In 2010, the Ministry of Health in Zambia developed the National Community Health Assistant strategy, aiming to integrate community health workers (CHWs) into national health plans by creating a new group of workers, called community health assistants (CHAs). The aim of the paper is to analyse the CHA policy development process and the factors that influenced its evolution and content.
With medical reform, the function of community health centres became more important in China. However, health service capabilities were tremendously different between metropolitan cities and small cities.
The role of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in improving access to basic healthcare services, and mobilising community actions on health is broadly recognised. The Primary Health Care (PHC) approach, identified in the Alma Ata conference in 1978, stressed the role of CHWs in addressing community health needs. Training of CHWs is key to developing knowledge and skills related to specific tasks and to increase CHWs’ capacity to communicate with and serve local people.
Health policymakers in many countries are looking at ways of increasing health care coverage by scaling up the deployment of community health workers. Traditionally this has been seen as an option for low and middle income countries with inadequate numbers of trained health professionals. In this commentary, we describe the rationale for the UK to learn from Brazil's scaled-up Community Health Worker primary care strategy, starting with a pilot project in North Wales.
Tanzania has been a pioneer in establishing community-level services, yet challenges remain in sustaining these systems and ensuring adequate human resource strategies. In particular, the added value of a cadre of professional community health workers is under debate. While Tanzania has the highest density of primary health care facilities in Africa, equitable access and quality of care remain a challenge.
The postpartum period is a critical time to address high unmet family planning need and to reduce the risks of closely spaced pregnancies. Practical tools are included in the new resource for integrating postpartum family planning at points when women have frequent health system contact, including antenatal care, labor and delivery, postnatal care, immunization, and child health care. Actions at various levels, including community health workers are necessary in order to offer the family planning services that postpartum women want and deserve.
Community health workers (CHWs) are effective in improving access to health care, promoting client knowledge and behavior change, and contributing to improved health status of individuals. However, few outreach programs have evaluated the financial impact of CHWs on health care systems and policies. A longitudinal repeated measures design was used to assess the return on investment (ROI) of outreach by CHWs employed by Denver Health Community Voices. Service utilization, charges and reimbursements for 590 underserved men were analyzed 9 months before and after interaction with a CHW.
Community health workers (CHWs) are increasingly being incorporated into health programs because they are assumed to effectively deliver health messages in a culturally relevant manner to disenfranchised communities. Nevertheless, the role of CHWs-who they are, what they do, and how they do it-is tremendously varied. This variability presents a number of challenges for conducting research to determine the effectiveness of CHW programs, and translating research into practice. We discuss some of these challenges and provide examples from our experience working with CHWs.
Community Health Workers (CHWs) play a unique and valuable role in their communities, particularly in reducing health disparities by reaching underserved populations. To support efforts to build CHWs into a sustainable component of the health care system, the American Cancer Society - Midwest Division sought to increase understanding of and document the work of the CHW workforce specifically in the four states they serve – Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.