Strengthening the capacity of community health workers to deliver care for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health
Government institutions, United Nations agencies, and global partners have been repositioning the role that community health workers (CHWs) can play in increasing access to essential quality health services in the context of national primary health care and universal health coverage. Given the growing momentum and interest in training CHWs, the United Nations health agencies (H4+) have developed this technical brief to orient country programme managers and global partners as to key elements for strengthening the capacity of CHWs, including health system and programmatic considerations, core competencies, and evidence-informed interventions for CHWs along the SR/MNCAH continuum of care.
These key elements need to be adapted and contextualized by countries to reflect the structure, gaps, and opportunities of the national primary health care system, the interaction between the health sector with other sectors, and the specific roles and competencies that CHWs already have within that system. These key elements should also guide H4+ members and partners to take a joint and harmonized approach to supporting countries in their capacity-development efforts. Annex 1 lists SR/MNCAH interventions that CHWs can perform based on the best available evidence and existing WHO guidance.
- Packages of interventions
- Essential Interventions, Commodities and Guidelines for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
- WHO Recommendations – OPTIMIZEMNH: Optimizing health worker roles for maternal and newborn health
- Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women
- Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection
- Task shifting: rational redistribution of tasks among health workforce teams: global recommendations and guidelines (treat, train, retain in HIV/AIDS)
- WHO recommendations on postnatal care of the mother and newborn
- Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems
- Intensified tuberculosis case-finding and isoniazid preventive therapy for people living with HIV in resource-constrained settings