Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Strengthening the capacity of community health workers to deliver care for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Authors:
WHO/UNFPA

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Publication details

Number of pages: 20
Publication date: 2015
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/FWC/MCA/15.04

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Overview

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.

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