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1.  The role of social participation in municipal-level health systems: the case of Palencia, Guatemala 
Global Health Action  2013;6:10.3402/gha.v6i0.20786.
Background
Social participation has been recognized as an important public health policy since the declaration of Alma-Ata presented it as one of the pillars of primary health care in 1978. Since then, there have been many adaptations to the original policy but participation in health is still seen as a means to make the health system more responsive to local health needs and as a way to bring the health sector and the community closer together.
Objective
To explore the role that social participation has in a municipal-level health system in Guatemala in order to inform future policies and programs.
Design
Documentary analysis was used to study the context of participation in Guatemala. To do this, written records and accounts of Guatemalan history during the 20th century were reviewed. The fieldwork was carried out over 8 months and three field visits were conducted between early January of 2009 and late March of 2010. A total of 38 in-depth interviews with regional health authorities, district health authorities, community representatives, and community health workers (CHWs) were conducted. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results
Guatemala's armed civil struggle was framed in the cold war and the fight against communism. Locally, the war was fed by the growing social, political, and ethnic inequalities that existed in the country. The process of reconstructing the country's social fabric started with the signing of the peace agreements of 1996, and continued with the passing of the 2002 legal framework designed to promote decentralization through social participation. Today, Guatemala is a post-war society that is trying to foster participation in a context full of challenges for the population and for the institutions that promote it. In the municipality of Palencia, there are three different spaces for participation in health: the municipal-level health commission, in community-level social development councils, and in the CHW program. Each of these spaces has participants with specific roles and processes.
Conclusions
True participation and collaboration among can only be attained through the promotion and creation of meaningful partnerships between institutional stakeholders and community leaders, as well as with other stakeholders working at the community level. For this to happen, more structured support for the participation process in the form of clear policies, funding and capacity building is needed.
doi:10.3402/gha.v6i0.20786
PMCID: PMC3772320  PMID: 24028936
social participation; primary health care; guatemala; alma ata; community participation; community health workers; palencia
2.  The experience of community health workers training in Iran: a qualitative study 
Background
The role of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in improving access to basic healthcare services, and mobilising community actions on health is broadly recognised. The Primary Health Care (PHC) approach, identified in the Alma Ata conference in 1978, stressed the role of CHWs in addressing community health needs. Training of CHWs is one of the key aspects that generally seeks to develop new knowledge and skills related to specific tasks and to increase CHWs’ capacity to communicate with and serve local people. This study aimed to analyse the CHW training process in Iran and how different components of training have impacted on CHW performance and satisfaction.
Methods
Data were collected from both primary and secondary sources. Training policies were reviewed using available policy documents, training materials and other relevant documents at national and provincial levels. Documentary analysis was supplemented by individual interviews with ninety-one Iranian CHWs from 18 provinces representing a broad range of age, work experience and educational levels, both male and female.
Results
Recognition of the CHW program and their training in the national health planning and financing facilitates the implementation and sustainability of the program. The existence of specialised training centres managed by district health network provides an appropriate training environment that delivers comprehensive training and increases CHWs’ knowledge, skills and motivation to serve local communities. Changes in training content over time reflect an increasing number of programs integrated into PHC, complicating the work expected of CHWs. In-service training courses need to address better local needs.
Conclusion
Although CHW programs vary by country and context, the CHW training program in Iran offers transferable lessons for countries intending to improve training as one of the key elements in their CHW program.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-291
PMCID: PMC3475089  PMID: 22938138
Community health workers; Training; Primary health care
3.  Drugs for some but not all: inequity within community health worker teams during introduction of integrated community case management 
BMC Health Services Research  2014;14(Suppl 1):S1.
Background
The Ugandan health system now supports integrated community case management (iCCM) by community health workers (CHWs) to treat young children ill with fever, presumed pneumonia, and diarrhea. During an iCCM pilot intervention study in southwest Uganda, two CHWs were selected from existing village teams of two to seven CHWs, to be trained in iCCM. Therefore, some villages had both ‘basic CHWs’ who were trained in standard health promotion and ‘iCCM CHWs’ who were trained in the iCCM intervention. A qualitative study was conducted to investigate how providing training, materials, and support for iCCM to some CHWs and not others in a CHW team impacts team functioning and CHW motivation.
Methods
In 2012, iCCM was implemented in Kyabugimbi sub-county of Bushenyi District in Uganda. Following seven months of iCCM intervention, focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted alongside other end line tools as part of a post-iCCM intervention study. Study participants were community leaders, caregivers of young children, and the CHWs themselves (‘basic’ and ‘iCCM’). Qualitative content analysis was used to identify prominent themes from the transcribed data.
Results
The five main themes observed were: motivation and self-esteem; selection, training, and tools; community perceptions and rumours; social status and equity; and cooperation and team dynamics. ‘Basic CHWs’ reported feeling hurt and overshadowed by ‘iCCM CHWs’ and reported reduced self-esteem and motivation. iCCM training and tools were perceived to be a significant advantage, which fueled feelings of segregation. CHW cooperation and team dynamics varied from area to area, although there was an overall discord amongst CHWs regarding inequity in iCCM participation. Despite this discord, reasonable personal and working relationships within teams were retained.
Conclusions
Training and supporting only some CHWs within village teams unexpectedly and negatively impacted CHW motivation for ‘basic CHWs’, but not necessarily team functioning. A potential consequence might be reduced CHW productivity and increased attrition. CHW programmers should consider minimizing segregation when introducing new program opportunities through providing equal opportunities to participate and receive incentives, while seeking means to improve communication, CHW solidarity, and motivation.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-S1-S1
PMCID: PMC4108853  PMID: 25078968
community health worker; equity; health promotion; integrated community case management; motivation; Uganda; travailleurs en santé communautaire; équité; promotion de la santé; gestion des cas intégrée en milieu communautaire; motivation; Ouganda
4.  User Perceptions of an mHealth Medicine Dosing Tool for Community Health Workers 
JMIR mHealth and uHealth  2013;1(1):e2.
Background
Mobile health (mHealth) technologies provide many potential benefits to the delivery of health care. Medical decision support tools have shown particular promise in improving quality of care and provider workflow. Frontline health workers such as Community Health Workers (CHWs) have been shown to be effective in extending the reach of care, yet only a few medicine dosing tools are available to them.
Objective
We developed an mHealth medicine dosing tool tailored to the skill level of CHWs to assist in the delivery of care. The mHealth tool was created for CHWs with primary school education working in rural Mexico and Guatemala. Perceptions and impressions of this tool were collected and compared to an existing paper-based medicine dosing tool.
Methods
Seventeen Partners In Health CHWs in rural Mexico and Guatemala completed a one-day training in the mHealth medicine dosing tool. Following the training, a prescription dosing test was administered, and CHWs were given the choice to use the mHealth or paper-based tool to answer 7 questions. Subsequently, demographic and qualitative data was collected using a questionnaire and an in-person interview conducted in Spanish, then translated into English. The qualitative questions captured data on 4 categories: comfort, acceptability, preference, and accuracy. Qualitative responses were analyzed for major themes and quantitative variables were analyzed using SAS.
Results
82% of the 17 CHWs chose the mHealth tool for at least 1 of 7 questions compared to 53% (9/17) who chose to use the paper-based tool. 93% (13/14) rated the phone as being easy or very easy to use, and 56% (5/9) who used the paper-based tool rated it as easy or very easy. Dosing accuracy was generally higher among questions answered using the mHealth tool relative to questions answered using the paper-based tool. Analysis of major qualitative themes indicated that the mHealth tool was perceived as being quick, easy to use, and as having complete information. The mHealth tool was seen as an acceptable dosing tool to use and as a way for CHWs to gain credibility within the community.
Conclusions
A tailored cell phone-based mHealth medicine dosing tool was found to be useful and acceptable by CHWs in rural Mexico and Guatemala. The streamlined workflow of the mHealth tool and benefits such as the speed and self-lighting were found to be particularly useful features. Well designed and positioned tools such as this may improve effective task shifting by reinforcing the tasks that different cadres of workers are asked to perform. Further studies can explore how to best implement this mHealth tool in real-world settings, including how to incorporate the best elements of the paper-based tool that were also found to be helpful.
doi:10.2196/mhealth.2459
PMCID: PMC4114471  PMID: 25100670
community health worker; cellular phone; mobile health; Mexico; Guatemala; decision support techniques; medical order entry systems
5.  Thirty years after Alma-Ata: a systematic review of the impact of community health workers delivering curative interventions against malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea on child mortality and morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa 
Background
Over thirty years have passed since the Alma-Ata Declaration on primary health care in 1978. Many governments in the first decade following the declaration responded by developing national programmes of community health workers (CHWs), but evaluations of these often demonstrated poor outcomes. As many CHW programmes have responded to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, international interest in them has returned and their role in the response to other diseases should be examined carefully so that lessons can be applied to their new roles. Over half of the deaths in African children under five years of age are due to malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia - a situation which could be addressed through the use of cheap and effective interventions delivered by CHWs. However, to date there is very little evidence from randomised controlled trials of the impacts of CHW programmes on child mortality in Africa. Evidence from non-randomised controlled studies has not previously been reviewed systematically.
Methods
We searched databases of published and unpublished studies for RCTs and non-randomised studies evaluating CHW programmes delivering curative treatments, with or without preventive components, for malaria, diarrhoea or pneumonia, in children in sub-Saharan Africa from 1987 to 2007. The impact of these programmes on morbidity or mortality in children under six years of age was reviewed. A descriptive analysis of interventional and contextual factors associated with these impacts was attempted.
Results
The review identified seven studies evaluating CHWs, delivering a range of interventions. Limited descriptive data on programmes, contexts or process outcomes for these CHW programmes were available. CHWs in national programmes achieved large mortality reductions of 63% and 36% respectively, when insecticide-treated nets and anti-malarial chemoprophylaxis were delivered, in addition to curative interventions.
Conclusions
CHW programmes could potentially achieve large gains in child survival in sub-Saharan Africa if these programmes were implemented at scale. Large-scale rigorous studies, including RCTs, are urgently needed to provide policymakers with more evidence on the effects of CHWs delivering these interventions.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-9-27
PMCID: PMC3214180  PMID: 22024435
6.  Rwanda’s evolving community health worker system: a qualitative assessment of client and provider perspectives 
Human Resources for Health  2014;12(1):71.
Background
Community health workers (CHWs) can play important roles in primary health care delivery, particularly in settings of health workforce shortages. However, little is known about CHWs’ perceptions of barriers and motivations, as well as those of the beneficiaries of CHWs. In Rwanda, which faces a significant gap in human resources for health, the Ministry of Health expanded its community health programme beginning in 2007, eventually placing 4 trained CHWs in every village in the country by 2009. The aim of this study was to assess the capacity of CHWs and the factors affecting the efficiency and effectiveness of the CHW programme, as perceived by the CHWs and their beneficiaries.
Methods
As part of a larger report assessing CHWs in Rwanda, a cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted using focus group discussions (FGDs) to collect qualitative information regarding educational background, knowledge and practices of CHWs, and the benefits of community-based care as perceived by CHWs and household beneficiaries. A random sample of 108 CHWs and 36 beneficiaries was selected in 3 districts according to their food security level (low, middle and high). Qualitative and demographic data were analyzed.
Results
CHWs were found to be closely involved in the community, and widely respected by the beneficiaries. Rwanda’s community performance-based financing (cPBF) was an important incentive, but CHWs were also strongly motivated by community respect. The key challenges identified were an overwhelming workload, irregular trainings, and lack of sufficient supervision.
Conclusions
This study highlights the challenges and areas in need of improvement as perceived by CHWs and beneficiaries, in regards to a nationwide scale-up of CHW interventions in a resource-challenged country. Identifying and understanding these barriers, and addressing them accordingly, particularly within the context of performance-based financing, will serve to strengthen the current CHW system and provide key guidance for the continuing evolution of the CHW system in Rwanda.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-12-71
PMCID: PMC4320528  PMID: 25495237
Rwanda; CHW; Health system; Provider and Clients’ perspectives; Qualitative assessment
7.  Comparing the implementation of team approaches for improving diabetes care in community health centers 
Background
Patient panel management and community-based care management may be viable strategies for community health centers to improve the quality of diabetes care for vulnerable patient populations. The objective of our study was to clarify implementation processes and experiences of integrating office-based medical assistant (MA) panel management and community health worker (CHW) community-based management into routine care for diabetic patients.
Methods
Mixed methods study with interviews and surveys of clinicians and staff participating in a study comparing the effectiveness of MA and CHW health coaching for improving diabetes care. Participants included 24 key informants in five role categories and 249 clinicians and staff survey respondents from 14 participating practices. We conducted thematic analyses of key informant interview transcripts to clarify implementation processes and describe barriers to integrating the new roles into practice. We surveyed clinicians and staff to assess differences in practice culture among intervention and control groups. We triangulated findings to identify concordant and disparate results across data sources.
Results
Implementation processes and experiences varied considerably among the practices implementing CHW and MA team-based approaches, resulting in differences in the organization of health coaching and self-management support activities. Importantly, CHW and MA responsibilities converged over time to focus on health coaching of diabetic patients. MA health coaches experienced difficulty in allocating dedicated time due to other MA responsibilities that often crowded out time for diabetic patient health coaching. Time constraints also limited the personal introduction of patients to health coaches by clinicians. Participants highlighted the importance of a supportive team climate and proactive leadership as important enablers for MAs and CHWs to implement their health coaching responsibilities and also promoted professional growth.
Conclusion
Implementation of team-based strategies to improve diabetes care for vulnerable populations was diverse, however all practices converged in their foci on health coaching roles of CHWs and MAs. Our study suggests that a flexible approach to implementing health coaching is more important than fidelity to rigid models that do not allow for variable allocation of responsibilities across team members. Clinicians play an instrumental role in supporting health coaches to grow into their new patient care responsibilities.
doi:10.1186/s12913-014-0608-z
PMCID: PMC4264557  PMID: 25468448
Diabetes mellitus; Implementation; Community health centers; Organizational change
8.  Can a community health worker and a trained traditional birth attendant work as a team to deliver child health interventions in rural Zambia? 
Background
Teaming is an accepted approach in health care settings but rarely practiced at the community level in developing countries. Save the Children trained and deployed teams of volunteer community health workers (CHWs) and trained traditional birth attendants (TBAs) to provide essential newborn and curative care for children aged 0–59 months in rural Zambia. This paper assessed whether CHWs and trained TBAs can work as teams to deliver interventions and ensure a continuum of care for all children under-five, including newborns.
Methods
We trained CHW-TBA teams in teaming concepts and assessed their level of teaming prospectively every six months for two years. The overall score was a function of both teamwork and taskwork. We also assessed personal, community and service factors likely to influence the level of teaming.
Results
We created forty-seven teams of predominantly younger, male CHWs and older, female trained TBAs. After two years of deployment, twenty-one teams scored “high”, twelve scored “low,” and fourteen were inactive. Teamwork was high for mutual trust, team cohesion, comprehension of team goals and objectives, and communication, but not for decision making/planning. Taskwork was high for joint behavior change communication and outreach services with local health workers, but not for intra-team referral. Teams with members residing within one hour’s walking distance were more likely to score high.
Conclusion
It is feasible for a CHW and a trained TBA to work as a team. This may be an approach to provide a continuum of care for children under-five including newborns.
doi:10.1186/s12913-014-0516-2
PMCID: PMC4213486  PMID: 25344701
Teams; Teaming; Teamwork; Taskwork; Continuum of care; Community health workers; Traditional birth attendants; Newborn health; Child health care; Zambia
9.  Sources of community health worker motivation: a qualitative study in Morogoro Region, Tanzania 
Background
There is a renewed interest in community health workers (CHWs) in Tanzania, but also a concern that low motivation of CHWs may decrease the benefits of investments in CHW programs. This study aimed to explore sources of CHW motivation to inform programs in Tanzania and similar contexts.
Methods
We conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 CHWs in Morogoro Region, Tanzania. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and coded prior to translation and thematic analysis. The authors then conducted a literature review on CHW motivation and a framework that aligned with our findings was modified to guide the presentation of results.
Results
Sources of CHW motivation were identified at the individual, family, community, and organizational levels. At the individual level, CHWs are predisposed to volunteer work and apply knowledge gained to their own problems and those of their families and communities. Families and communities supplement other sources of motivation by providing moral, financial, and material support, including service fees, supplies, money for transportation, and help with farm work and CHW tasks. Resistance to CHW work exhibited by families and community members is limited. The organizational level (the government and its development partners) provides motivation in the form of stipends, potential employment, materials, training, and supervision, but inadequate remuneration and supplies discourage CHWs. Supervision can also be dis-incentivizing if perceived as a sign of poor performance.
Conclusions
Tanzanian CHWs who work despite not receiving a salary have an intrinsic desire to volunteer, and their motivation often derives from support received from their families when other sources of motivation are insufficient. Policy-makers and program managers should consider the burden that a lack of remuneration imposes on the families of CHWs. In addition, CHWs’ intrinsic desire to volunteer does not preclude a desire for external rewards. Rather, adequate and formal financial incentives and in-kind alternatives would allow already-motivated CHWs to increase their commitment to their work.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-11-52
PMCID: PMC3852396  PMID: 24112292
Community health workers; Motivation; Incentives; Tanzania
10.  Comparing a paper based monitoring and evaluation system to a mHealth system to support the national community health worker programme, South Africa: an evaluation 
Background
In an attempt to address a complex disease burden, including improving progress towards MDGs 4 and 5, South Africa recently introduced a re-engineered Primary Health Care (PHC) strategy, which has led to the development of a national community health worker (CHW) programme. The present study explored the development of a cell phone-based and paper-based monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to support the work of the CHWs.
Methods
One sub-district in the North West province was identified for the evaluation. One outreach team comprising ten CHWs maintained both the paper forms and mHealth system to record household data on community-based services. A comparative analysis was done to calculate the correspondence between the paper and phone records. A focus group discussion was conducted with the CHWs. Clinical referrals, data accuracy and supervised visits were compared and analysed for the paper and phone systems.
Results
Compared to the mHealth system where data accuracy was assured, 40% of the CHWs showed a consistently high level (>90% correspondence) of data transfer accuracy on paper. Overall, there was an improvement over time, and by the fifth month, all CHWs achieved a correspondence of 90% or above between phone and paper data. The most common error that occurred was summing the total number of visits and/or activities across the five household activity indicators. Few supervised home visits were recorded in either system and there was no evidence of the team leader following up on the automatic notifications received on their cell phones.
Conclusions
The evaluation emphasizes the need for regular supervision for both systems and rigorous and ongoing assessments of data quality for the paper system. Formalization of a mHealth M&E system for PHC outreach teams delivering community based services could offer greater accuracy of M&E and enhance supervision systems for CHWs.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-14-69
PMCID: PMC4150556  PMID: 25106499
Community health workers; Monitoring and evaluation; mHealth; Community based services
11.  Community Case Management of Fever Due to Malaria and Pneumonia in Children Under Five in Zambia: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(9):e1000340.
In a cluster randomized trial, Kojo Yeboah-Antwi and colleagues find that integrated management of malaria and pneumonia in children under five by community health workers is both feasible and effective.
Background
Pneumonia and malaria, two of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among children under five in Zambia, often have overlapping clinical manifestations. Zambia is piloting the use of artemether-lumefantrine (AL) by community health workers (CHWs) to treat uncomplicated malaria. Valid concerns about potential overuse of AL could be addressed by the use of malaria rapid diagnostics employed at the community level. Currently, CHWs in Zambia evaluate and treat children with suspected malaria in rural areas, but they refer children with suspected pneumonia to the nearest health facility. This study was designed to assess the effectiveness and feasibility of using CHWs to manage nonsevere pneumonia and uncomplicated malaria with the aid of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs).
Methods and Findings
Community health posts staffed by CHWs were matched and randomly allocated to intervention and control arms. Children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years were managed according to the study protocol, as follows. Intervention CHWs performed RDTs, treated test-positive children with AL, and treated those with nonsevere pneumonia (increased respiratory rate) with amoxicillin. Control CHWs did not perform RDTs, treated all febrile children with AL, and referred those with signs of pneumonia to the health facility, as per Ministry of Health policy. The primary outcomes were the use of AL in children with fever and early and appropriate treatment with antibiotics for nonsevere pneumonia. A total of 3,125 children with fever and/or difficult/fast breathing were managed over a 12-month period. In the intervention arm, 27.5% (265/963) of children with fever received AL compared to 99.1% (2066/2084) of control children (risk ratio 0.23, 95% confidence interval 0.14–0.38). For children classified with nonsevere pneumonia, 68.2% (247/362) in the intervention arm and 13.3% (22/203) in the control arm received early and appropriate treatment (risk ratio 5.32, 95% confidence interval 2.19–8.94). There were two deaths in the intervention and one in the control arm.
Conclusions
The potential for CHWs to use RDTs, AL, and amoxicillin to manage both malaria and pneumonia at the community level is promising and might reduce overuse of AL, as well as provide early and appropriate treatment to children with nonsevere pneumonia.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00513500
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, about 11 million children die before their fifth birthday. Most of these deaths are in developing countries and most are due to a handful of causes—pneumonia (lung inflammation usually caused by an infection), malaria (a parasitic disease spread by mosquitoes), measles, diarrhea, and birth-related problems. In sub-Saharan Africa, pneumonia and malaria alone are responsible for nearly a third of deaths in young children. Both these diseases can be treated if caught early—pneumonia with antibiotics such as amoxicillin and malaria with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), a treatment that contains several powerful antimalarial drugs. Unfortunately, parents in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa rarely have easy access to health facilities and sick children are often treated at home by community health workers (CHWs, individuals with some medical training who provide basic health care to their communities), drug sellers, and traditional healers. This situation means that ongoing global efforts to reduce child mortality will require innovative community level interventions if they are to succeed.
Why Was This Study Done?
One community level intervention that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) recently recommended is integrated management of malaria and pneumonia in countries where these diseases are major childhood killers. One such country is Zambia. In rural areas of Zambia, CHWs treat suspected cases of uncomplicated (mild) malaria with artemether-lumefantrine (AL, an ACT) or with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (a non-ACT antimalarial drug combination) and refer children with suspected pneumonia to the nearest health facility. However, because uncomplicated malaria and pneumonia both cause fever, many children are treated inappropriately. This misdiagnosis is worrying because giving antimalarial drugs to children with pneumonia delays their treatment with more appropriate drugs and increases the risk of drug-resistant malaria emerging. The use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria might be one way to improve the treatment of malaria and pneumonia by CHWs in Zambia. Here, the researchers investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of this approach in a cluster randomized controlled trial, a study that compares the outcomes of groups (clusters) of patients randomly allocated to different interventions.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers randomly allocated 31 community health posts (fixed locations where CHWs provide medical services to several villages) to the study's intervention and control arms. CHWs in the intervention arm did RDTs for malaria on all the children under 5 years old who presented with fever and/or difficult or fast breathing (symptoms of pneumonia), treated test-positive children with AL, and treated those with nonsevere pneumonia (an increased breathing rate) with amoxicillin. CHWs in the control arm did not use RDTs but treated all children with fever with AL and referred those with signs of pneumonia to the nearest health facility. About 3,000 children with fever were treated during the 12-month study. 99.1% of the children in the control arm received AL compared with 27.5% of the children in the intervention arm, a 4-fold reduction in treatment for malaria. Importantly, the CHWs in the intervention arm adhered to treatment guidelines and did not give AL to children with negative RDT results. Of the children classified with nonsevere pneumonia, 13.3% of those in the control arm received early and appropriate treatment with amoxicillin compared to 68.2% of those in the intervention arm, a 5-fold increase in the timely treatment for pneumonia.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that CHWs in Zambia are capable of using RDTs, AL, and amoxicillin to manage malaria and pneumonia. They show that the intervention tested in this study has the potential to reduce the overuse of AL and to provide early and appropriate treatment for nonsevere pneumonia. Although this approach needs to be tested in other settings, these findings suggest that the use of CHWs might be a feasible and effective way to provide integrated management of pneumonia and malaria at the community level in developing countries. Importantly, these results also support the evaluation of the treatment by CHWs of other major childhood diseases and raise the possibility of saving the lives of many children in sub-Saharan Africa and other developing regions of the world through community level interventions.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000340.
WHO provides information on malaria, on rapid diagnostic tests for malaria, on artemisinin-combination therapy, and on global child mortality and efforts to reduce it (in several languages); WHO also provides a country health profile for Zambia
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide information on malaria (in English and Spanish)
Kidshealth, a resource maintained by the not-for-profit Nemours Foundation (a not-for-profit organization for children's health), provides information for parents on pneumonia (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to additional information on malaria and on pneumonia (in English and Spanish)
More information about the Zambia Integrated Management of Malaria and Pneumonia Study is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000340
PMCID: PMC2943441  PMID: 20877714
12.  A Wellness Course for Community Health Workers in Alaska: “wellness lives in the heart of the community” 
International Journal of Circumpolar Health  2012;71:10.3402/ijch.v71i0.19125.
Objectives
To develop, implement, and evaluate a culturally respectful Wellness Course with and for Alaska's village-based Community Health Workers (CHWs) to support community health promotion and disease prevention.
Study design
This article describes Wellness Course development, implementation, and evaluation.
Methods
Five 5-day Wellness Courses were provided for 55 CHWs from communities throughout Alaska. Fifty-two of 55 participants completed a post-course written evaluation. Post-course telephone interviews were conducted with participants (11/32) from the first 3 courses.
Results
On written post-course evaluations, all participants wrote detailed descriptions of what they learned and 98% (51/52) felt more confident in their knowledge and ability to present community wellness information. As a result of course participation, 88% (46/52) of CHWs wrote ways they would support family and community wellness, and 85% (44/52) wrote ways they planned to take better care of their health. During the in-depth post-course interviews, all 11 CHWs interviewed described ways the Wellness Course increased their health knowledge, helped them in their work, and prepared them to effectively engage with their communities to promote health.
Conclusions
Learning wellness information with hands-on activities and practising health presentation and community engagement skills within the course design increased participants’ wellness knowledge and skills, confidence, and motivation to provide community wellness activities. Techniques for active listening, engaging community, and using the arts and storytelling as culturally respectful health promotion are tools that when used by CHWs within their own community have potential to empower community wellness.
doi:10.3402/ijch.v71i0.19125
PMCID: PMC3417713  PMID: 22901289
Alaska Native; Community Health Workers; health education; Community Health Aides/Practitioners; adult education; health promotion and disease prevention
13.  Community Health Workers in Brazil's Unified Health System: A Framework of their Praxis and Contributions to Patient Health Behaviors 
Social science & medicine (1982)  2012;74(6):940-947.
Community Health Workers (CHWs) play a pivotal role in primary care, serving as liaisons between community members and medical providers. However, the growing reliance of health care systems worldwide on CHWs has outpaced research explaining their praxis – how they combine indigenous and technical knowledge, overcome challenges and impact patient outcomes. This paper thus articulates the CHW Praxis and Patient Health Behavior Framework. Such a framework is needed to advance research on CHW impact on patient outcomes and to advance CHW training. The project that originated this framework followed Community-Based Participatory Research principles. A team of U.S.-Brazil research partners, including CHWs, worked together from conceptualization of the study to dissemination of its findings. The framework is built on an integrated conceptual foundation including learning/teaching and individual behavior theories. The empirical base of the framework comprises in-depth interviews with 30 CHWs in Brazil's Unified Health System, Mesquita, Rio de Janeiro. Data collection for the project which originated this report occurred in 2008–10. Semi-structured questions examined how CHWs used their knowledge/skills; addressed personal and environmental challenges; and how they promoted patient health behaviors. This study advances an explanation of how CHWs use self-identified strategies – i.e., empathic communication and perseverance – to help patients engage in health behaviors. Grounded in our proposed framework, survey measures can be developed and used in predictive models testing the effects of CHW praxis on health behaviors. Training for CHWs can explicitly integrate indigenous and technical knowledge in order for CHWs to overcome contextual challenges and enhance service delivery.
doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.12.025
PMCID: PMC3299536  PMID: 22305469
Brazil; Community Health Workers' Praxis; Patient outcome; CBPR
14.  Assessment of the uptake of neonatal and young infant referrals by community health workers to public health facilities in an urban informal settlement, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa 
Background
Globally, 40% of the 7.6 million deaths of children under five every year occur in the neonatal period (first 28 days after birth). Increased and earlier recognition of illness facilitated by community health workers (CHWs), coupled with effective referral systems can result in better child health outcomes. This model has not been tested in a peri-urban poor setting in Africa, or in a high HIV context.
Methods
The Good Start Saving Newborn Lives (SNL) study (ISRCTN41046462) conducted in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, was a community randomized trial to assess the effect of an integrated home visit package delivered to mothers by CHWs during pregnancy and post-delivery on uptake of PMTCT interventions and appropriate newborn care practices. CHWs were trained to refer babies with illnesses or identified danger signs. The aim of this sub-study was to assess the effectiveness of this referral system by describing CHW referral completion rates as well as mothers’ health-care seeking practices. Interviews were conducted using a structured questionnaire with all mothers whose babies had been referred by a CHW since the start of the SNL trial. Descriptive analysis was conducted to describe referral completion and health seeking behaviour of mothers.
Results
Of the 2423 women enrolled in the SNL study, 148 sick infants were referred between June 2008 and June 2010. 62% of referrals occurred during the first 4 weeks of life and 22% between birth and 2 weeks of age. Almost all mothers (95%) completed the referral as advised by CHWs. Difficulty breathing, rash and redness/discharge around the cord accounted for the highest number of referrals (26%, 19% and 17% respectively). Only16% of health workers gave written feedback on the outcome of the referral to the referring CHW.
Conclusions
We found high compliance with CHW referral of sick babies in an urban South African township. This suggests that CHWs can play a significant role, within community outreach teams, to improve newborn health and reduce child mortality. This supports the current primary health care re-engineering process being undertaken by the South African National Department of Health which involves the establishment of family health worker teams including CHWs.
Trial registration number
ISRCTN41046462
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-47
PMCID: PMC3579691  PMID: 23388385
Health seeking behaviour; Child health; Neonate; Newborn; Community health workers; Referral completion; Primary health care; Urban health; HIV
15.  Impact of dropout of female volunteer community health workers: An exploration in Dhaka urban slums 
Background
The model of volunteer community health workers (CHWs) is a common approach to serving the poor communities in developing countries. BRAC, a large NGO in Bangladesh, is a pioneer in this area, has been using female CHWs as core workers in its community-based health programs since 1977. After 25 years of implementing of the CHW model in rural areas, BRAC has begun using female CHWs in urban slums through a community-based maternal health intervention. However, BRAC experiences high dropout rates among CHWs suggesting a need to better understand the impact of their dropout which would help to reduce dropout and increase program sustainability. The main objective of the study was to estimate impact of dropout of volunteer CHWs from both BRAC and community perspectives. Also, we estimated cost of possible strategies to reduce dropout and compared whether these costs were more or less than the costs borne by BRAC and the community.
Methods
We used the ‘ingredient approach’ to estimate the cost of recruiting and training of CHWs and the so-called ‘friction cost approach’ to estimate the cost of replacement of CHWs after adapting. Finally, we estimated forgone services in the community due to CHW dropout applying the concept of the friction period.
Results
In 2009, average cost per regular CHW was US$ 59.28 which was US$ 60.04 for an ad-hoc CHW if a CHW participated a three-week basic training, a one-day refresher training, one incentive day and worked for a month in the community after recruitment. One month absence of a CHW with standard performance in the community meant substantial forgone health services like health education, antenatal visits, deliveries, referrals of complicated cases, and distribution of drugs and health commodities. However, with an additional investment of US$ 121 yearly per CHW BRAC could save another US$ 60 invested an ad-hoc CHW plus forgone services in the community.
Conclusion
Although CHWs work as volunteers in Dhaka urban slums impact of their dropout is immense both in financial term and forgone services. High cost of dropout makes the program less sustainable. However, simple and financially competitive strategies can improve the sustainability of the program.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-260
PMCID: PMC3464156  PMID: 22897922
BRAC CHWs; Impact of dropout; Ingredient approach; Friction cost approach; Sustainability; Urban slums
16.  Gender and social geography: Impact on Lady Health Workers Mobility in Pakistan 
Background
In Pakistan, where gendered norms restrict women's mobility, female community health workers (CHWs) provide doorstep primary health services to home-bound women. The program has not achieved optimal functioning. One reason, I argue, may be that the CHWs are unable to make home visits because they have to operate within the same gender system that necessitated their appointment in the first place. Ethnographic research shows that women’s mobility in Pakistan is determined not so much by physical geography as by social geography (the analysis of social phenomena in space). Irrespective of physical location, the presence of biradaria members (extended family) creates a socially acceptable ‘inside space’ to which women are limited. The presence of a non-biradari person, especially a man, transforms any space into an ‘outside space’, forbidden space. This study aims to understand how these cultural norms affect CHWs’ home-visit rates and the quality of services delivered.
Design
Data will be collected in district Attock, Punjab. Twenty randomly selected CHWs will first be interviewed to explore their experiences of delivering doorstep services in the context of gendered norms that promote women's seclusion. Each CHW will be requested to draw a map of her catchment area using social mapping techniques. These maps will be used to survey women of reproductive age to assess variations in the CHW's home visitation rates and quality of family planning services provided. A sample size of 760 households (38 per CHW) is estimated to have the power to detect, with 95% confidence, households the CHWs do not visit. To explore the role of the larger community in shaping the CHWs mobility experiences, 25 community members will be interviewed and five CHWs observed as they conduct their home visits. The survey data will be merged with the maps to demonstrate if any disjunctures exist between CHWs’ social geography and physical geography. Furthermore, the impacts these geographies have on home visitation rates and quality of services delivered will be explored.
Discussion
The study will provide generic and theoretical insights into how the CHW program policies and operations can improve working conditions to facilitate the work of female staff in order to ultimately provide high-quality services.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-360
PMCID: PMC3524461  PMID: 23066890
Reproductive health services; Primary health care services; Pakistan; Family planning; Community health workers; Lady health worker; Gender; Women’s mobility; Social geography; Mixed methods
17.  Assessing community health workers’ performance motivation: a mixed-methods approach on India's Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) programme 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001557.
Objective
This study examined the performance motivation of community health workers (CHWs) and its determinants on India's Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) programme.
Design
Cross-sectional study employing mixed-methods approach involved survey and focus group discussions.
Setting
The state of Orissa.
Participants
386 CHWs representing 10% of the total CHWs in the chosen districts and from settings selected through a multi-stage stratified sampling.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
The level of performance motivation among the CHWs, its determinants and their current status as per the perceptions of the CHWs.
Results
The level of performance motivation was the highest for the individual and the community level factors (mean score 5.94–4.06), while the health system factors scored the least (2.70–3.279). Those ASHAs who felt having more community and system-level recognition also had higher levels of earning as CHWs (p=0.040, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.12), a sense of social responsibility (p=0.0005, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.25) and a feeling of self-efficacy (p=0.000, 95% CI 0.38 to 0.54) on their responsibilities. There was no association established between their level of dissatisfaction on the incentives (p=0.385) and the extent of motivation. The inadequate healthcare delivery status and certain working modalities reduced their motivation. Gender mainstreaming in the community health approach, especially on the demand-side and community participation were the positive externalities of the CHW programme.
Conclusions
The CHW programme could motivate and empower local lay women on community health largely. The desire to gain social recognition, a sense of social responsibility and self-efficacy motivated them to perform. The healthcare delivery system improvements might further motivate and enable them to gain the community trust. The CHW management needs amendments to ensure adequate supportive supervision, skill and knowledge enhancement and enabling working modalities.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001557
PMCID: PMC3488714  PMID: 23019208
Health Services Administration & Management
18.  Becoming and remaining community health workers: Perspectives from Ethiopia and Mozambique 
Many global health practitioners are currently reaffirming the importance of recruiting and retaining effective community health workers (CHWs) in order to achieve major public health goals. This raises policy-relevant questions about why people become and remain CHWs. This paper addresses these questions, drawing on ethnographic work in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, between 2006 and 2009, and in Chimoio, a provincial town in central Mozambique, between 2003 and 2010. Participant observation and in-depth interviews were used to understand the life histories that lead people to become CHWs, their relationships with intended beneficiaries after becoming CHWs, and their social and economic aspirations. People in Ethiopia and Mozambique have faced similar political and economic challenges in the last few decades, involving war, structural adjustment, and food price inflation. Results suggest that these challenges, as well as the socio-moral values that people come to uphold through the example of parents and religious communities, influence why and how men and women become CHWs. Relationships with intended beneficiaries strongly influence why people remain CHWs, and why some may come to experience frustration and distress. There are complex reasons why CHWs come to seek greater compensation, including desires to escape poverty and to materially support families and other community members, a sense of deservingness given the emotional and social work involved in maintaining relationships with beneficiaries, and inequity vis-à-vis higher-salaried elites. Ethnographic work is needed to engage CHWs in the policy process, help shape new standards for CHW programs based on rooting out social and economic inequities, and develop appropriate solutions to complex CHW policy problems.
doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.03.026
PMCID: PMC3732583  PMID: 23631778
community health workers; volunteers; HIV/AIDS; Ethiopia; Mozambique; motivations; care relationships
19.  Measuring teamwork and taskwork of community-based “teams” delivering life-saving health interventions in rural Zambia: a qualitative study 
Background
The use of teams is a well-known approach in a variety of settings, including health care, in both developed and developing countries. Team performance is comprised of teamwork and task work, and ascertaining whether a team is performing as expected to achieve the desired outcome has rarely been done in health care settings in resource-limited countries. Measuring teamwork requires identifying dimensions of teamwork or processes that comprise the teamwork construct, while taskwork requires identifying specific team functions. Since 2008 a community-based project in rural Zambia has teamed community health workers (CHWs) and traditional birth attendants (TBAs), supported by Neighborhood Health Committees (NHCs), to provide essential newborn and continuous curative care for children 0–59 months. This paper describes the process of developing a measure of teamwork and taskwork for community-based health teams in rural Zambia.
Methods
Six group discussions and pile-sorting sessions were conducted with three NHCs and three groups of CHW-TBA teams. Each session comprised six individuals.
Results
We selected 17 factors identified by participants as relevant for measuring teamwork in this rural setting. Participants endorsed seven functions as important to measure taskwork. To explain team performance, we assigned 20 factors into three sub-groups: personal, community-related and service-related.
Conclusion
Community and culturally relevant processes, functions and factors were used to develop a tool for measuring teamwork and taskwork in this rural community and the tool was quite unique from tools used in developed countries.
doi:10.1186/1471-2288-13-84
PMCID: PMC3698032  PMID: 23802766
Teams; Teamwork; Taskwork; Community health workers; Traditional birth attendants; Newborn and child health care; Zambia
20.  Payday, ponchos, and promotions: a qualitative analysis of perspectives from non-governmental organization programme managers on community health worker motivation and incentives 
Human Resources for Health  2014;12(1):66.
Background
Community health workers (CHWs) have been central to broadening the access and coverage of preventative and curative health services worldwide. Much has been debated about how to best remunerate and incentivize this workforce, varying from volunteers to full time workers. Policy bodies, including the WHO and USAID, now advocate for regular stipends.
Methods
This qualitative study examines the perspective of health programme managers from 16 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who directly oversee programmes in resource-limited settings. It aimed to explore institutional guidelines and approaches to designing CHW incentives, and inquire about how NGO managers are adapting their approaches to working with CHWs in this shifting political and funding climate. Second, it meant to understand the position of stakeholders who design and manage non-governmental organization-run CHW programmes on what they consider priorities to boost CHW motivation. Individuals were recruited using typical case sampling through chain referral at the semi-annual CORE Group meeting in the spring of 2012. Semi-structured interviews were guided by a peer reviewed tool. Two reviewers analyzed the transcripts for thematic saturation.
Results
Six key factors influenced programme manager decision-making: National-level government policy, donor practice, implicit organizational approaches, programmatic, cultural, and community contexts, experiences and values of managers, and the nature of the work asked of CHWs. Programme managers strongly relied on national government to provide clear guidance on CHW incentives schemes. Perspectives on remuneration varied greatly, from fears that it is unsustainable, to the view that it is a basic human right, and a mechanism to achieve greater gender equity. Programme managers were interested in exploring career paths and innovative financing schemes for CHWs, such as endowment funds or material sales, to heighten local ownership and sustainability of programmes. Participants also supported the creation of both national-level and global interfaces for sharing practical experience and best practices with other CHW programmes.
Conclusion
Prescriptive recommendations for monetary remuneration, aside from those coming from national governments, will likely continue to meet resistance by NGOs, as contexts are nuanced. There is growing consensus that incentives should reflect the nature of the work asked of CHWs, and the potential for motivation through sustainable financial schemes other than regular salaries. Programme managers advocate for greater transparency and information sharing among organizations.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1478-4491-12-66) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-12-66
PMCID: PMC4267436  PMID: 25475643
Community health workers; Community health volunteers; Incentives; Programming; Health policy
21.  Perceptions of Community Health Workers (CHWs/PS) in the U.S.-Mexico Border HEART CVD Study 
Although prior research has shown that Community Health Workers/Promotores de Salud (CHW/PS) can facilitate access to care, little is known about how CHW/PS are perceived in their community. The current study reports the findings of a randomized telephone survey conducted in a high-risk urban community environment along the U.S.-Mexico border. In preparation for a community-based CHW/PS intervention called the HEART ecological study, the survey aimed to assess perceptions of CHW/PS, availability and utilization of community resources (recreational and nutrition related) and health behaviors and intentions. A total of 7,155 calls were placed to complete 444 surveys in three zip codes in El Paso, Texas. Results showed that participants felt that healthful community resources were available, but utilization was low and variable: 35% reported going to a park, 20% reported having taken a health class, few reported using a gym (12%), recreation center (8%), or YMCA/YWCA (0.9%). Awareness and utilization of CHW/PS services were low: 20% of respondents had heard of CHW/PS, with 8% reporting previous exposure to CHW/PS services. Upon review of a definition of CHW/PS, respondents expressed positive views of CHW/PS and their value in the healthcare system. Respondents who had previous contact with a CHW/PS reported a significantly more positive perception of the usefulness of CHW/PS (p = 0.006), were more likely to see CHW/PS as an important link between providers and patients (p = 0.008), and were more likely to ask a CHW/PS for help (p = 0.009). Participants who utilized CHW/PS services also had significantly healthier intentions to reduce fast food intake. Future research is needed to evaluate if CHW/PS can facilitate utilization of available community resources such as recreational facilities among Hispanic border residents at risk for CVD.
doi:10.3390/ijerph110201873
PMCID: PMC3945574  PMID: 24518646
community health worker; Hispanics; cardiovascular disease; community health resources
22.  Factors affecting recruitment and retention of community health workers in a newborn care intervention in Bangladesh 
Background
Well-trained and highly motivated community health workers (CHWs) are critical for delivery of many community-based newborn care interventions. High rates of CHW attrition undermine programme effectiveness and potential for implementation at scale. We investigated reasons for high rates of CHW attrition in Sylhet District in north-eastern Bangladesh.
Methods
Sixty-nine semi-structured questionnaires were administered to CHWs currently working with the project, as well as to those who had left. Process documentation was also carried out to identify project strengths and weaknesses, which included in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, review of project records (i.e. recruitment and resignation), and informal discussion with key project personnel.
Results
Motivation for becoming a CHW appeared to stem primarily from the desire for self-development, to improve community health, and for utilization of free time. The most common factors cited for continuing as a CHW were financial incentive, feeling needed by the community, and the value of the CHW position in securing future career advancement. Factors contributing to attrition included heavy workload, night visits, working outside of one's home area, familial opposition and dissatisfaction with pay.
Conclusions
The framework presented illustrates the decision making process women go through when deciding to become, or continue as, a CHW. Factors such as job satisfaction, community valuation of CHW work, and fulfilment of pre-hire expectations all need to be addressed systematically by programs to reduce rates of CHW attrition.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-8-12
PMCID: PMC2875202  PMID: 20438642
23.  Bridging storytelling traditions with digital technology 
International Journal of Circumpolar Health  2013;72:10.3402/ijch.v72i0.20717.
Objective
The purpose of this project was to learn how Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Alaska perceived digital storytelling as a component of the “Path to Understanding Cancer” curriculum and as a culturally respectful tool for sharing cancer-related health messages.
Design
A pre-course written application, end-of-course written evaluation, and internet survey informed this project.
Methods
Digital storytelling was included in seven 5-day cancer education courses (May 2009–2012) in which 67 CHWs each created a personal 2–3 minute cancer-related digital story. Participant-chosen digital story topics included tobacco cessation, the importance of recommended cancer screening exams, cancer survivorship, loss, grief and end-of-life comfort care, and self-care as patient care providers. All participants completed an end-of-course written evaluation. In July 2012, contact information was available for 48 participants, of whom 24 completed an internet survey.
Results
All 67 participants successfully completed a digital story which they shared and discussed with course members. On the written post-course evaluation, all participants reported that combining digital storytelling with cancer education supported their learning and was a culturally respectful way to provide health messages. Additionally, 62 of 67 CHWs reported that the course increased their confidence to share cancer information with their communities. Up to 3 years post-course, all 24 CHW survey respondents reported they had shown their digital story. Of note, 23 of 24 CHWs also reported change in their own behavior as a result of the experience.
Conclusions
All CHWs, regardless of computer skills, successfully created a digital story as part of the cancer education course. CHWs reported that digital stories enhanced their learning and were a culturally respectful way to share cancer-related information. Digital storytelling gave the power of the media into the hands of CHWs to increase their cancer knowledge, facilitate patient and community cancer conversations, and promote cancer awareness and wellness.
doi:10.3402/ijch.v72i0.20717
PMCID: PMC3752288  PMID: 23984267
digital storytelling; Alaska Native; cancer education; Community Health Workers; health communications
24.  Keeping community health workers in Uganda motivated: key challenges, facilitators, and preferred program inputs 
In Uganda, community-based health programs using volunteers should focus on strengthening support systems to address transportation and stockout issues and on improving links with the health structure while reinforcing effort recognition, status, and acquisition of new skills.
In Uganda, community-based health programs using volunteers should focus on strengthening support systems to address transportation and stockout issues and on improving links with the health structure while reinforcing effort recognition, status, and acquisition of new skills.
Introduction:
In the face of global health worker shortages, community health workers (CHWs) are an important health care delivery strategy for underserved populations. In Uganda, community-based programs often use volunteer CHWs to extend services, including family planning, in rural areas. This study examined factors related to CHW motivation and level of activity in 3 family planning programs in Uganda.
Methods:
Data were collected between July and August 2011, and sources comprised 183 surveys with active CHWs, in-depth interviews (IDIs) with 43 active CHWs and 5 former CHWs, and service statistics records. Surveys included a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to elicit CHW preferences for selected program inputs.
Results:
Service statistics indicated an average of 56 visits with family planning clients per surveyed CHW over the 3-month period prior to data collection. In the survey, new skills and knowledge, perceived impact on the community, and enhanced status were the main positive aspects of the job reported by CHWs; the main challenges related to transportation. Multivariate analyses identified 2 correlates of CHWs being highly vs. less active (in terms of number of client visits): experiencing problems with supplies and not collaborating with peers. DCE results showed that provision of a package including a T-shirt, badge, and bicycle was the program input CHWs preferred, followed by a mobile phone (without airtime). IDI data reinforced and supplemented these quantitative findings. Social prestige, social responsibility, and aspirations for other opportunities were important motivators, while main challenges related to transportation and commodity stockouts. CHWs had complex motivations for wanting better compensation, including offsetting time and transportation costs, providing for their families, and feeling appreciated for their efforts.
Conclusion:
Volunteer CHW programs in Uganda and elsewhere need to carefully consider appropriate combinations of financial and nonfinancial inputs for optimal results.
doi:10.9745/GHSP-D-13-00140
PMCID: PMC4168609  PMID: 25276566
25.  Access, acceptability and utilization of community health workers using diagnostics for case management of fever in Ugandan children: a cross-sectional study 
Malaria Journal  2012;11:121.
Background
Use of diagnostics in integrated community case management (iCCM) of fever is recognized as an important step in improving rational use of drugs and quality of care for febrile under-five children. This study assessed household access, acceptability and utilization of community health workers (CHWs) trained and provided with malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and respiratory rate timers (RRTs) to practice iCCM.
Methods
A total of 423 households with under-five children were enrolled into the study in Iganga district, Uganda. Households were selected from seven villages in Namungalwe sub-county using probability proportionate to size sampling. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to caregivers in selected households. Data were entered into Epidata statistical software, and analysed using SPSS Statistics 17.0, and STATA version 10.
Results
Most (86%, 365/423) households resided within a kilometre of a CHW’s home, compared to 26% (111/423) residing within 1 km of a health facility (p < 0.001). The median walking time by caregivers to a CHW was 10 minutes (IQR 5–20). The first option for care for febrile children in the month preceding the survey was CHWs (40%, 242/601), followed by drug shops (33%, 196/601).
Fifty-seven percent (243/423) of caregivers took their febrile children to a CHW at least once in the three month period preceding the survey. Households located 1–3 km from a health facility were 72% (AOR 1.72; 95% CI 1.11–2.68) more likely to utilize CHW services compared to households within 1 km of a health facility. Households located 1–3 km from a CHW were 81% (AOR 0.19; 95% CI 0.10–0.36) less likely to utilize CHW services compared to those households residing within 1 km of a CHW.
A majority (79%, 336/423) of respondents thought CHWs services were better with RDTs, and 89% (375/423) approved CHWs’ continued use of RDTs. Eighty-six percent (209/243) of respondents who visited a CHW thought RRTs were useful.
Conclusion
ICCM with diagnostics is acceptable, increases access, and is the first choice for caregivers of febrile children. More than half of caregivers of febrile children utilized CHW services over a three-month period. However, one-third of caregivers used drug shops in spite of the presence of CHWs.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-121
PMCID: PMC3359954  PMID: 22521034
Community health worker; Case management; Malaria; Pneumonia; Febrile children; Diagnostics; Access; Acceptability; Utilization; Uganda

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