The objective of this paper was to assess if training Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) in couples counseling would increase modern family planning uptake among young women in Malawi. In this cluster randomized controlled trial, 30 HSAs from Lilongwe, Malawi received training in family planning. The HSAs were then randomized 1:1 to receive or not receive additional training in couples counseling. All HSAs were asked to provide family planning counseling to women in their communities and record their contraceptive uptake over 6 months.
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.
This review article explores the various definitions and descriptions of CHWs in the literature. It also identifies common themes in these definitions to better understand the essential characteristics of health workers classified as CHWs and to distinguish them from other healthcare providers. By describing the various categories of CHWs, this resource helps to clarify the use of the term to ultimately aid key stakeholders in community health program planning, policy, and research.
In Madagascar 83% of the country’s 22.9 million people live in rural areas that can be difficult to access. CHWs play a crucial role in providing access to healthcare in those parts of the country that are underserved. Over 34,000 CHWs work to extend basic health services such as maternal and child health, family planning and reproductive health, nutrition, TB, and sanitation services. This study seeks to examine the influence both financial and non-financial incentives have on CHW program performance and retention in Madagascar.
Healthcare workers can be susceptible to work related stress. This may be a result of the high expectations they face in their work place, the absence of social support among colleagues, time restraints, and a lack of resources and training. Occupational stress for healthcare workers has the potential to lead to physical illness, “burnout”, or distress and may become an obstacle for them to provide quality health services. It can be costly as well if workers take sick leave or even change jobs as a result of work induced stress and burnout.
The integration of community health workers (CHWs) into primary and secondary prevention functions in health programs and services delivery in Mexico and South Africa has been demonstrated to be effective. This paper aims to identify barriers and challenges to these types of CHW programs by comparing the experiences of earlier studies with successful programs. Barriers reviewed include scale up issues, training and certification issues, integration issues, and funding gaps. The authors use this information to make policy recommendations about task-sharing CHW programs.
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.
Although CHW programs are prevalent, little formal research has been conducted on CHW training programs or their effectiveness. To begin to address this a literature review was conducted to curate research regarding CHW training programs and curricula. This literature review identifies, synthesizes, and analyzes a wide body of literature related to CHW training in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.