0km Health: Our vision for post-pandemic health and well-being

0km Health paves the way for proactive, community-responsive, and planet positive health and well-being for all.
June 3, 2021

In parallel with the pandemic exit strategies and ongoing vaccination rollout in many countries, COVID-19 still continues to devastate communities and place unprecedented pressure on health systems in many parts of the world.

The pandemic has affected underserved communities disproportionately. It has revealed the need for more responsive systems and robust primary level care, improved ways of addressing social determinants of health, and stronger integration of physical wellness, behavioural, and mental health aspects into services. The pandemic has also generated a renewed demand for deeper community engagement and genuine participation from those historically excluded from health sector development efforts.

As a company dedicated to the health of underserved people globally, we have contributed to the pandemic response through several initiatives, including supporting essential health service innovation, reimagining the role of community health workers, using futures thinking for post-pandemic planning, and co-designing new care models. Engaging in these projects has spurred us to look beyond today and imagine a post-pandemic approach to health, dignity, and well-being. Through reflections and learning in the past year, our new vision – 0km Health – has emerged.

Accelerating change through 0km Health

We believe that 0km Health serves as a collective pathway to systemic change, which can help pave a way for the transformation needed. 0km Health is inspired by the Italian Slow Food movement, whose 0km philosophy promotes the prioritisation of healthy, community-centric food production and consumption for the long-term benefit of the local economy, environment, and community. 

0km Health is a proactive and localised health model that can significantly contribute to meeting the needs of communities and health systems going forward. The approach is steeped in respect for differences in knowledge, skills, and belief systems, embracing diversity as a strength. It is responsive to context, data, and the lived experience. 0km Health is also both optimistic and pragmatic – fuelled by a belief in large-scale change while rapidly closing the gap between experimentation, practice, and evidence, making new solutions a reality for people everywhere.

5 key enablers turn our vision into practice

0km Health is an umbrella concept that brings together new innovations and technological advances from different fields. By teaming them up with futures thinking and human-centered design methodology, we can achieve better, more equal health and well-being that is co-created, tech-enabled, and planet positive. We are confident that by focusing on the delivery of these five key enablers of change we will be able to accelerate the equitable transformation of health globally.

The five enablers of 0km Health:

  • Responsive, climate-smart primary healthcare
  • Tech-powered health and wellness
  • Holistic self- and group-care practice
  • Community health worker 2.0
  • Creative community change-making

In our white paper, we present how these five enablers contribute to reimagining the provision of health going forward. However, shifting prevailing mindsets and changing systems is not easy. Unleashing the full potential of the community-centric enablers will require radical collaboration, collective learning, and open innovation. By taking the leap together, we can drive social impact and usher in new models for better, more equal health and well-being.

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