Community-based Health Care, including Outreach and Campaigns,in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Date of Publication
2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging health systems across the world. Rapidly increasing demand for care of people with COVID-19 is compounded by fear, misinformation and limitations on the movement of people and supplies that disrupt the delivery of frontline health care for all people. When health systems are overwhelmed and people fail to access needed services, both direct mortality and indirect mortality from preventable and treatable conditions increase (1-3). Decision-makers will need to make difficult choices to ensure that COVID-19 and other urgent, ongoing public health problems are addressed while minimizing risks to health workers and communities.

Existing delivery approaches will need to be adapted as the risk−benefit analysis for any given activity changes in the context of a pandemic.

This guidance addresses the specific role of community-based health care (see Box 1) in the pandemic context and outlines the adaptations needed to keep people safe, maintain continuity of essential services and ensure an effective response to COVID-19. It is intended for decision-makers and managers at the national and subnational levels and complements a range of other guidance, including that on priority public health interventions, facility-based care, and risk communication and community engagement in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic