New law mandates salaries for Guinea’s community health workers

On December 9, 2022, Guinea’s National Transitional Council unanimously adopted a new law mandating that the local civil service should engage and pay for community health mobilizers (RECO) through commune-level budgets and that the national government should pay for higher-level community health workers (ASC) salaries. The new law is a significant step towards implementing Guinea’s National Community Health Policy (Politique National de Santé Communautaire, or PNSC), passed in 2017, which aims to improve health outcomes at the community level by expanding access to preventive, curative, and referral health services. Recruiting, training, and paying salaries for RECO and ASC will be critical to scaling up improved community health services and institutionalizing responsibility, which was previously unclear and a roadblock to progress.

Since 2019, the Accelerator, implemented by Results for Development (R4D), has supported civil society organization’s (CSOs) advocacy efforts for community health worker compensation under the PNSC. Among many approaches, the Accelerator and its local partner, Comité Jeunes, Mon Avenir D’Abord (CJMAD), have provided coaching, mentoring, training, and capacity strengthening for CSOs to enhance their ability to advocate for sustainable financing of the PNSC, with a focus on recruiting, paying, and supporting ASCs and RECOs. This included developing an advocacy strategy, crafting effective messaging, mobilizing media coverage, and providing guidance on engaging with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Territories and Decentralization (MATD), and the National Transitional Council. In January 2023, the MATD specifically credited CSO advocacy, supported by the Accelerator & CJMAD, for the passage of the new law in a letter to the president of the National Council of Organization of Civil Society (CNOSCG).

Successful implementation of the new law will require leadership from the Ministry of Health, monitoring of local civil service budget changes, and coordination with donor-funded community health programs.