Global literature has shown that community health workers connect communities to formal health care services. This article investigates whether or not this holds true in Uganda by examining village health teams (VHTs). The paper suggests several factors that limit VHTs ability to effectively link communities to form health care services.
Tremendous challenges remain to ensure that the most vulnerable populations, including women, children, and adolescents, are able to enjoy the healthy lives and well-being promised in the Sustainable Development Goals. Much of their poor health is caused by poverty, gender, lack of education, and social marginalization as well as inaccessible healthcare services. Strong, equitable, and well-governed health systems can contribute to sustainably improving their lives.
This newly released report, titled ‘Practitioner Expertise to Optimise Community Health Systems: Harnessing Operational Insight’ examines how CHWs can successfully be integrated into national health systems, subsequently contributing towards efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
In this PIH interview, Dan Palazuelos continues his vibrant roundtable series. He sat down with Ash Rogers, Executive Director of the Lwala Community Alliance in Kenya. Lwala is known for its excellence in service delivery, and perhaps more importantly, its practice of listening to and elevating the voice of the community.
Post Ebola, Guinea is rebuilding its health system to deliver higher quality care. Part of their effort includes gaining trust again from the community, something that dwindled during the epidemic. Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) is a five year initiative funded by USAID that is working to address these concerns. HC3 utilizes a social and behavior change communication (SBCC) strategy to improve health behaviors and services in Guinea.
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.
This handbook provides information and tools to address violence against women. Included in the resource is a definition of different types of violence, signs and symptoms to be aware of, consequences of violence against women, the role of a CHW in addressing violence against women, and situations for discussion. While the handbook was made for accredited social health activists (ASHAs), it is a useful resource for any type of CHW.
This document provides tools for assessing the functionality of two types of representative health groups: the Community Health Committee (CHC) and the Health Facility Management Committee (HFMC). Tools are available to assess program functionality through documents such as a roles and responsibilities checklist, assessment and improvement matrices, a validation questionnaire, and an action plan template. Specific resources are available to assess the support provided to CHW Programs including recruitment, training, supervision, and incentives.
This resource from USAID and MCHIP provides an overview of large-scale CHW programs from 13 countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Case studies address the historical context of CHWs, the health needs of the country, the scope of work of the CHWs, CHW training, support and supervision, and financing of CHW programs. The demonstrated impact and continuing challenges of the different programs are also addressed.
In 2012, 6.6 million children under age five died worldwide, most from diseases with known means of prevention and treatment. A delivery gap persists between well-validated methods for child survival and equitable, timely access to those methods. A health systems strengthening intervention was implemented in peri-urban Mali designed to improve child survival by improving rapid access to prevention and treatment.