IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Community-based health workers: Head start or false start towards health for all?

Listed author(s):
  • Berman, Peter A.
  • Gwatkin, Davidson R.
  • Burger, Susan E.
Registered author(s):

    Health service delivery programs using minimally-trained community-based health workers (CHWs) have been established in many developing countries in recent years. These programs are expected to improve the cost-effectiveness of health care systems by reaching large numbers of previously underserved people with high-impact basic services at low cost. The reported experience with these programs has been mixed, raising questions about whether the community health worker is an optimal vehicle for extending primary health care. This review of six large-scale community-based worker programs suggests that they have succeeded in some of their objectives but not in others. CHWs increase the coverage and equity of service delivery at low cost compared with alternative modes of service organization. However, they do not consistently provide services likely to have substantial health impact and the quality of services they provide is sometimes poor. Large-scale CHW systems require substantial increases in support for training, management, supervision, and logistics. The evidence suggests that, in general, their potential has not been achieved in large routine programs. Further development of these programs is needed to reinforce their successes and assure that they are adequately supported as an integral component of the basic health system.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0277-9536(87)90168-7
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 25 (1987)
    Issue (Month): 5 (January)
    Pages: 443-459

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:25:y:1987:i:5:p:443-459
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

    Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:25:y:1987:i:5:p:443-459. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.