Kok M. (2015) Performance of community health workers: Optimizing the benefits of their unique position between communities and the health sector, PHD thesis
“We are like the messengers between the health workers and the people in the community, connecting them regarding the problems they face concerning health.” (Health surveillance assistant, Malawi)
Many countries are striving to achieve health for all. The concept of universal health coverage – ensuring that everyone in need is able to receive good quality health services without undue financial hardship - has been growing across the globe. Basic but essential health care services need to be available close to individuals, families and communities, close to where people live and work, and should constitute the first element of a continuous health care process. Community health workers (CHWs) are an instrumental group of health workers who provide these health care services at the community level. CHWs work at the complex interface of communities and the health sector, have increasing tasks and responsibilities, limited training and face numerous resource constraints. The aim of this thesis is to gain insight into how performance of CHWs in low- and middle-income countries can be improved, in order to contribute to the realization of better informed, more effective and sustainable CHW programmes and ultimately improved health status of poor and rural communities.
This project is funded by the European Union.