Community Health Workers Vital To Service Delivery

Noting a global focus on frontline health workers at recent conferences, including the upcoming Global Forum on Human Resources for Health that starts in Brazil on Sunday, Helen Morton, head of communications and external affairs at Cochrane, writes in The Guardian’s “Global Development Professionals Network” blog, “A new review from Cochrane, analyzing evidence from over 50 qualitative studies of community health worker programs globally, has identified eight key factors that could help … [governments] ensure that the impacts of community health workers can be maximized within, and beyond, the homes and communities in which they deliver health care.” She outlines the factors, including community connection, incentives, participation, training, working conditions, integration, low/no cost services, and communication and support. She states, “Community health workers don’t represent a ‘silver bullet’ for global health care. They do, however, deliver services that will be central to meeting health and development targets in the decades to come” (11/8).

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