Category Archives: CHW

Use of community health volunteers to increase coverage for integrated community case management in Bondo, Kenya

Colleagues[1] from John Snow, Inc. and Jhpiego are presenting presenting a poster at the American Society of Tropical Medicine 64th Annual Meeting Wednesday 28 October 2015. Visit Poster 1330. Below is a summary of their findings.

iccm kenyaBondo County is located in the Western region of Kenya. It has an IMR of 110 and an U5MR of 208 per 1,000 live births which is thrice the national U5MR of 74/1000. There continues to be limited access to and use of health services in some rural areas that are underserved by health facilities. This provided the impetus for advocating for the implementation of integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) as a way to address these health disparities.

An 18-month study is underway in Bondo to test whether community health volunteers (CHVs) can effectively deliver an iCCM package in the context of the existing community health strategy platform. The study is a quasi-experimental design with intervention and comparison groups of four community units each. Fifty-eight intervention group CHVs were trained on iCCM and health promotion, provided with iCCM commodities, and a monthly stipend of $23.

Kenya-CHW MCSP, USAIDIn the comparison group CHVs were only trained in health promotion and receive a similar stipend. Baseline survey was done in October 2013 and midline in July 2014; the latter was limited to the intervention group only.

An endline survey is planned for June 2015. Overall introduction of iCCM resulted in over 100% increase in iCCM cases managed from baseline compared to midline (2,367 vs. 4,868), with the CHVs’ share being 56%.

In terms of performance, the CHVs demonstrated good ability to follow the iCCM algorithm from the identification of signs to the classification of illness, and deciding whether to treat at home or refer to the health facility. The greatest improvement was in the ability to examine or “look” for signs of illness (average of 3% at baseline vs. 74% at midline), p <0.05.

Key stakeholders reported that there were various benefits of iCCM in Bondo such as improved access to health services, improved health behaviors at individual and community level, community empowerment, and increased trust of the CHVs by the community. Based on these results so far, CHVs can effectively provide iCCM services and thus contribute to reducing childhood morbidity deaths in Bondo, Kenya

[1] Savitha Subramanian, Mark Kabue, Dyness Kasungami, Makeba Shiroya-Wadambwa, Dan James Otieno, Charles Waka

Evaluation of Community Malaria Worker Performance in Western Cambodia: a Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment

Sara E. Canavati de la Torre and colleagues[1] conducted a study of Community health workers who focus on malaria. They are sharing their results with us below.

Village/ Mobile Malaria Workers (VMWs/MMWs) are a critical component in Cambodia’s national strategy to reduce malaria morbidity and mortality. Since Sara map image0162004, VMWs have been providing free malaria diagnosis and treatment using Rapid Diagnostic Tests and Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies in hard-to-reach villages (>5km from closest health facility).

VMWs play a key role in control and prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria as well as in delivering behavioral change communication (BCC) interventions to this target population. Out photos shows a village malaria worker at a health center registering number of patients diagnosed and treated during a month.

Sara CHW image013Overall the study aimed to evaluate the implementation of these activities performed by VMW/MMWs, a quantitative and qualitative assessment was conducted in 5 provinces of western Cambodia in order to:

  • understand job satisfaction of VMWs and MMWs vis-a-vis their roles and responsibilities;
  • assess their performance according to their job descriptions;
  • gain insights into the challenges faced in delivery of diagnosis, treatment and health education activities to their communities.

A total of 196 VMWs/MMWs were surveyed in October 2011 using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. Triangulation of quantitative and qualitative data helped to gain a deeper understanding of the success factors of this intervention and the challenges faced in implementation. The Map of Provinces shows ODs and HCs visited by the field team in zones 1 and 2 of the containment project.

Sara Results image018The Figure shows that overall, levels of VMW performance were in line with the expected performance (80%) and some were higher than expected. However, some performance gaps were identified in the areas of knowledge of malaria symptoms, treatment regimens, and key messages. In particular, there were low levels of practice of the recommended direct observed therapies (DOTs) approach for malaria treatment (especially for the second and third doses), reportedly caused by stock-outs, distance and transportation.

The national malaria program should aim to focus on improving knowledge of VMWs in order to address misconceptions and barriers to effective implementation of DOTs at community-levels. In addition to the findings, the tools developed, will potentially help the national program to come up with better indicators in the near future.

[1] Sara E. Canavati de la Torre1,2,8 Po Ly2, Chea Nguon3, Arantxa Roca-Feltrer4,9, David Sintasath5, Maxine Whittaker6, Pratap Singhasivanon7 – 1Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University/ Malaria Consortium Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; 2The National Centre of Parasitology and Malaria Control, Phnom Penh,, Cambodia; 3The National Centre of Parasitology and Malaria Control, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; 4Malaria Consortium Cambodia, Cambodia; 5Malaria Consortium Asia Regional Office, Bangkok, Thailand; 6 Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia; 7Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; 8Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; 9London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, London, UK