This report is the first National Community Health Strategy Malawi has produced, spanning from 2017 to 2022. This strategy is intended to work towards achieving Millennium Development Goal number three: universal health care. The main focus of this strategy include: integration of health services, community engagement, and sufficient and equitable distribution of well-trained community health workforce. Efforts will also support maintaining sufficient supplies, transportation, and infrastructure. This strategy provides a guide and framework to introduce community health into the pre-exi
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.
Close-to-community (CTC) providers can help actualize universal health coverage and support the sustainable development goals, as described by a series of Human Resources for Health papers recently published. This editorial discusses the role of CTC providers in the community, strategies of support, and the necessity of such programs for improving health care coverage across the globe. In order to accomplish this, more research should be conducted to inform CTC provider programs how to best approach different contexts and provide quality health care.
When trusted, Community Health Workers (CHWs) can contribute to improving maternal and newborn health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries through education. Issues of acceptability of CHWs by communities were explored through experiences gained in a qualitative study that is part of a cluster randomized trial in East Uganda.
During the past 10 years, community health workers (CHWs) have emerged as a focal point of international discussions on primary health-care systems. Although lay community-based health workers have been active for at least 60 years, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 prompted new discussion of how these workers can help to extend primary health care from facilities to communities. CHWs have since been part of an international attempt to revise primary health-care delivery in low-income settings, and CHW programmes have been changed accordingly.
The community health framework is intended to support Ministries of Health in developing and strengthening programs for improved community health outcomes. The intention is for USAID missions and other advisors to use the framework to structure a dialogue, develop recommendations, and foster continuous learning with Ministries of Health. This presentation is a fantastic resource for understanding and supporting community health programs and networks.
Several African and South Asian countries are currently investing in new cadres of community health workers (CHWs) as a major part of strategies aimed at reaching the Millennium Development Goals. However, one review concluded that community health workers did not consistently provide services likely to have substantial effects on health and that quality was usually poor. In addition, it suggested that all stakeholders need to focus on weak points in the functionality of the CHW program and ultimately the CHWs’ performance.
In an attempt to address a complex disease burden, including improving progress towards MDGs 4 and 5, South Africa recently introduced a re-engineered Primary Health Care (PHC) strategy, which has led to the development of a national community health worker (CHW) programme. The present study explored the development of a cell phone-based and paper-based monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to support the work of the CHWs.
Despite the progress some countries have made in scaling up CHW programs, many countries that would benefit from strong CHW cadres currently have only ad hoc, sub-scale programs. This problem extends even to high-income countries that would benefit from CHW programs to provide cost-effective care and battle chronic disease. Countries wishing to scale these programs using a coordinated national strategy face many challenges.
In this commentary, we discuss a photography competition, launched during the summer of 2014, to explore the everyday stories of how gender plays out within health systems around the world. While no submission fees were charged nor financial awards involved, the winning entries were exhibited at the Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Cape Town, South Africa, in October 2014, with credits to the photographers involved. Anyone who had an experience of, or interest in, gender and health systems was invited to participate.