Video Spotlight

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

Piloting a mental health training programme for community health workers in South Africa: an exploration of changes in knowledge, confidence and attitudes

Despite psychiatric disorders contributing to a significant portion of the global disease burden, insufficient access to mental health services is widespread.  This study examined its CHW mental health training program, developed in close collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Health, and evaluates the program’s success in improving the knowledge, skill and confidence among trained CHWs and expanding access to mental health services.

Using community health workers to refer pregnant women and young children to health care facilities in rural West Bengal, India: A prospective cohort study

CHWs have been deployed in rural parts of India to improve access to preventative care in the country. This prospective cohort study describes how pregnant women and mothers of young children in rural West Bengal, India react when CHWs inform them that they, or their child, are at high risk of pregnancy-related complications or early childhood development delays and need further screening and health care from a physician. 

Delivery of public health services by community health workers (CHWs) in primary health care settings in China: a systematic review (1996–2016)

China has a history of integrating CHWs in public health intervention programs. Known as village doctors, these CHWs provide treatment and public responsibilities health. This systematic review identifies the public health services provided by CHWs and describes the potential barriers and facilitators of these services. 

Facilitators and barriers to birth preparedness and complication readiness in rural Rwanda among community health workers and community members: a qualitative study

This qualitative study examines the facilitating factors and barriers to birth preparedness and complication readiness in rural Rwanda.  Participants perceived CHWs, attending antenatal care, and medical insurance as facilitating factors while disrespectful care and inconsistent health policies were seen as barriers. 

The roles, training and knowledge of community health workers about diabetes and hypertension in Khayelitsha, Cape Town

This cross-sectional study assessed the current roles, training, and knowledge of CHWs about diabetes and hypertension in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. One hundred and fifty CHWs from two non-governmental organisations required to provide non-communicable disease care as part of a comprehensive package of services were interviewed. Results indicate that roles were broad and varied, training was seen to be unstandardized and haphazard, and basic knowledge about diabetes and hypertension was poor among the CHWs.

Community Health Workers

This report details the history and current state of CHW programs around the world and highlights the importance of sustainability and improving CHW performance. 

Evaluating the Impact of a Community Health Worker in the Heart Smarts Corner Stores

This study examines the effects of community health workers on participation in the Heart Smarts program implemented by the Food Trust. Results show higher participant retention rates and lower blood pressure rates in stores that had community health workers. The authors suggest that having community health workers in other sites would increase the number of repeat visits and help in lowering participant blood pressure. 

Evaluation of malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) use by community health workers: a longitudinal study in western Kenya

This study assessed whether or not community health workers maintain competency in malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) administration over a twelve-month period as well as  the CHW characteristics, such as age or level of experience, that influence competencies. The results indicate that a majority of CHWs maintain RDT competency over at least a twelve-month period and that younger age and prior experience with RDT are associated with better RDT performance. 

The role of community health workers in improving HIV treatment outcomes in children: lessons learned from the ZENITH trial in Zimbabwe

This study examines Community Health Workers’ perceptions of how the Zimbabwe study for Enhancing Testing and Improving Treatment of HIV in Children (ZENITH) randomized controlled trial’s structure and management affected their performance. The results of the study showed that CHWs saw the intervention as acceptable, feasible, and expressed overall strong job satisfaction. Long term sustainability of the programme is highlighted as an issue and the future improvement and adoption of the approach in other settings are discussed.

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