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.

The Mixed Nature of Incentives of Community Health Workers: Lessons from a Qualitative Study in Two Districts in India

This article, published in Frontiers in Public Health, examines the role that incentives play in motivating community health workers (CHWs) and in family dynamics that affect CHW performance. In India, accredited social health activists (...

USAID ASSIST Project Annual Performance Monitoring Report FY15

This annual report for the USAID ASSIST Project summarizes the project's accomplishments and results in FY15 supporting the application of modern improvement methods by host country providers and managers in USAID-assisted countries...

Increasing institutional deliveries through improving community-facility linkages in Mewat, Haryana State, India

Empowering communities and frontline health workers to use quality improvement (QI) methods to achieve better antenatal and intrapartum care, the USAID ASSIST Project supported a community QI team in Mewat, Haryana. The team observed that...

Partnership for HIV-Free Survival Community Demonstration Project in Gaza, Mozambique

Beginning in late 2013, the USAID ASSIST Project began to provide technical support for community-level improvement of elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) services to the Ministry of Health of Mozambique as part of the...

Strengthening Community Health Systems to Improve Health Care at the Community Level

Communities play a key role in the continuum of care as they can increase access to care by spreading health promotion messages, contributing to case identification, referring to facilities, and following up patients. Much of a patient’s...

Age-disaggregated data collection and analysis tool

The USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project has recently developed an age-disaggregated data collection tool to allow for the analysis of maternal and reproductive health outcomes among females of...

Empowering community groups to support access and retention in HIV care in Muheza, Tanzania

In early 2014, ASSIST, with support from PEPFAR, began the Community Linkages activity in five villages of Muheza District of Tanga Region in Tanzania, building on existing work at the facility level to increase retention in the HIV...

Using adapted quality-improvement approaches to strengthen community-based health systems and improve care in high HIV-burden sub-Saharan African countries

Community-based interventions are essential to achieving long-term retention in HIV care. This article in the July 2015 Volume 29 Supplement 2 edition of the Journal of the International AIDS Society presents four case studies of community...

Community Support to Improve TB Care in Uganda

This 6-minute slideshow depicts how a TB treatment facility in Kampala, Uganda has applied improvement methods to engage community health workers in tracing TB contacts and helping to increase retention in care of TB patients.

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