Video Spotlight

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

Delivery of public health services by community health workers (CHWs) in primary health care settings in China: a systematic review (1996–2016)

China has a history of integrating CHWs in public health intervention programs. Known as village doctors, these CHWs provide treatment and public responsibilities health. This systematic review identifies the public health services provided by CHWs and describes the potential barriers and facilitators of these services. 

Facilitators and barriers to birth preparedness and complication readiness in rural Rwanda among community health workers and community members: a qualitative study

This qualitative study examines the facilitating factors and barriers to birth preparedness and complication readiness in rural Rwanda.  Participants perceived CHWs, attending antenatal care, and medical insurance as facilitating factors while disrespectful care and inconsistent health policies were seen as barriers. 

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 and the response to HIV/AIDS in South Africa: tensions and prospects

The authors of this article present findings from an evaluation of the state of community health workers and the response to HIV/AIDS in South Africa. A significant presence of community health workers was found in South Africa’s health system. Yet, as a cadre, CHWs face many of barriers to success associated with previous CHW programmes in the country. Opportunities for sustainability are discussed. 

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. 

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.

Quality of care for treatment of uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition delivered by community health workers in a rural area of Mali

This pilot model involving community health workers (CHWs) delivering treatment for uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition (SAM) was tested in Mali. The authors found the properly trained and managed CHWs can manage uncomplicated SAM.

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