Video Spotlight

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

The roles, training and knowledge of community health workers about diabetes and hypertension in Khayelitsha, Cape Town

This cross-sectional study assessed the current roles, training, and knowledge of CHWs about diabetes and hypertension in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. One hundred and fifty CHWs from two non-governmental organisations required to provide non-communicable disease care as part of a comprehensive package of services were interviewed. Results indicate that roles were broad and varied, training was seen to be unstandardized and haphazard, and basic knowledge about diabetes and hypertension was poor among the CHWs.

Community Health Workers

This report details the history and current state of CHW programs around the world and highlights the importance of sustainability and improving CHW performance. 

Evaluating the Impact of a Community Health Worker in the Heart Smarts Corner Stores

This study examines the effects of community health workers on participation in the Heart Smarts program implemented by the Food Trust. Results show higher participant retention rates and lower blood pressure rates in stores that had community health workers. The authors suggest that having community health workers in other sites would increase the number of repeat visits and help in lowering participant blood pressure. 

Evaluation of malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) use by community health workers: a longitudinal study in western Kenya

This study assessed whether or not community health workers maintain competency in malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) administration over a twelve-month period as well as  the CHW characteristics, such as age or level of experience, that influence competencies. The results indicate that a majority of CHWs maintain RDT competency over at least a twelve-month period and that younger age and prior experience with RDT are associated with better RDT performance. 

Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Community Health Workers: A Call to Action

This policy brief provides evidence-based recommendations to support community-based CHW services with sufficient resources to address social determinants of health. The goal of these recommendations is to increase the establishment of healthcare policies related to CHW services for communities facing health inequities. 

The role of community health workers in improving HIV treatment outcomes in children: lessons learned from the ZENITH trial in Zimbabwe

This study examines Community Health Workers’ perceptions of how the Zimbabwe study for Enhancing Testing and Improving Treatment of HIV in Children (ZENITH) randomized controlled trial’s structure and management affected their performance. The results of the study showed that CHWs saw the intervention as acceptable, feasible, and expressed overall strong job satisfaction. Long term sustainability of the programme is highlighted as an issue and the future improvement and adoption of the approach in other settings are discussed.

Roles and Functions of Community Health Workers in Primary Care

A literature review and synthesis of the roles and functions of community health workers in primary care designed to provide insight on how to better to integrate community health workers in primary care. The article analyses 30 studies, 12 functions and 3 prominent CHW roles and discusses the implications of CHW training and clinical support in primary care. 

Community health workers and accountability: reflections from an international “think-in”

Community health workers and accountability: reflections from an international “think-in,” presents a commentary with recommendations for research and further development in the area of CHWs and improved general health system accountability.”

Primary Health Care and Universal Health Coverage: the evidence on contributions and effectiveness of community health workers

On May 21, 2018, a side event was hosted by the Governments of Ethiopia and Ecuador at the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva, addressing the contributions and effectiveness of Community Health Workers in Primary Health Care and Universal Health Care Coverage. This background document, makes the case for the importance of CHWs in primary health care and the achievement of universal health coverage.   

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