Rates of perinatal depression in low and middle-income countries are reported to be very high. Perinatal depression not only has a profound impact on women’s health, disability and functioning, it is associated with poor child health outcomes such as pre-term birth, under-nutrition, and stunting, which ultimately have an adverse trans-generational impact. There is strong evidence in the medical literature that perinatal depression can be effectively managed with psychological treatments delivered by non-specialists.
Community-based strategies that foster frequent contact between caregivers of children under five and provide credible sources of health information are essential to improve child survival. Care Groups are a community-based implementation strategy for the delivery of social and behavior change interventions. This study assessed if supervision of Care Group activities by Ministry of Health (MOH) personnel could achieve the same child health outcomes as supervision provided by specialized non-governmental organization (NGO) staff.
Integrated community case management (iCCM) relies on community health workers (CHWs) managing children with malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea, and referring children when management is not possible. This study sought to establish the cost per sick child referred to seek care from a higher-level health facility by a CHW and to estimate caregivers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for a referral.
Care Group projects resulted in high levels of healthy behavior, including use of oral rehydration therapy, bed nets, and health care services. Accordingly, under-5 mortality in Care Groups areas declined by an estimated 32% compared with 11% in areas with child survival projects not using Core Groups.
Care Groups use volunteers to motivate mothers to adopt key MCH behaviors. The volunteers meet as a group every 2-4 weeks with a paid facilitator to learn new health promotion messages. Key ingredients of the approach include: peer-to-peer health promotion, selection of volunteers by the mothers, a manageable workload for the volunteers (no more than 15 households per volunteer), frequent (at least monthly) contact between volunteers and mothers, and regular supervision of the volunteers.
When trusted, Community Health Workers (CHWs) can contribute to improving maternal and newborn health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries through education. Issues of acceptability of CHWs by communities were explored through experiences gained in a qualitative study that is part of a cluster randomized trial in East Uganda.
CHWs provide critical health services to populations that lack access to services at health facilities. Well-trained and supplied CHWs can have positive impacts on health, but little is known about the adequacy, cost, or effectiveness of training models to prepare CHWs. This report analyzes key pieces of literature on CHW training and provides recommendations and next steps on how to improve CHW training.