What's New

Listen to the WBUR program on Massachusetts CHW's

"How Community Health Workers Act As A ‘Bridge’ For Patients Needing Extra Help"


For the month of September, the One Million Community Health Workers (1mCHW) Campaign and mPowering Frontline Health Workers are supporting HIFA to hold an in-depth exploration around the need for improved data on community health worker (CHW) programs, and how we can meet these needs in the post-2015 era.  Click here to learn more and join the discussion.


Welcome to CHW Central

CHW Forum

Pose a question you want to discuss, and share your experiences and perspectives by responding to other members’ forum posts. New questions:

Video Spotlight

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

Community Health Workers build bridges between communities and health services.

Robin Hammond, 2011

From reproductive health to nutrition to care for chronic conditions, community health workers are being asked to help communities become healthier, particularly in areas where professional health workers are scarce.

Ibby Caputo; WGBH, 2013

Evidence shows that trained CHWs can diagnose and treat children under 5 for malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia, while teaching parents to provide care at home.

Caroline Grogan, 2008


Rigorous studies — randomized control trials — indicate that community health workers can effectively deliver health services as diverse as birth control injections and HIV care management. They also show that CHWs can ultimately reduce child morbidity, child mortality and neonatal mortality.[1] Yet studies on national CHW programs in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Malawi found that CHWs did not reduce mortality,[2] which means that CHWs sometimes fail to contribute to health impacts. But why is that?

Background and Rationale

Community health workers (CHWs) are vital to country strategies to achieve universal health coverage (UHC). As health systems come to rely on CHWs to deliver a growing number of interventions and activities, the potential for overburdening them with unrealistic expectations increases. Limited human and financial resources, combined with a lack of tools to operationalize context-specific considerations for planning CHW workload, can lead to wishful thinking when it comes to defining CHW scopes of work, how many CHWs to engage, and expectations for population-level impact.

CHW Central is managed by Initiatives Inc. Site start-up was supported by the USAID Health Care Improvement Project in 2011.

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