Community Health

Community Health System

As the complex needs of people facing the double burden of health issues and socio-economic difficulties are increasingly identified and addressed, the importance of community-level health and social services is magnified. Improvement methods can be applied at the community level to address the quality and coverage of health and social welfare services, strengthen linkages between the community and the health system, and enhance the capacity of existing groups and networks to affect health issues in their own communities. 

A particular area of focus for improvement in community health is to strengthen the effectiveness and sustainability of programs that rely on community health workers (CHWs). Due to large catchment areas and numbers of households they are expected to cover, CHWs are frequently inadequate to provide services to all households needing them.  Although CHWs are usually linked to facilities, facility health care teams often do not have the time or capacity to address the challenges facing CHWs. Leveraging existing networks and indigenous structures to work together to improve the health of community members can improve CHWs’ acceptance, morale, and performance.

Improving Equitable Access to Lifesaving Maternal Health Care in Rural Bangladesh

ICHC Blog Series

This post is part of the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference blog series.

By: Joby George, Chief of Party, MaMoni Health Systems Strengthening Project

Why Equity Matters for Health

ICHC Blog Series

This post is part of the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference blog series.

By: Tanvi Monga Senior Program Officer, MCSP/ICF

Making Community Systems the Bedrock of Global Health Investments

ICHC Blog Series

This post is part of the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference blog series.

By: Kate Thomson, Head of Community Rights and Gender Department, Global Fund

Strong Government Leadership & Management are Key to Building Sustainable Community Health Systems

ICHC Blog Series

This post is part of the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference blog series.

By: Kiersten Abate, Senior Program Associate, AMP Health

Communities: The key to unlocking better health for every child

ICHC Blog Series

This post is part of the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference blog series.

By: Stefan Peterson Chief of Health Section for UNICEF globally / Professor of Global Health at Uppsala University, Sweden

Mother and baby in Malawi. (Courtesy of Guido Dingemans/Jhpiego)

Community-Based Maternal Health Care: Meeting Women Where They Are

ICHC Blog Series

This post is part of the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference blog series.

By: Sarah Hodin Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Mother and newborn in Ghana. (Courtesy of Kate Holt/Jhpiego)

Transforming the Community Health Landscape: From Alma Ata to the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference

ICHC Blog Series

This post is part of the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference blog series.

By: Nazo Kureshy, Community Health Team Leader, USAID and Jerome Pfaffmann Zambruni, Health Specialist / Child Health Unit, UNICEF

Quality improvement— a game changer for Kenya

Bill Okaka

Knowledge Management & Communications Officer, ASSIST Kenya

After the promulgation of the Kenyan constitution in 2010, the Right to Health by all Kenyans cannot be refuted. Fatuma Abdullahi, a practicing nurse, is the institutional memory of the unfolding of events in the northern frontier semi-arid regions of Kenya. Her three decades of facility and community work has been characterized by:

  • low utilization of health services (even in situations where access wasn’t a problem due to short distances)
  • high neonatal and maternal mortality (the region scores a Maternal Mortality Ratio of 790/ 100,000 live birth), and
  • low financial resource ploughing by national and county governments (compared to resource envelop received vis-à-vis the vastness of the region).

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