The Partners In Health (PIH) model of partnering with community health workers (CHWs) in tuberculosis (TB) programs evolved out of our early experiences in the Central Plateau of Haiti. In the 1980’s, PIH co-founders Paul Farmer and Ophelia Dahl recognized that their first efforts to provide care for tuberculosis-infected patients were frustrated by low adherence to medication regimens, high loss to follow-up, and unacceptable levels of mortality. A root cause analysis conducted with clinicians and community health workers led to the realization that substandard clinical outcomes are not mere byproducts of the patients’ culture and poor personal decisions; instead, there are structural
Our vision is to improve and sustain a dynamic global web-based resource that promotes and engages CHWs, enables the wide and rapid sharing of information about CHW work and management, offers resources to help improve CHW programs and CHW performance, and provides a forum for continuous and online discussions and exchanges among CHWs, public health professionals and program managers in the United States and across the globe.
This reprinted article from the Kaiser Foundation describes the work of CHWs in communities from Ethiopia to Virginia.
This story was produced in collaboration with the Atlantic
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Hermon Girma is stirring bean stew over a wood-fed stove when she hears someone at the gate. She sends her 3-year-old son to slide open the piece of corrugated metal that separates her home and others from the cobblestone street in Kirkos, a neighborhood in Ethiopia's burgeoning capital city, Addis Ababa.