In support of global efforts to strengthen, scale up, and harmonize community health programs, the Advancing Partners & Communities project launched the Community Health Systems Catalog in March 2014. The Catalog aims to fill a knowledge gap about community health and family planning policies and programs in 25 countries. Previously, this information was scattered across policies, strategies, curricula, and other documents. In 2017, APC updated the Catalog as part of its portfolio of tools and activities that support the role of policy in aligning and strengthening community health systems.
Community health workers can meet women in their homes to provide accurate information, counseling, and contraceptives. This intimate service provision allows women and men to decide for themselves, perhaps for the first time, the number, timing, and spacing of their children.
The Nepal experience has generated many lessons that JSI, in partnership with the Nepalese government, have used to provide guidance and technical assistance to governments around the world that are interested in the use of chlorhexidine.
Advancing environmental health literacy is not a top-down process from expert to resident. As a public health practitioner, the most valuable lessons I nurture have come from the expertise and leadership of those who are disproportionately affected by societal inequities.
Victoria notes that providing treatment in the community has also made caregivers more responsive to health education messages on improving household practices related to hygiene and sanitation, using long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets, and taking children with complications and non-iCCM conditions to the health centers.
Countries and development partners have made progress in strengthening data collection and deploying technologies to move data up the health system for monitoring and evaluating performance. But to realize the transformative power of information, it is the frontline healthcare workers—the doctors, nurses, community health workers, etc.—who require information to make informed, intelligent decisions.
Developing countries often face the unexpected: disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and political unrest. To sustain advances in their health systems while safeguarding communities, health staff and organizations need strategies that promote system resilience—the capacity to anticipate and respond to crises; maintain core functions when shocks strike; and reorganize when extreme conditions or circumstances arise.
Female Community Health Volunteers in Nepal have a long history of doing an excellent job promoting essential health services in communities cut off from facilities. Because of this history, the role of FCHVs was more crucial than ever after the earthquake devastated the country’s health infrastructure.
I am passionate about the innovation that I represented at this forum, but it is very different to these innovations of “things”. Our proposal, partnering with Dimagi, is to replicate an approach JSI implemented and scaled with the Ministry of Health in Malawi and take those lessons to Kenya. While our approach does include innovative use of technology, a simple mHealth supply chain management tool for community health workers, this approach also includes IMPACT teams.
The Advancing Partners and Communities applied a human-centered approach to addressing challenges to Tanzania’s community health worker system at a two-day intensive workshop in Mbeya.