An intervention brought together community health workers, health facility staff, and accredited drug dispensing outlet (ADDO) dispensers to improve maternal and newborn health through a mechanism of collaboration and referral. This study explored barriers, successes, and promising approaches to increasing timely access to care by linking the three levels of health care provision.
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.
Mobile health, or “mHealth”, seeks to address the use of mobile technology to provide health services and information. Due to the increased risk in a child’s life during those weeks after birth, mHealth technologies can be utilized through referral and tracking of mothers and infants, decision support for CHW, CHW supervision, scheduling and tracking postpartum and postnatal visits, and teaching and counseling for mothers and families, among other uses. These case studies from Afghanistan, India, Malawi, and Indonesia reflect some of these uses.
Using the popular mobile application WhatsApp, a mobile learning intervention was developed and designed to strengthen supervisory support for CHWs in Kenya. 6 months of conversations were analyzed and CHWs and supervisors interviewed to determine how WhatsApp was used in these settings. This preliminary data suggests that CHWs and their supervisors can be effectively trained to tailor their communication in ways that will improve supervisory support, however further research should be conducted.
Rates of perinatal depression in low and middle-income countries are reported to be very high. Perinatal depression not only has a profound impact on women’s health, disability and functioning, it is associated with poor child health outcomes such as pre-term birth, under-nutrition, and stunting, which ultimately have an adverse trans-generational impact. There is strong evidence in the medical literature that perinatal depression can be effectively managed with psychological treatments delivered by non-specialists.
Humanitarian crises are often marked by large-scale, externally funded, and vertically managed responses. National health systems, already weak, are often bypassed by international organizations in the interest of rapid response to save lives. There is growing recognition, however, of the importance of employing more sustainable approaches through existing health system infrastructure to ensure services continue as the emergency subsides and organizations and their resource flows end.
This report, developed in The Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco, explores the role of community health workers and promotores in California. It reviews the history and background of the movement, work and practice patterns such as education, demographics, wages and training, and issues of credentialing and certification, regulation, and policy concerns for Latino promotores in California.
Community health workers (CHWs) are an increasingly important component of health systems and programs. This study was conducted to determine the impact of supervision strategies used in low- and middle- income countries and discuss implementation and feasibility issues with a focus on CHWs.