This paper explores the effectiveness of child health interventions and how to improve health care access for children, mothers, and caregivers. Multi-sectoral approaches, including utilization of community-based programming and community health workers, can help extend the reach of health care to these populations.
Mobile health, or “mHealth”, seeks to address the use of mobile technology to provide health services and information. Due to the increased risk in a child’s life during those weeks after birth, mHealth technologies can be utilized through referral and tracking of mothers and infants, decision support for CHW, CHW supervision, scheduling and tracking postpartum and postnatal visits, and teaching and counseling for mothers and families, among other uses. These case studies from Afghanistan, India, Malawi, and Indonesia reflect some of these uses.
As community health workers gain more and more responsibility amidst shortages of skilled health workers, mobile technology for health (mHealth) is becoming more popular for health care delivery around the globe. In order to better understand the role mHealth applications have among CHWs, researchers tested whether short message services (SMS) could improve the reporting of pregnancies and pregnancy outcomes among CHWs. Findings from a cluster-randomized intervention show that groups that received motivational SMS, with or without data quality SMS, improved documentation of pregnancies.
The Ebola virus outbreak in 2013 revealed that health delivery systems in western Africa were not well-equipped to handle such epidemics. This paper argues that robust community health worker programs should be implemented as a strategy for improving global health responses to disasters such as the Ebola outbreak. Because CHWs have built strong relationships with the communities they serve, they are able to navigate many of the cultural and societal factors that resulted in Ebola's persistence.
Presented at the International Social and Behavioral Change Communication Summit in Ethiopia in February 2016, Ainslie’s PowerPoint presentation goes into detail about the COMMIT Program, a behavior change communication project for malaria prevention, treatment, and control in Tanzania. Key to the project is the utilization of Community Change Agents who communicated the project’s goals with various communities throughout Tanzania. This project and platform successfully engaged communities in malaria treatment and prevention.
Using the popular mobile application WhatsApp, a mobile learning intervention was developed and designed to strengthen supervisory support for CHWs in Kenya. 6 months of conversations were analyzed and CHWs and supervisors interviewed to determine how WhatsApp was used in these settings. This preliminary data suggests that CHWs and their supervisors can be effectively trained to tailor their communication in ways that will improve supervisory support, however further research should be conducted.
CHWs importantly deliver health care services to communities when shortages in the healthcare workforce exist. However, as their workload increases, CHW abilities to provide quality healthcare may be compromised. Using a cluster-randomized trial in Zimbabwe, CHWs were surveyed to assess the association between demographic and work characteristics and task performance. CHWs who made more referrals shared many common demographic and work characteristics, implying that these factors influence performance.
Daniel Palazuelos, Partners In Health, and Dr. Kevin Fiori, co-founder of Hope Through Health, discuss Dr. Fiori’s organization and global health. Hope Through Health is an organization dedicated to health care delivery in Togo and faced many challenges in its beginnings, but now successfully utilizes community health workers to empower the community and has increased the capacity of the community to hold the health care system accountable for quality and effective health care.
Daniel Palazuelos, Partners In Health, sits down with Debbie Singh to discuss her experiences working with CHW’s in Uganda. Singh uses Partners In Health’s CHW Framework, 5-SPICE, in Uganda with an emphasis on the importance of trust.
USAID's 2016 Acting on the Call Report provides updates from the program that aims to end preventable maternal and child deaths in 25 priority countries, which together accounted for more than two-thirds of child and maternal deaths worldwide.