Welcome to Developing and Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs at Scale: A Reference Guide and Case Studies for Program Managers and Policymakers (the CHW Reference Guide). This guide is a long and detailed volume that is not intended to be read from cover to cover but rather to be used as a document that can be referred to as specific issues or questions arise. In this sense, you will find some repetition. We have also tried to refer the reader to other chapters where appropriate because many topics and issues are covered in various ways in different chapters.
This series of 18 training modules can be used in a five- or six-day workshop to deliver technical content on case management and prevention of common health problems through a community-directed delivery mechanism. These modules build on field experience in delivering malaria services through community effort as well as on the 16+ years of effort by the African Program for Onchocerciasis Control and the Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases of the World Health Organization and its partners.
This report presents highlights of the work accomplished by the WHO Department
of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA) in 2012 and 2013. The
scope and mandate of the work of the Department are broad. Through research,
MCA generates new evidence to shape norms, standards and guidelines that serve to
guide countries in adopting the most effective, evidence-based policies and strategies. It
supports building capacity for moving towards universal access to high-quality, integrated
The United Nations (UN) Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children (hereafter referred to as the “Commission) was established in 2012 to increase access to and expand the use of 13 life-saving health commodities for women and children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by 2015. To achieve this goal, the Commission made 10 recommendations, based on research into the barriers impacting the accessibility and adoption of the 13 commodities.
Over the past half-century, community health workers (CHWs) have been a growing force for extending health care and improving the health of populations. Following their introduction in the 1970s, many large-scale CHW programs declined during the 1980s, but CHW programs throughout the world more recently have seen marked growth. Research and evaluations conducted predominantly during the past two decades offer compelling evidence that CHWs are critical for helping health systems achieve their potential, regardless of a country's level of development.
Community health workers (CHWs) have a key role to play if we are to achieve our ambitious goals to reduce child and maternal mortality globally. A wide diversity of CHW cadres have been established in many countries, both in the public sector and with nongovernmental organizations, yet several major challenges have emerged. Mobile phones can be transformative for community health workers (CHWs) in enhancing their influence and status and helping to solve practical problems.
Community engagement and participation has played a critical role in successful disease control and elimination campaigns in many countries. Despite this, its benefits for malaria control and elimination are yet to be fully realized.
In low-resource settings, community health workers are frontline providers who shoulder the health service delivery burden. Increasingly, mobile technologies are developed, tested, and deployed with community health workers to facilitate tasks and improve outcomes.
For the world's 60 million non-facility births, addressing who is currently attending these births and what effect they have on birth outcomes is a key starting point toward improving care during childbirth. Skilled childbirth care is recommended for all pregnant women, and community strategies need to be linked to prompt, high-quality emergency obstetric care. CHWs may play a promising role in providing pregnancy and childbirth care, mobilizing communities, and improving perinatal outcomes in low-income settings.