Experiences engaging community health workers to provide maternal and newborn health services: Implementation of four programs

Jaime Haver, William Brieger, Jérémie Zoungrana, Nasratullah Ansari, Jean Kagoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A paucity of skilled health providers is a considerable impediment to reducing maternal, infant, and under-five mortality for many low-resource countries. Although evidence supports the effectiveness of community health workers (CHWs) in delivering primary healthcare services, shifting tasks to this cadre from providers with advanced training has been pursued with overall caution - both because of difficulties determining an appropriate package of CHW services and to avoid overburdening the cadre. We reviewed programs in Rwanda, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Nepal where tasks in delivery of health promotion information and distribution of commodities were transitioned to CHWs to reach underserved populations. The community-based interventions were complementary to facility-based interventions as part of a comprehensive approach to increase access to basic health services. Drawing on these experiences, we illuminate commonalities, lessons learned, and factors contributing to the programs' implementation strategies to help inform practical application in other settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S32-S39
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume130
Issue numberS2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Keywords

  • Community health worker
  • Human resources for health
  • Maternal and newborn health
  • Primary health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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