Tuberculosis (TB) represents a leading infectious cause of death globally. New and novel approaches are required to reduce TB rates and mortality. This article reviews community health worker (CHW) led efforts to prevent and treat TB in order to evaluate the potential of CHW driven programs to effectively impact the future of TB prevention and care.
Kenya faces a heavy burden of tuberculosis. However, in 2016 only 46% cases were diagnosed. This study looked to identify strategies to increase attendance of patients at community-based clinics. This cluster randomized trial involved recruitment of individuals who showed disease symptoms by community health volunteers (CHVs).
The Community Health Systems (CHS) Catalog is a one-stop ‘shop’ for information on community health policies and programs across 25 countries, including extensive information on CHWs. Developed in 2014 and updated in 2017, it provides policymakers, program managers, researchers and donors with policy data to advance community health research, programming, and advocacy efforts. The CHS Catalog includes 25 country profiles, a set of infographics, and a summary of cross-country policy and program trends.
With the urgency of the HIV and TB epidemics in some low and middle-income countries, prevalent chronic diseases such as hypertension are often neglected by health services. This study assesses whether task-shifting from nurses to lay health workers (LHWs) improves the management of hypertension in rural primary healthcare clinics in South Africa.
At the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa in July 2016, Dr. Katie Simon presented findings from a study highlighting how community health workers can be utilized to address tuberculosis case detection, which often infects people living with HIV. This study found that intensified tuberculosis case finding (TB ICF) by CHWs was associated with a 20-fold increase in TB case detection at an antiretroviral therapy clinic in Malawi.
The CORE Group’s Tuberculosis Working Group met with global partners and colleague agencies in 2007 to discuss lessons learned in community-based TB treatment. This paper reflects the discussions from that meeting and the lessons that were articulated throughout the two-day long event. It specifically highlights nine project-design challenges at the community level for such TB treatment strategies, including those faced by CHWs and community-based projects.
Although Côte d’Ivoire has seen an overall downward trend in HIV prevalence rates over the past decade thanks to more robust and effective HIV/AIDS prevention programming, over 50 percent of adults and children who are HIV-positive have yet to receive antiretroviral therapy, according to UNAIDS estimates. Inadequate numbers of health workers, as well as their uneven distribution throughout the country, are significant barriers to the scale-up of HIV treatment.
According to two studies presented at the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health held in Cape Town last December, community care worker active case findings is an effective tool for increasing TB case detection in hard-to-reach populations. Early detection and treatment of people with active TB is crucial to decrease TB transmission, and community care workers have been shown to play an important role in case finding among vulnerable populations.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 500,000 children each year are diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) and 64,000 HIV-negative children die annually due to TB. The true burden of childhood TB is unknown; children are often undiagnosed and therefore do not receive appropriate care. Childhood TB is often seen with other common childhood illnesses such as HIV/ AIDS, pneumonia and malnutrition, and should be considered in sick children, particularly in areas of high TB burden.