Integrating national community health worker programs into health systems
- It helps solve a pressing problem, and does not disrupt existing professional privileges;
- There is high level political support; and
- The CHW program is compatible with the health systems’ governance, financing and training functions.
- too rapid scale-up;
- discrimination against CHWs based on social, gender and economic status;
- inappropriate incentive structures;
- inadequate infrastructure and supplies; and
- problems related to communication processes.
Want to keep
The University of Melbourne online course,
Health Systems Strengthening
- Involving communities in selecting CHWs and promoting program use;
- Engaging relevant community representatives in planning, priority setting, monitoring, evaluation and problem-solving; and
- Supporting CHWs in engaging the community and mobilising local resources to address key health problems.
What do you think the benefits of greater integration into the formal health system might be for CHWs and for the programs they deliver?What do you think might be the potential problems or issues that could arise from too much integration? (Think about how CHW might be viewed by the community; and how they might be used or abused by other health workers in the formal system).
Miller, NP, Amouzou, A, Tafesse, M, Hazel, E, Legesse, H, Degefie, T, Victora, CG, Black, RE & Bryce, J, 2014, ‘Integrated community case management of childhood illness in Ethiopia: implementation strength and quality of care’, The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, vol. 91, no. 2, pp. 424-434.
World Health Organization, 2018, ‘WHO guideline on health policy and system support to optimize community health worker programmes’, World Health Organization.
World Health Organization, 2018, ‘WHO guideline on health policy and system support to optimize community health worker programmes – Selected highlights’, World Health Organization.
Zulu, JM, Kinsman, J, Michelo, C & Hurtig, AK, 2014, ‘Integrating national community-based health worker programmes into health systems: a systematic review identifying lessons learned from low-and middle-income countries’, BMC public health, vol. 14, no. 1, p. 987.
Health Systems Strengthening
Our purpose is to transform access to education.
We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.
We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.