Video Spotlight

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

Joseph F. Naimoli, Diana E. Frymus, Estelle E. Quain, and Emily L. Roseman

The global shortage of skilled, motivated, and supported health workers is universally acknowledged as a key development challenge because it is a critical barrier to strengthening health systems, achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), improving the prospects for universal health coverage, and addressing inequity and poverty. The World Health Report 2006, Working Together for Health, estimated a worldwide shortage of 4.3 million health workers. An important dimension of this response to the workforce challenge has been a resurgence of interest in and attention to Community Health Workers (CHWs). This Evidence Summit Report examines the types of community and formal health system support activities that are intended to improve CHW performance and how this support is provided. Despite many years of empirical inquiry on CHWs, the Summit found that the relationship between support—from both community and formal health systems—and CHW performance is still not well understood. Summit findings suggest the need for a strategic research agenda, as well as a series of policy and practice initiatives to improve and sustain CHW performance at scale.

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