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