Community Health Workers (CHWs) play an important role in the provision of community-based services where formal health systems can be (temporarily) weakened or dysfunctional. CHWs and other community-level actors can also play a role in emergency and disaster preparedness and response (disease outbreaks and/or natural disasters).
While it is known that CHWs play important roles – preventive, promotive and often also curative – in various fragile contexts, there is limited evidence about specific circumstances and factors that influence CHWs’ work in these contexts. Even more so than in non-fragile settings, support from the side of the health system and community influence CHW performance, and a lack of such support can lead to overburdened and stressed CHWs. CHWs’ resilience and coping mechanisms in relation to insecurity and disaster need recognition as well. Sharing lessons learned about these topics can enhance CHWs’ roles in fragile and conflict affected settings.
The HSG Community Health Workers Thematic Working Group (TWG) will be hosting a panel session at HSR2020 Phase Two on 25 November 2020 at 1pm GST. In the session the TWG will focus on the role of CHWs in fragile and conflict-affected settings, with the aim to:
- Identify lessons learnt about the role of CHWs in improving communities’ access to primary health care services in different fragile and conflict-affected settings
- Make recommendations on what can be done to ensure optimal use of CHWs’ potential in emergency preparedness, response and health system recovery in fragile and conflict-affected settings
The session will be chaired by Dr Maryse Kok and the presentations will include an overview on what is known about the role of CHWs in fragile and conflict-affected settings followed by three case studies from Sierra Leone, DRC and Malawi. Then there will be an opportunity for questions from the audience and some discussion.
If you are registered for HSR2020, please join us on the virtual platform for the session. If not, you can watch the live-stream of the session on the HSG YouTube channel! We hope to see you there, and please follow the discussion on twitter: @CHWTWG1 #CHW #HSR2020
Image credit: DFID/Lucy Milmo (CC BY 2.0)