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Providing personal protective equipment to community health workers in Sub-Saharan Africa

Across Sub-Saharan Africa, more than 400 million people rely on close to 1 million community health workers (CHWs) for essential healthcare services. In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, CHWs are on the frontlines of preventing, detecting, and responding to the emergency with responsibilities ranging from community-based education to at-home care. They are also expected to be involved in vaccine rollout in many countries.

The need to provide personal protective equipment (PPE, i.e. masks and gloves) to CHWs is therefore paramount: without protection, they can neither treat and prevent the spread of COVID-19, nor provide other basic health services. However, and unlike other health workers, CHWs often go unequipped, and unprotected. They are de-prioritised to receive supplies as the main allocation of resources goes to hospitals.

The Trafigura Foundation is supporting the COVID-19 Action Fund for Africa (CAF-Africa), a collaborative, action-oriented initiative of 30+ organizations dedicated to protecting CHWs on the frontlines of Africa’s COVID-19 response.

Together, we aim at distributing 8 million gloves and 23 million masks to circa 179,000 CHWs across the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Côte d´Ivoire, Malawi, Rwanda and Togo.

Amidst an enduring global health crisis, CAF-Africa is continuing its work in collaboration with and support to national governments and health systems to validate the needs of local CHWs, organise international and in-country transport logistics, and arrange the last-mile delivery to CHWs.

We are proud to join the collaborative efforts of CAF-Africa and help them provide safe equipment to those who serve the most vulnerable communities in sub-Saharan Africa, enabling them to continue providing critical health services.

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Last update: 1st July 2021

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