The integration of community health workers (CHWs) into primary and secondary prevention functions in health programs and services delivery in Mexico and South Africa has been demonstrated to be effective. This paper aims to identify barriers and challenges to these types of CHW programs by comparing the experiences of earlier studies with successful programs. Barriers reviewed include scale up issues, training and certification issues, integration issues, and funding gaps. The authors use this information to make policy recommendations about task-sharing CHW programs.
In 2013, the Zambian Ministry of Health distributed over two million insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) using a door-to-door distribution strategy, and distributed more than six million ITNs in 2014. This research study measures attendance rates at community point distribution and examines the impact of follow-up community health worker visits on ITN retention and usage. This data has potential to inform ITN distribution strategies in Zambia.
While task shifting to CHWs is widely practiced to address healthcare provider shortages, it can add to an already heavy workload for CHWs. In order to reflect how CHWs perceive and react to their circumstances, this study combined perception and objective measures of workload to examine quality of services, worker performance, and job and client satisfaction.
In the past 36 months, Nigeria has suffered several healthcare workers’ strikes, resulting in decreased access to quality healthcare for Nigerians. The researchers in this study aimed to identify the root cause(s) for these strikes and determine potential solutions. 150 Nigerian healthcare workers participated in a cross-sectional survey and questionnaire to reveal reasons for the strikes. Findings concluded that increased salaries and wages were among the most common reasons for strikes, though other issues were discussed as well.
This brief discusses how integrating community health worker programs into the health system can help increase access to family planning by bringing information, services, and supplies to women and men in the communities where they live and work, rather than requiring them to visit health facilities. CHWs address geographic, financial, and social barriers in regards to family planning services, which improves the health in communities in which CHWs serve. This brief makes recommendations for how to integrate CHWs into the Health System in regards to family planning.
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.
Critical shortages in the health workforce in many developing countries - specifically the number, skills and geographic distribution of health workers - pose a significant challenge to the achievement of universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Increasing attention has therefore been focused on the potential of community health workers (CHWs) to expand access to essential health services, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Recent years have proven that community health workers serve important roles in healthcare systems, including in the United States. This article briefly discusses the effectiveness and versatility of community health workers and their various roles in healthcare delivery systems. The evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of community health workers in many diverse public health-related roles.
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.