Malaria still causes high morbidity and mortality around the world, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Community case management of malaria (CCMm) by community health workers (CHWs) is one of the strategies to combat the disease by increasing access to malaria treatment. While fever cases were previously treated presumptively with anti-malarials, CCMm programmes are now expected to follow the WHO recommendation to treat only malaria patients with confirmed diagnosis, usually with rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs)
Pneumonia causes around 750 000 child deaths per year in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. The lack of accessibility to prompt and effective treatment is an important contributor to this burden. Community case management of pneumonia (CCMp) uses trained community health workers (CHWs) to administer antibiotics to suspected child pneumonia cases in villages.
The use of community health workers to administer prompt treatments is gaining popularity in most sub-Saharan African countries. Their performance is a key challenge because it varies considerably, depending on the context, while being closely associated with the effectiveness of case management strategies. What determines community health workers' performance is still under debate. Based on a realist perspective, a systematic review recently hypothesized that several mechanisms are associated with good performance and successful community interventions.
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.
Community health worker (CHW) programmes are currently being scaled-up in sub-Saharan Africa to improve access to healthcare. CHWs are often volunteers; from an economic perspective, this raises considerations whether reliance on an unpaid workforce is sustainable and how to appropriately cost and value the work of CHWs. Both these questions can be informed by an understanding of CHWs’ workload, their opportunity costs of time and the perceived benefits of being a CHW. However, to date few studies have fully explored the methodological challenges in valuing CHW time.
The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. Our mission is to promote community health and development by connecting people, ideas, and resources.
The Tool Box consists of 46 chapters with topics ranging from community assessment to strategic planning to leadership and management. Each chapter also contains a related toolkit that can be utilized by your organization or used as a teaching tool.
In view of the slow progress being made in reducing maternal and child mortality in many priority countries, new approaches are urgently needed that can be applied in settings with weak health systems and a scarcity of human resources for health. The Care Group approach uses facilitators, who are a lower-level cadre of paid workers, to work with groups of 12 or so volunteers (the Care Group), and each volunteer is responsible for 10–15 households. The volunteers share messages with the mothers of the households to promote important health behaviors and to use key health services.
Numerous countries around the world have established community health programmes as a means to expanding access to health services among vulnerable populations, and these programmes are considered a vital component of reaching the health-related Millennium Development Goals. With the shift towards the sustainable development goals and emphasis within these on equitable universal health coverage, there is an increasing need to understand how best to implement community health worker (CHW) programmes.
This report includes many excellent suggestions for how CHWs can be meaningfully incorporated into our four key Innovation Plan initiatives - Accountable Communities for Health, Health Homes for Patients with Complex Needs, Maternity Care, and Palliative Care - to improve health outcomes for California's diverse populations.
Cardiovascular disease contributes substantially to the non-communicable disease (NCD) burden in low- income and middle-income countries, which also often have substantial health personnel shortages. In this observational study we investigated whether community health workers could do community-based screenings to predict cardiovascular disease risk as effectively as could physicians or nurses, with a simple, non-invasive risk prediction indicator in low-income and middle-income countries.