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.
Numerous countries around the world have established community health programmes as a means to expanding access to health services among vulnerable populations, and these programmes are considered a vital component of reaching the health-related Millennium Development Goals. With the shift towards the sustainable development goals and emphasis within these on equitable universal health coverage, there is an increasing need to understand how best to implement community health worker (CHW) programmes.
In recent years, community health workers (CHWs) have received renewed attention in light of critical shortages in the health workforce and emphasis on strengthening primary healthcare systems for achieving global health goals. CHWs are generally assumed to be a less expensive alternative compared with other cadres of health workers, notably with regard to salary and incentives as well as training costs. In parallel, more and more evidence has accumulated in recent years on the effectiveness of CHWs in delivery of essential health services in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Worldwide, there are severe shortfalls in the health workforce — not just in the quantity of doctors, nurses and other health workers, but in their management, performance and geographical distribution.
These shortfalls are particularly glaring in light of the global movement for universal health coverage, progress toward which will require a high-functioning workforce.
Remarkable gains have been made in global health in the past 25 years, but progress has not been uniform. Mortality and morbidity from common conditions needing surgery have grown in the world's poorest regions, both in real terms and relative to other health gains. At the same time, development of safe, essential, life-saving surgical and anaesthesia care in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) has stagnated or regressed.
Background: Global interest and investment in close-to-community health services is increasing. Kenya is currently revising its community health strategy (CHS) alongside political devolution, which will result in revisioning of responsibility for local services. This article aims to explore drivers of policy change from key informant perspectives and to study perceptions of current community health services from community and sub-county levels, including perceptions of what is and what is not working well. It highlights implications for managing policy change.
Kenya’s third largest city, Kisumu, serves as a trading and transportation hub for west- ern Kenya and bears the dubious distinction of having Kenya’s worst set of health indicators and one of the nation’s highest poverty levels.