Empowering Community Health Workers (CHWs) to accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage
HIFA collaborated with Health Systems Global (CHW Thematic Working Group) and other key organisations (icddr,b, Frontline Health Project) on a series of three major HIFA thematic discussions on CHWs, supported by WHO. These discussions promoted the dissemination and uptake of the WHO Guideline on health policy and system support to optimize community health worker programmes (CHW Guideline), launched in October 2018. Over the subsequent 18 months HIFA encourages dissemination on HIFA of all new research, reports, news, events and services relevant to CHWs, to maintain discussion throughout the period.
The first thematic discussion took place in June and July 2019 and focused on selection, training and certification of CHWs (long edit of discussion). Our second thematic discussion will take place in September/October 2019 and will look at other recommendations in the CHW Guideline.
The following questions were offered as a framework for discussion:
- Q1. What are your thoughts on the Guideline? What questions do you have about it?
- Q2. Recommendation 1 suggests certain criteria to use and not to use for selection of CHWs. How do these criteria relate to current practice in your country/experience? Are these criteria implementable in your country/experience?
- Q3. Recommendations 2, 3 and 4 make suggestions on length of pre-service training, competency domains and modalities. How do these suggestions relate to current practice in your country/experience? Are they implementable in your country/experience?
- Q4. Recommendation 5 suggests using competency-based formal certification for CHWs who have successfully completed pre-service training. How does this suggestion relate to current practice in your country/experience? Is it implementable in your country/experience?
The new WHO Guideline: Health policy and system support to optimize community based health worker programmes is available here.