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An Introduction to Global Health Delivery$
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Joia S. Mukherjee

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190662455

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190662455.001.0001

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Community Health Workers

Community Health Workers

Chapter:
(p.165) 8 Community Health Workers
Source:
An Introduction to Global Health Delivery
Author(s):

Joia S. Mukherjee

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190662455.003.0008

Community Health Workers (CHW) are an important cadre of health care personnel, particularly in impoverished countries. CHW program began with China’s “Barefoot Doctor” campaign. The Barefoot Doctors were lay people educated to provide basic medical education and care in rural China in the 1950s–1970s. CHWs have evolved over the years and now perform a variety of functions in many countries, from education to prevention, case finding to treatment, and referral to follow-up. This cadre is often used to fill the gap in human resources. There are a number of challenges in scaling up and sustaining CHW programs, including the adequate training, compensation, and supervision of CHWs within the health system. This chapter will begin with a historical look at the roots of CHW programs, explore their current status, and address some of the challenges inherent in fully utilizing the potential of this group of health workers.

Keywords:   Community Health Workers, Barefoot Doctor campaign, human resources for health, task shifting, integrated community case management, binome

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