Human resources for health continue to be a great challenge in both developed and developing countries. This is especially true in low-income countries. Evidence suggests that community health workers (CHWs) play a crucial role in the provision of primary health care services in resource poor areas. This blog is dedicated to show the paramount role CHWs play in the provision of universal health care through examples of their work in maternal and child health care in Nepal and Uganda.
Nepal’s Female Community Health Volunteers
The roles of CHWs are crucial in remote villages where skilled health workers and primary healthcare centres are not readily available or accessible. In a recent paper, Panday et al. (2017) studied the roles of CHWs, known as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs), in maternity care in Nepal. When trained volunteers provide services to community members they exceed expectations. Not only do CHWs share health information and refer women for health checks, they also distribute paracetamol, antacid and some vitamin tablets. Such services are important in the absence of immediate access to skilled health care professionals.