What will I learn?
Community health workers (CHW) are health professionals trained to provide basic health and medical care to the community. Community Health workers are skilled in providing preventive, promotional and rehabilitation care in communities. CHW does work in a variety of settings including in hospitals, public health institutions in NGO programs among others.
In many developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, highly educated health professionals are very few. Current medical and nursing schools cannot train enough workers to keep up with increasing demand for health care services.
Community health workers are given training, supplies, and support to provide essential primary health care services to the population. Programs involving CHWs in China, Brazil, Iran, and Bangladesh and in many African countries have shown that utilizing such workers can help improve health outcomes for large populations in under-served regions.
“Task shifting” of primary care functions from professional health workers to community health workers is considered to be a means to make more efficient use of the human resources currently available and improving the health of millions at a reasonable cost.