Expanding the use of community health workers in urban settings: A potential strategy for progress towards universal health coverage

Brian Wahl, Susanna Lehtimaki, Stefan Germann, Nina Schwalbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Community health worker (CHW) programmes have been used for decades to improve access to health services in rural settings in low- and middle-income countries. With more than half of the world's population currently living in urban areas and this population expected to grow, equitable access to health services in urban areas is critically important. To understand the extent to which CHW programmes have been successfully deployed in low-income urban settings, we conducted a review of the literature between 2000 and 2018 to identify studies evaluating and describing CHW programmes implemented fully or partially in urban or peri-urban settings. We identified 32 peer-reviewed articles that met our inclusion criteria. Benefits have been documented in several urban settings in low- and middle-income countries including those to address TB/HIV, child health, maternal health and non-communicable diseases through a variety of study designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-101
Number of pages11
JournalHealth policy and planning
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

Keywords

  • Community health
  • low- and middle-income countries
  • primary health
  • urban health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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