To support quality CHW program design and implementation, USAID, UNICEF, the Community Health Impact Coalition, and Initiatives Inc. have updated and adapted the Community Health Worker Assessment and Improvement Matrix (CHW AIM) Program Functionality Matrix tool. This tool can be applied at district, regional, and national levels to identify and close gaps in design and implementation and, ultimately, enhance program performance.
The Community Health Systems (CHS) Catalog is a one-stop ‘shop’ for information on community health policies and programs across 25 countries, including extensive information on CHWs. Developed in 2014 and updated in 2017, it provides policymakers, program managers, researchers and donors with policy data to advance community health research, programming, and advocacy efforts. The CHS Catalog includes 25 country profiles, a set of infographics, and a summary of cross-country policy and program trends.
In Ethiopia some CHWs are now receiving smartphones that aid them in providing care for patients as well as strengthening new skills they can use in their job. This technology is powered by a solar lantern that allows CHWs to use training modules at home that can be downloaded and used without connection. In addition, the lantern provides a source of light to study CHW textbooks at night. These resources have increased exam scores of CHWs and helped them feel better prepared to help those in their community.
To work well, health supply chains require timeliness, accuracy, and reliability at all stages. Even one break in the supply chain—an hours’ delay in delivery—”can have repercussions throughout the system, ultimately determining if families can access life-saving medicines and commodities.” Thus it is crucial that all actors—from procurement specialists to storekeepers and service providers—do their part to keep the system running.
Globally, 2.5 billion people are “unbanked,” lacking access to formal financial services. As a result, roughly one third of the world’s population is forced to rely on cash transactions or informal financial systems, which can often be unsafe, inconvenient, and expensive. Among the unbanked, however, a billion have access to a mobile phone, and mobile-based financial services are quickly closing the financial access gap.
Humanitarian crises are often marked by large-scale, externally funded, and vertically managed responses. National health systems, already weak, are often bypassed by international organizations in the interest of rapid response to save lives. There is growing recognition, however, of the importance of employing more sustainable approaches through existing health system infrastructure to ensure services continue as the emergency subsides and organizations and their resource flows end.
Malaria Consortium has had extensive experience designing, developing, implementing and evaluating a variety of job aids. An integral part of our work is to strengthen capacity and improve the performance of health workers to be able to prevent, diagnose, treat and care for groups most at risk of malaria and other communicable diseases.