Video Spotlight

"'I'm a Health Worker' - Abduaraman Gidi" made by IntraHealth International.

Reaching The Remote - The Tool That Might Have Saved My Namesake

This article draws on the importance of CHWs in post conflict countries.  Sidibe details personal experience in East Timor where he worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer, but emphasizes his new work in Liberia and the health improvements that have been made as a result of CHWs.  Liberia and surrounding nations post Ebola were left with a lack of health resources posing a challenge to its people.  With the support of the international community these countries are now establishing CHWs to help with preventative care in communities across the country.

An exploration of facilitators and challenges in the scale-up of a national, public sector community health worker cadre in Zambia: a qualitative study

In Zambia, the 2010 National Community Health Worker Strategy (NCHWS) created a cadre of salaried Community Health Assistants (CHAs) to work in rural and underserved areas providing access to health care and developing prevention measures.  The Ministry of Health (MOH) is currently in the process of creating a workforce of 5,000 CHAs.  After the first class of CHAs graduated, a process evaluation was conducted.  This study is the second evaluation of the program, which has since grown due to results of the first evaluation.  The goal of this study was to evaluate long-term needs of a large-

Improving access to child health services at the community level in Zambia: a country case study on progress in child survival, 2000–2013

This study on child survival, presents indicators, national document, and qualitative data from key informants and community women describing the factors that have enabled Zambia to successfully reduce under-five mortality over the last 15 years and achieve Millennial Development Goal (MDG) #4. Study results found a Zambian national commitment to ongoing reform of national health strategic plans and efforts to ensure universal access to effective maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) interventions, creating an environment that has promoted child health.

Contraceptive uptake after training community health workers in couples counseling: A cluster randomized trial

The objective of this paper was to assess if training Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) in couples counseling would increase modern family planning uptake among young women in Malawi. In this cluster randomized controlled trial, 30 HSAs from Lilongwe, Malawi received training in family planning. The HSAs were then randomized 1:1 to receive or not receive additional training in couples counseling. All HSAs were asked to provide family planning counseling to women in their communities and record their contraceptive uptake over 6 months.

Year in Review 2016—World Vision International Health and Nutrition

In this "2016 Year in Review", World Vision shares notable observations on persistent challenges to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), alongside key examples and innovations demonstrating how they are tackling them. 

Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of lay health worker programmes to improve access to maternal and child health: qualitative evidence synthesis.

This article synthesizes the qualitative evidence of the effectiveness of lay health workers (LHWs) as well as the factors affecting implementation of LHW programs for maternal and child health. 53 studies were included primarily describing the experiences of LHWs, program recipients, and other health workers. Results from the review suggest that rather than being seen as a lesser trained health worker, LHWs may represent a different and sometimes preferred type of health worker. The close relationship between LHWs and recipients is a program strength.

Innovation in health service delivery: integrating community health assistants into the health system at district level in Zambia

This paper explores the factors that shaped the acceptability and adoption of community health assistants (CHAs) into the health system at the district level in Zambia. Using thematic analysis, data was collected through a review of documents, 6 focus group discussions with community leaders, and 12 key informant interviews with CHA trainers, supervisors and members of the District Health Management Team. Results found a perceived relative advantage of CHAs over existing community-based health workers in terms of their quality of training and scope of responsibilities.

Does task shifting yield cost savings and improve efficiency for health systems? A systematic review of evidence from low-income and middle-income countries

Research has demonstrated that task shifting, including the use of CHWs to deliver care, can improve population health. This systematic review examines whether task shifting in LMICs results in efficiency improvements by achieving cost savings. The authors identified 794 articles, and included 34 in the study. They found that substantial evidence exists for achieving cost savings and efficiency improvements from task shifting activities related to tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

A systematic review of strategies to increase access to health services among children in low and middle income countries

This systematic review examines the effectiveness of interventions aimed at increasing access to health services for children aged 5 years and below in LMIC. Fifty-seven studies were included in the review, and approximately half of studies (49%) were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. The studies evaluated a diverse range of interventions and various outcomes. Supply side interventions included: delivery of services at or closer to home (by CHWs, nurses, or school programs) and service level improvements (e.g. integration of services).

Community Health Worker Programmes in the WHO African Region: Evidence and Options

The purpose of this policy brief is to inform discussions and decisions in the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region on policies, strategies and programmes to increase access to primary health care (PHC) services and make progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) by expanding the implementation of scaled-up CHW programmes. 

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