Improving access to basic health care interventions through Community Health Workers (CHWs) can prevent 3 million deaths a year. The economic value of the increase in productivity through CHWs in Kenya is estimated to be $24,5 billion in 10 years (2017-2026) (World bank). People are healthier, live longer, children develop better, are more capable of working and contributing to the national economy. On a shorter term, it can decrease the burden on health centres and hospitals, reduce costs and identify, diagnose and treat illnesses earlier. Its social impact is broadly recognized such as the empowerment of women.
While CHWs have contributed significantly to improve health outcomes in well-funded and organized study settings, there are severe performance, retention and sustainability problems when CHW programs are implemented in widely challenged health systems. Most of these problems are related to the absence of a sustainable income, an inadequate supply chain of SRHR products, medicines and health products and insufficient training and supervision, which often depend on temporary donor funding.
A sustainable program to amplify the effectiveness of the CHW system while increasing the reach to the most isolated communities at the bottom of the pyramid is poised to have a significant positive impact on health outcomes. The model of Healthy Entrepreneurs (HE) can save millions of lives each year by making proven interventions such as antibiotics for pneumonia, oral rehydration therapy for diarrheal, and the provision of malaria treatment easily accessible and continuously available in the most remote and hard to reach areas of Sub-Sahara Africa.