Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) have played a critical role in the success of USAID in Madagascar’s health sector. As CHVs, they can provide basic health care services and health education at the community level, thus improving health care access in remote regions. This report highlights the successes and challenges of USAID/Madagascar’s investment in CHVs.
In light of the health worker shortage due to the post-conflict period and Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, it is crucially important to understand different motivation factors for rural health workers, including doctors, nurses, midwives and Community Health Workers. Researchers conducted 23 participatory life histories with health workers, revealing that the context of the rural healthcare setting makes it difficult for health workers to conduct their work. These findings could be used to influence policy and help build a more robust rural healthcare workforce.
Community health workers can increase access to, and coverage of, health services – particularly maternal and child health (MCH) outcomes in Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries. This 5 year study aimed to evaluate the Nigerian CHW scheme using a mixed-methods realist approach will make an important contribution to health systems strengthening in Nigeria.
Community health workers in Tanzania are trained in Home Based Life Saving Skills to educate communities on danger signs, birth preparedness, and complication readiness regarding childbirth. However, maternal mortality is currently greater than 400 per 100,000 live births, leading to the question of the effectiveness of this training program.
Integrated community case management (iCCM) trains village health workers (VHWs) to provide treatment to the most common childhood diseases in Uganda, including malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea. One of iCCM’s key features is a referral system for treatment at health facilities, but these referrals are difficult to monitor. A study was conducted to evaluate the referral system by reviewing quantitative data sources, revealing that a need for improvement.
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.