Community health worker on topic


A community health worker (CHW) is a member of a community who is chosen by community members or organizations to provide basic health and medical care within their community, and is capable of providing preventive, promotional and rehabilitation care to that community. Other terms for this type of health care provider include lay health worker, village health worker, community health aide, community health promoter, and health advisor.Community health workers contribute to community development and can help communities improve access to basic health services. They are most effective when they are properly trained to provide information and services to the community. Community health workers are the most promising form of delivering health services to resource-constrained areas. They are seen as secondary health services in most low-income countries are available as a service to the community.In many developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, there are critical shortages of highly educated health professionals. Current medical and nursing schools cannot train enough workers to keep up with increasing demand for health care services, internal and external emigration of health workers, deaths from AIDS and other diseases, low workforce productivity, and population growth. Community health workers are given a limited amount of training, supplies and support to provide essential primary health care services to the population. Programs involving CHWs in China, Brazil, Iran and Bangladesh have demonstrated 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 reasonable cost.
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