The Potential for Community-Directed Interventions: Reaching Underserved Populations in Africa

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Abstract

Community-directed interventions (CDIs) have the potential for fulfilling the promise of primary health care by reaching underserved populations in various settings. CDI has been successfully tested by expanding access to additional health services like malaria case management through local effort in communities where ivermectin distribution is ongoing. The question remains whether the CDI approach has potential in communities that do not have a foundation of community-directed treatment with ivermectin. The UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Program of Research and Training in Tropical Diseases commissioned three sets of formative studies to explore the potential for introducing CDI among nomads, urban poor, and rural areas with no community-directed treatment with ivermectin. This article reviews their findings. Community and health system respondents identified a set of mainly communicable diseases that could be adapted to CDI as well as participatory mechanisms like community-based organizations and leaders that could form a foundation for local organizing and participation. It is hoped that the results of these formative studies will spur further research on CDI among peoples with poor health-care access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-316
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Quarterly of Community Health Education
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Keywords

  • access
  • Africa
  • community-directed interventions
  • infectious diseases prevention and control
  • nomads
  • urban and rural health systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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