‘When appropriately designed and implemented, community health worker (CHW) programs can increase the use of contraception, particularly where unmet need is high, access is low, and geographic or social barriers to use of services exist. The updated HIP brief, Community Health Workers: Bringing family planning services to where people live and work, describes the importance of community-based family planning programs as a means of reducing inequities in access to services and outlines key issues for planning and implementation.’
On page 7 there is a table on ‘Planning, Implementing, and Scaling-Up CHW Programs’, which looks at Factors Contributing to Success or Failure against a range of program approaches. factors contributing to success include (inter alia):
– Broad range of services and commodities that reflect the preferences of the communities served.
– Paid workers perform better than volunteers. Completely voluntary schemes do not work well. If workers are not paid, some other motivational scheme is required, and the scope of work for unpaid volunteers should be realistic.
– CHWs trained and engaged in social and behavior change communication activities.
– Supportive, rather than directive, CHW supervision.
– CHWs linked to and have ongoing relationship with facility-based services.
I look forward to hear from HIFA members about your experience and observations. We are especially keen to hear from CHWs and CHW trainers.
Best wishes, Neil
Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA: www.hifa2015.org