Global Health Leaders Focus on Community Health Workers

The Global Health Workforce Alliance organized a consultation meeting in Montreux, Switzerland in April to assess major findings and recommendations of a comprehensive global review of community health workers (CHWs). The review is comprised of eight country case studies from Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Brazil, and Haiti, with field experiences and perspectives of the various participants.

Community health worker meeting participantsParticipants
The Global Consultation on Community Health Workers brought together policy-makers, government representatives, technical specialists, and other leaders engaged in CHW programs.

Wanda Jaskiewicz and Paul Marsden of CapacityPlus served as main facilitators for group sessions on CHW planning and deployment, as well as retention and productivity.

From challenges to recommendations
The review identified and addressed common challenges that often undermine country-led implementation of CHW programs. Meeting participants identified key messages and recommendations, including:

  • Fully integrating CHWs into national human resources for health plans and national health systems
  • Ensuring that scale-up of CHWs makes adequate provision of additional costs and resources required to support them
  • Considering complementary strengthening of the existing health system to facilitate the work of CHWs
  • Ensuring regular and continuous supportive supervision and a positive practice environment
  • Integrating the management and supervision of CHWs with that of other health workers, using a team approach.

Next steps
CapacityPlus will continue to collaborate with the Global Health Workforce Alliance and other key stakeholders in carrying these messages forward—in particular to build these into planned work on developing replicable models for integrating CHWs within a supportive health team approach at the country level.

Photo: Global Health Workforce Alliance