Community health workers providing government community case management for child survival in sub-Saharan Africa: Who are they and what are they expected to do?

Asha George, Mark Young, Rory Nefdt, Roshni Basu, Mariame Sylla, Guy Clarysse, Marika Yip Bannicq, Alexandra De Sousa, Nancy Binkin, Theresa Diaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We describe community health workers (CHWs) in government community case management (CCM) programs for child survival across sub-Saharan Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, 91% of 44 United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) offices responded to a cross-sectional survey in 2010. Frequencies describe CHW profiles and activities in government CCM programs (N = 29). Although a few programs paid CHWs a salary or conversely, rewarded CHWs purely on a non-financial basis, most programs combined financial and non-financial incentives and had training for 1 week. Not all programs allowed CHWs to provide zinc, use timers, dispense antibiotics, or use rapid diagnostic tests. Many CHWs undertake health promotion, but fewer CHWs provide soap, water treatment products, indoor residual spraying, or ready-to-use therapeutic foods. For newborn care, very few promote kangaroo care, and they do not provide antibiotics or resuscitation. Even if CHWs are as varied as the health systems in which they work, more work must be done in terms of the design and implementation of the CHW programs for them to realize their potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume87
Issue numberSUPPL.5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Medicine(all)

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