Author: Brenda Akwanyi (Senior Nutritionist)
The last must become the first: key insights from the second Institutionalizing Community Health Conference.
Community health programmes are neither cheap nor easy to implement well, but they remain a good and wise investment that can yield important dividends. The latest evidence shows that for every dollar invested in community health there is a 10 dollar return of good health and productivity (Dahn B 2015). Current pressures on health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and the difficulties in responding adequately, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, have overwhelmingly shown the critical importance of the community health system. The second Institutionalizing Community Health Conference (ICHC) that took place between 19-22 April 2021, brought us up-to-date with the gains that have been made in community health systems, the investments currently in place, the gaps that still exist and the investment priorities for low resource and hard-to-reach settings.